The premium features, while they disappoint me, don’t come as a surprise. This had to happen, they’ve taken on a ton of funding from VC’s who at this point probably want to see growth. Subscription models are one of the stickiest revenue sources out there, they are set-and-forget and they auto-renew.
To me the software subscription model just proves that their original subscription model Proofgrade either didn’t sell well enough or didn’t provide consistent enough revenue to make accurate growth projections. Yearly recurring subscriptions are very easy to project in comparison and the number of people that cancel subscriptions is usually very low.
While I wouldn’t ever say that Glowforge ever had the true Maker mindset, they’ve now gone all in on being a boring consumer grade device. One that works well, just lacks that hack, tinker, make spirit.
In short hardware startups are hard and most fail if they cannot find a good source of recurring revenue.
Juicero for life!