[Dec 2 2016] Q&A with Dan


#1

I’ll be live-streaming a Q&A today (Friday) at 4:00 pm Pacific Time.

You can view here when we start:

Please ask your questions below; I’ll take some questions from this thread and some live - as many as I can. I feel wretched that I had to make this announcement, and want to tell you as much as I can about the path from here to your Glowforge delivery.

Update: There are 150 questions here and counting; I’ll work with Rita to sort so the most-asked and most-liked questions get answered (we’re doing this now). We’ll try to take some questions from chat as well.


Schedule update (December '16)
Glowforge delayed AGAIN .... is this a scam?
Schedule update (December '16)
Is the Warranty transferable?
Over-promise, under-deliver
Independent Audit of Glowforge
#2

Can you explain in as much detail as possible, the hurdles needing to be crossed before production can go full bore?


#3

Not necessarily for the Q&A: Is there a way to verify that we’re subscribed to the Beta/Pre-release tester list? I signed up a while back, but I can’t find any sign-up acknowledgement e-mails or anything in my profile.


#4

We understand @dan, I mean I’m sad, but I’m sure a prerelease unit would soften the blow… too soon?

I respect your desire to provide amazing quality, and not just something adequate. If you see my Glowforge, tell it that I’ll be waiting for it while its on the inside, and that Ray Ray said “What’s good?”


#5

I am very sad. Because this is the second time i have to change the plans for our business. I realy need the glowforge for the development of our services so i must wait on it. I even don’t know if i can trust that it will delivered in July or august. I think the people of Glowforge have to give priority to the pro versions because this affect a lot of small businesses.


#6

I am pasting my update from the other thread. I have boiled down the responses from the first 214 posts in the other thread to major topics. It’s my hope that @Dan will respond. My original post is below this:

Topics and responses, reduced to major points for brevity: (This will seem harsh, but it’s not sunshine and roses right now). I am a customer since August 2015 with $4270 paid for a Pro with Filter.

  1. @Dan has admitted he failed us, is sorry and feels terrible. I am sure he does, but he has repeatedly ignored requests for accountability from many of the 268 posts now in this thread. What is accountability potentially look like?

  2. Accountability is rebuilding trust with the community through open lines of communication and managing our expectations better.

  3. Changing the way @Glowforge communicates with the community, by doing more than once a month updates. @Dan likes to say the team is too busy to give updates, but the reality is he has $32,270,000 in capital, not including the money we paid for our Glowforges. He can afford to hire a full time person to focus on this role and it would not be a significant drain on the team.

  4. @Dan continues to refuse to provide a detailed roadmap with targets and milestones to reach the launch date. Communicate if you have a setback and how that changes the launch date.

  5. @Dan and @Glowforge have knowingly misrepresented and withheld information to the customers concerning the status of the launch and the Glowforge.

  6. @Dan has consistently used responses to forum posts that dismiss or mislead the customers.

  7. @Dan has acknowledged he has failed to properly manage the Glowforge team and its development process. With over $32M in funding on top of the pre-order money @dan should have had access to any expert he needed, especially considering his partners. @dan will only say that the team is working 100% on making the next date and implies we should trust him, because he means it this time. For many, including myself this answer isn’t good enough and @dan needs to share specific plans for how he intends to fix the problem with Glowforge and deliver the product.

  8. @Dan uses the full refund in a passive aggressive or dismissive way to deflect legitimate concerns from the customers.

  9. Overseas customers have paid over $8,000 in some reports due to international shipping, but if refunded would not receive a complete refund due to changes in the currency values.

  10. @Dan has offered a bonuses to people who have ordered as an apology. Most overseas customers can’t use the bonus because of shipping and customs costs.

  11. The actual cost to Glowforge for proof grade materials for this is minimal and is a loss leader to get people to try the proof grade materials and continue to buy them. (Speculation)

  12. The free items from the catalog are owned by Glowforge (except the Catan tiles) and represent a zero cost to Glowforge. (Speculation)

  13. The instructables bonus is not usable by international customers and could represent a income stream for Glowforge if they have an affiliate relationship and will see revenue for new users who sign up for Instructables. (Speculation)

  14. @Dan responded to complaints that customers had lost the interest on the money the paid. @Dan claims that they have made $22 per person in interest. This seems like a small number, until you look at the numbers if @glowforge made 10% (2016 median bond rate) they have made a profit of $2,922,331.76 on the first 30 day purchases. (Speculation)

At the end of the day what it comes down to is @Dan abused the trust of the customers. It’s easy to say you are sorry and be contrite. Dan needs to prove through immediate action how he will rebuild the communities trust.

Is ridiculous and @dan can do a hell of a lot more than to rebuild the faith and trust the community has given @Dan and @Glowforge by trusting them with $45,000,000 in sales as of the last public report.

I really hope that @Dan will respond to this updated thread.

—Original Post—

Everyone here should read @dan 's responses in the other thread Schedule update (December '16)

Dan,

I really can’t help but feel a sense of betrayal by this latest announcement. I backed Glowforge within a couple days of the public announcement when the site said shipping starting December 2015. It’s pretty obvious in hindsight there was zero chance you were making that goal. Not the most ethical way of selling a product, but shipping delays are expected to some extent when crowdfunding new companies.

You have made up for that by being very accessible and open with the community and your cancellation policy made me keep my order. I became an evangelist for Glowforge on my personal and professional social media where I have over 121k followers. I argued for you and your company and I convinced people to buy Glowforges and many others to visit.

When you delayed the second time I was concerned, when you delayed the 3rd time I was disappointed. But you said my Glowforge would get here for Christmas and I gave you and the project another break and waited. The depth of your concern for the quality of the device was reassuring. Glowforge was going to be a serious tool that was high quality. But after 17 months, it just doesn’t cut it.

I am not going to threaten to cancel or anything dramatic because I don’t know what I am going to do yet. But my faith and confidence in you and the Glowforge company is gone… completely.

At this point my question is why should I trust you and your company? You have blatantly deceived us about the shipping date originally and perhaps in subsequent updates?

Harsh question, but one I think we deserve an answer to at this point.


#7

Yeah, I feel like another long delay this close to the previous deadline warrants an even more detailed response. As part of the crowdfunding campaign we invested our money into the company and we should know more specifics about the production problems and how they will be solved. That money has an opportunity cost to all of us that grows the longer it is locked up. We are a community investing and as investors we should know more about production issues. I fear this is the last chance you have to hit your goal before you completely loose our trust and support.


#8

Will there be a way to narrow down that time frame any? Given that you have a rough plan on how many you want to produce per week / month and you know how many were ordered on each day, I would think a September order is more likely to deliver in the early part of the new delivery window vs a October order? Maybe updating our order page with a “place in line” indicator of some sort? I can’t imagine that it would take so much time to implement that it would cause any production delay.

Clearly it would not be exact, and would flex depending on the ramp up speed - but I think something a little more concrete than another general 6+ month bump is appropriate for those of us who have, with decreasing patience, lived with the delays.

As others have said, I have not decided if I will cancel my order or not yet, but more specific detail is needed here, especially for those of us basing business decisions around delivery.


#9

The detachable laser module has me very concerned. When was this feature introduced? I would expect that would have been a selling point if it was within the original scope of the project. Is this just simply feature creep… or are you parlaying the bet of us initial buyers to try to create a even larger product that will have more market appeal?

Can you answer some basic questions?

Do you have all the material on hand at this point to manufacture the pre October 25, 2015 units?

At this point I would believe you are experiencing EOL (end of life issues) as the market for electronics is very fast pace. Are you?

What issues are you trending with the units that were in the “defect queue” awaiting troubleshooting?

Can you provide a PRD (product requirements document) so that we are sure there is no further feature creep or market expansion?

Have you passed safety and regulatory requirements (i.e. UL and FCC requirements)?


#10

Great questions and I really hope @dan will answer them.


#11

Taking away any personal emotion … I am trying to ask a few questions.

  1. Can you tell us when the assembly line will actually begin and at what rate.
  2. What about the start production date for units other than the basic, ie. Pro, basic w/filter, etc.
  3. If I invested at about the $10 million mark, where am I in line … when selected for promotion in the military I had a promotion # and could anticipate my actual promotion date based on my number.
  4. How many beta users have there been … and now, how many pre-production units do you actually plan to put into use? The announcement of pre-production late Monday sure amped up everyones enthusiasm - but only served to showcase planned super features versus a competant, reliable product you asked us to wait for last April.
  5. Please stop apologizing so much and give us factual information. … how many have cancelled, how many pro versus basics are needed to fill backorders, what are your retail plans for the future, about the printhead - cost/functionality/availability date and so on, where is the user interface in terms of development and when can we see it, how about the user manual - is it available for download, what is the status and avalability of the proofgrade material. … you see, if all of these sub pieces are in-place now then you are to be believed that you could have begun production and delivery THIS MONTH, albeit in smaller numbers than the massive 10,000 unit you alluded to back in April.

The money invested thus far by me is inconsequential - the passing of time and my enthusiasm cannot be recouped. I (We) need to know precisely where we stand in line.

Thanks Brian


#12

thank you I can’t explain why but this post eased my gut-wrenching disappoint and now I just feel numb. Perhaps shocked.
Empty.


#13

What about international costumers!? Most of your extra freebies are absurd to us…


#14

From THE update post:


#15

i think this is what ALOT OF US would like to see MORE transparency in the Glowforge company we want to see pictures of the facory floor we want to see videos of things that you are doing we want to see things being done we what to see out money being in a good place and good standing we what to see details of your everyday we want to see what exactly we are supposedly getting


#16

I have 0 knowledge on laser cutters. But is it EOL in sight yet for the features seen alredy in a pre-production GF? Like all those cameras and “foolproof” interface used for newcomers? If it is, then I shall be concerned ON TOP of the rest of comments…


#17

It looks to me that those most disappointed are such due to lack of timely communication, how do you plan to do better on this going forward?

My suggestion would be a paragraph from you that is not just a response to a thread but a dedicated progress report at least twice a week.


#18

i second this


#19

Lol I think a lot of ppl asked him for that last time … and you can now clearly see the results of that request…


#20

How could it be EOL when it’s not even out yet? And there is no other product like it.