Pasted here for your convenience:
Subject: Latest update on shipping
One month ago today, you helped us make history. Glowforge became the biggest 30-day crowdfunding campaign in history. We always knew what we were building was a big idea, but we had no idea that you, and so many people like you, would see the potential so quickly. It’s been an inspiration and a motivation. Every day we come to work we think about the teachers, the parents, the artists, the architects. The backers who sold cars, took out loans, and spent their savings. The people who are counting on us to deliver something amazing.
In just a few days, I’m going to send an email about our first shipments - our first beta units, coming out in December - and how you can volunteer to get one. Before we start shipping units, though, we want to be sure that everyone involved knows what’s ahead. We’ve been sharing information through the FAQ, update emails, and most of all through daily posts on the forum at http://community.glowforge.com. But we’ve had a few emails from people who are concerned. They missed some of the details. For example, some thought we were shipping everything in December, or didn’t realize that you had to have internet access to use a Glowforge. That makes us feel terrible, because it means we didn’t communicate as well or as clearly as we should have. So we pulled together this email with all of the most important information about your order, and a few of the misconceptions we’ve heard along the way.
For most of you, nothing here will be a surprise. But we want to make sure Glowforge is right for you, so please read through all the details here. Should you decide that you’re going to do without your Glowforge, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll cancel your order, reverse the payment, and give your place in line to someone else.
But we hope you don’t want that.
With no further ado, then:
Most backers will get their machines in the first half of 2016.
When we launched, we said “First units shipping December 2015”, and then went on to say that units purchased before October 23 would ship in the first half of 2016. Now the first shipments are about to happen! (Stay tuned for an email in a few days on how you can apply to get one of the first few beta units). However, we’ve heard from a few people who thought that all the shipments would happen in December. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. To make sure your final Glowforge is as good as it can possibly be, we’re going to start by shipping a small number of beta units starting in two weeks. We’ll build the next set of units on a small test line over the course of the month. Then, the majority of units will roll out in the first half of next year. The date that we ramp up our production and start shipping thousands of units will depend on your feedback and our quality testing, but we’re on schedule to have all units that were purchased before Oct 23 shipped in the first half of 2016. Units ordered after Oct 23 will ship in the summer of 2016.
We’re on time, but delays are still possible.
Every day when I come into work I think about the Glowforge backers who are betting on us. Everyone at the company knows you’re counting on us, and that weighs on us and inspires us every day in equal measure. We will spare no effort to deliver every Glowforge on time. There is one thing we won’t do, though, and that’s compromise on the quality of what we’re building.
Our team has many years of experience shipping hardware, so we know how to minimize risk and stay on schedule. We’re buying parts months before they’re needed, flying around the world to inspect component manufacturers and ensure that they have the supplies and quality that we need, and sparing no efforts to accelerate production. (Do you know how much it costs to air freight a 10 ton injection mold? I do now!)
We are right on schedule, and have built buffers and redundancy into our plan. But even with all our efforts, we could experience delays. What we aren’t going to do is ship our production units until they are awesome.
Glowforge uses wifi.
Glowforge requires a wifi connection. It will work with a wired-to-wifi converter, and with cellular internet adapters like the MiFi device and cell phone hotspots. It’s also resistant to internet outages and works with slow bandwidth (if the connection drops, it finishes what it’s doing and then pauses). But if you’re completely offline, then Glowforge won’t work for you.
We don’t have a showroom yet.
We’ve been doing public demonstrations of Glowforge since launch, and will be doing many more in the upcoming months (we post them on community.glowforge.com). Unfortunately we have people dropping by our office at all hours. They want to see what we’re building, sometimes after driving hundreds of miles. We’re flattered! But we’re also working like mad to get your Glowforges ready, so we can’t interrupt the day to take people on tours.
However, if you’re really itching to see behind the scenes, though, you might consider submitting your resume to glowforge.com/jobs… candidates who come in for interviews get a tour and a printing demonstration as part of the visit!
We don’t know what future pricing will be.
We know how much it costs us to make a Glowforge. After accounting for warranty, service, and support, we’re selling it at the lowest price we can. In the future, we will sell it to retailers, who can charge whatever they want. We expect that the price will be much higher, and the MSRP - recommended retailer price - is on our homepage. But we have no idea what retailers will charge, and we can’t control their pricing.
If you cancel your order now and decide to purchase later on, you may end up with a much higher price. On the other hand, retailers can do whatever they want, even price below wholesale. We don’t think that’s likely, but we don’t have any control over that if it happens.
You must comply with your local laws.
Use of your Glowforge may be subject to local laws, regulations, and ordinances in your jurisdiction. We cannot guarantee that the device or its use is permissible in your country and jurisdiction. You are also responsible for all tariff, import, customs, tax, and other charges applicable in your country and jurisdiction (except sales tax in Washington state). We can’t advise you on what laws or costs may apply.
So what should you do?
Of course, up until we ship your Glowforge, you can tell us you don’t want it. If you do, we will reverse your order, cancel your shipment, and give someone else your place in line. If have to do that, we understand. We really want you to have a Glowforge, but it’s more important to us that you be happy.
But if you don’t mind sticking with us through the adventure while we communicate with you every step along the way - we can’t wait to get you your Glowforge!