Discussion of October 2017 update

Wait, you don’t have a unit? I thought for sure you were on the first round of people to get one. You have been posting positive messages on the forum almost every day for two years. I just figured you would have one by now.


Sport venues cheat / extort people in mass, and yet people still flock to them. In my view this is the same in many aspects. Here is a type of tool that is typically been price pointed out of the common persons ability to get. They offer this ability and people will come. That sure does seam like the perfect setup to extort people.

That is why I do not view the “sorry” as sincere because there is a track record that people will not cancel and just “eat the dog food” (just take it and wait).

For some of us waiting we will be over the 2 year mark. We were told it was to ensure a “quality product”. however if you watch the forums you will see multiple counts of “quality” issues.

on top of that. I see in a forum post that Glow forge initiated a refund on a customer without his consent. According to the post he filed a complaint with the state. So glow forge tried to sever the commitment to deliver to the customer.

I will return to my “dog food” (waiting) while Glowforge has fun at maker fairs.


I’m not sure how you got your referral credits but most people got theirs by giving their code to friend, family, and people they associate with daily. I don’t think its even possible to do ‘fake’ credits because people would catch on really quick when they all of a sudden have credits and didn’t give out their code.

I don’t think any company in their right mind would reimburse time spent getting stuff laser cut elsewhere. They offered a pre-order of a product. They didn’t build each individual’s business practices around that. I’m running a business and will not take laser cut orders until I get my glowforge. Doing so before that just doesn’t make business sense to me.


Frankly, this is not Glowforge’s fault. As you say:

We have a “no crowdfunding purchases” rule at my company for this reason. It’s very difficult to file an expense report for money spent on something you haven’t received, don’t know when you will receive, may never receive, and might not actually exist.

I can see the auditors’ point, even if it means I don’t get all the cool toys I want.


Well, I bought my wife a Christmas present a few years ago and the way it’s shaping up I’ll have to tell her AGAIN that another Christmas will pass before we see her gift. This is the gift that “keeps on giving”, giving me a headache that is. I’ve shown her pictures of Dan and explained that he is the cause, but I’m still the one in the dog house.

I assured her that it was coming in October and even gave her details of many people who were getting them, she believed me. I haven’t disclosed the latest “I’m sorry” post to her yet.


I got my “do you want your Glowforge?” email (for a day one Pro order) on the evening of September 12th and replied the next morning.

Since then our Proofgrade materials showed up (with no advance notice; I recommend doing the UPS MyChoice setup if you absolutely positively need to be there when your stuff gets delivered, because the email from GF with Proofgrade tracking arrived after the materials did), but no emails or UPS notifications on the machine itself, and I am now three weeks into the six-week window.

Based on this update I’m just going to go ahead and plan to be waiting the remaining three weeks before the machine actually ships.


This is exactly where I am too, you expressed it perfectly.

The difficulty now, from this perspective, is that the GF will have to be perfect on every detail. I’d have been ok with a fault or two getting it on time, now any missed expectation will lead to disappointment in the purchase.

The chances I’ll be happy dwindle a little more every time I think about the GF.


Referral credits came mostly from social media. Glad we didn’t get friends/family/employees to buy in.

That’s the point. This wasn’t a kickstarter. It was a pre-order, with a fixed delivery date. They were clear about that. Five times. If Amazon says they’ll deliver by a certain date and they don’t, they issue refunds/credits for the inconvenience. I respect them for that. And we use those credits to buy a more expensive product locally if we need it in time.

I’ve never seen any monetary option from GF. Ever.


As does Glowforge. You just have to tell them you don’t want to wait any more and they’ll send your money back.


This is not directed at you. It’s just something I’ve noticed about dozens of similar posts.

It’s interesting that the lack of negative posts is somehow perceived as positive. @JeremyNielsen looks forward to receiving his unit but is certainly not a Pollyanna. I’m sure everyone thinks I am a GF optimist. But I can remember posting over and over that folks should not to put too much stock on the “planned” delivery dates. I posted many times about my strong disagreement with the communication strategy. Have never once said an overtly positive thing about schedules, project planning, or any other aspect of company or personnel other than I think Dan would be fun to have a beer with. But just because I think extreme negativity works against my interests (We need the company to invest and survive) doesn’t make me an optimist, pessimist or self appointed realist. Just an interesting observation of social groupings. Again not really replying at you, just extending the thought.

Don’t get me wrong I enjoy using the Pre-Release unit. Think it’s awesome now and see no technical reasons why it won’t improve further. But I get to wait for my Pro like everyone else, and longer.


Amazon doesn’t give you a refund. Amazon usually issues a $10-20 credit on top of the difference. They once gave us a double-refund because the only place that sold the item locally was Brookstone, which is much more expensive. If GF did this, or reduced the device cost, or reimbursed for renting laser time after at least breaking their delivery promise, then there would be tons of respect.

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As far as the air filter delay, can you maybe give a ball-park estimate of when you think they might be shipping? Like 6 months…or 2 years?? My Pro that I ordered isn’t going to be of any use to me without a way to filter it, due to its planned location. Thanks.


I do early-stage venture investing for a living, and at this point, I thought I’d share what I’d be thinking about if I had invested in this company’s seed round, based strictly off of the updates we’ve seen.

Disclaimer: I know absolutely nothing about the actual company and have never met Dan or his co-founders.

I’m speculating first of all that GF will need to raise more money in the next 12 months, possibly sooner. They may have runway further out than that, but you never want to raise capital with less than 3 months’ cash in the bank. With the expense to produce GF, run the team, manage a store for custom products, and support complex, cloud-managed hardware, runway and burn are likely to be commensurately expensive. And, founders have a funny way of spending venture rounds within 18-36 months of raising, which would put cash out right around end of 2018 or Q1 2019.

With pre-order discounts, unknown quantities of later orders, and more delays on people having GF’s, they won’t have much time to demonstrate a profitable model from their proofgrade razor/razorblade model.

Once they finish shipping, or possibly even sooner, then, they’ll need to start working on approaches to attract venture at non-onerous terms. They’ll have a few possible strategies:

  • Have an amazing story with engagement (ours). How often are we buying proofgrade materials? Is the forum a source of DIY wonder and delight? Are we telling friends who are ordering? I’m hoping this is the tactic they use, and I hope we all love GF enough that this is a route they can pursue for the foreseeable future. This case for financing would be practical, but not flashy, and may require a lot of time and energy.

  • Try to sell a lot more GFv1s. Trade shows, podcast ads, discounts, constant marketing, retail partnerships with a Home Depot or Best Buy, maybe even enterprise sales to target schools. This will carry significant spend and inventory risk, and there’s a chance they find that the market for Glowforges isn’t that much bigger than the pre-order campaign. (And if you see a lot of this, the board may be applying pressure to inflate numbers).

  • Quickly announce the second-generation Glowforge, which this time will ship faster (6 months now that we’ve successfully learned our lessons from V1!) and be a marked improvement over the original Forge. To finance this, they’ll likely need to do another pre-order campaign, or have raised a massive round–but I’d guess they’ll try to use the pre-order campaign to raise the massive round. If I were them, I might consider two models–an improved version of ours, and a much smaller form-factor, under-powered version to try to expand the market.

If they focus on this third route, we will have to hope they’re successful, as a smaller campaign than their first one won’t inspire confidence for investors eager to avoid the next Juicero or [name your favorite pre-order darling]. I personally can’t afford to get a second GF, and at this point think the discounts aren’t worth the emotional toll of waiting, so at this exact moment I wouldn’t recommend for my friends to pre-order.

Why does all this matter? We’re locked into this ecosystem, and in the very unlikely event GF can’t navigate these waters well, they’ll either go defunct (very unlikely) or have to sell to another company for whatever they can–and in practice, keeping the customer happy is the last concern in these kinds of transactions, so we might lose GF software support, or the ability to buy replacement parts.

TL;DR–because we’re locked into the GF ecosystem, it’s helpful to think about their prospects like a venture investor might.


I’ve ordered my Glowforge shortly after the 30 day campaign. This was a intended action that way I could wait and see if the Kickstarter worked out. Once I saw the VC that backed the company it gave me the assurance that this was a “real” company and not a pipe dream. The delays have been a sore point to be sure. Plans that I made were on their expected delivery dates. But I work for a services division very well known electronics company. Delays and issues with supplies is a constant strain on how things are done. Which is why I’ve been able too keep from getting too worked up with the “We failed you” emails. Believe me from a tech’s perspective you take delays with even more irritation. Because what’s worse than not knowing is to know and not be able to do anything about it and deliver. The finish line is near for a good number of us. Just keep the faith and make the time you’re waiting count. Get supplies and designs ready. That way you will be ready when that brown trucks show up.


So what did you mean when you said “If Amazon says they’ll deliver by a certain date and they don’t, they issue refunds”?

Actually that’s rhetorical because when Amazon has been unable to ship I have gotten a real refund credited back to my credit card.

BTW, on multiple occasions I’ve not gotten my Amazon order delivered in the time they promised and I received neither a refund nor credit (but I’m a Prime customer so not really paying for 2nd day shipping so they really can’t credit the shipping when it shows up a couple of days late - but nor do they give me a generalized account credit for an “apology” either).

They have never offered to compensate me for an alternative I bought since I didn’t get it on time or costs I incurred because it didn’t show.


Whining? Really? That’s how you would characterize the frustrations of people waiting 2 years for a product they thought they were receiving in 3 months?


Every time I’ve chatted with Customer Service, they have.

I meant they offer MORE than a refund.

I think that’s why this feels so personal. There has never been any tangible giveback.

We’ve gotten:

  • Apologies
  • A book by the CEO
  • And samples/credits to get us started buying from their company

We’ve never gotten anything that doesn’t benefit the company.

This feels a lot like the Equifax breach. To compensate for their failure, users were encouraged to buy their services. Brilliant.

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I’ll pass that request along to the Proofgrade team.

We have all required certifications for the US, but no other country.

We’re shipping while production is running.

We’ll include the delivery schedule for your air filter in the email we send you.


Ryanspradlin… This is a Puppy…

And… You kick it.

Anything else you want to do to bring me down? Santa? Easter Bunny?
I dont care what you say. GLOWFORGE IS COMING!!!