Ear Savers: 800,000 Ears In

If you’re a Cliff’s Notes type of person, here’s what you need to know:

  • Together, we’ve helped over 400,000 people with Ear Savers.
  • We have 600,000 more to reach our goal of 1 million, and we don’t plan to stop there.
  • We - and more importantly, the essential front-line workers - need your help!

Two weeks ago, I asked for you to join me in getting 1 million Ear Savers to essential workers, who are putting themselves in danger to keep us safe.

I can’t believe the incredible response. This community shouldn’t be able to still surprise me, but here again, it does. You are a part of the most amazing network of amazing people that I could ever imagine.

As of today, the Glowforge community has printed and delivered over 400,000 Ear Savers. And it’s only been two weeks.

Now, I have good news, and bad news, and good news again.

First, good news

We’re almost halfway there. This community has stepped up in ways we never dreamed. We’ve helped more than 400,000 people, with more being printed by people just like you every day. And we’re making an incredible difference.

Here are just a few of the stories we’ve seen:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B--Aa_1Hul2/ }
https://www.instagram.com/p/B-8WR8CpRoB/ }
https://www.instagram.com/p/B_OoUAMpC6P/ }

You can check out the #Save2MillionEars hashtag to see more. A lot more.

Then bad news

When we dreamed this up, we weren’t sure we’d ever hit 1 million Ear Savers. That’s a tremendous number of people to reach! It seemed like an audacious goal - a crazy target - something we might never achieve, but something we could work towards in the months to come. And now here we are, two weeks in, and almost halfway there.

But the need is much, much greater than we thought.

Each donor who shares Ear Savers with the front line workers in their community delivers hope, caring, and something special. And that spreads. Good deeds spread. Happiness spreads. And word has spread that people can get free ear savers at glowforge.com.

We now have over 8,500,000 requests for ear savers.

That’s the bad news.

More good news

And I promised we’d end on some good news. Here’s what we’re going to do about it.

We originally planned to make 1,000,000 Ear Savers along with you on Glowforge printers. Hey, that’s what we do! And frankly, we don’t have a lot of spare funds right now at the company for anything else. We just took a hard look at our business, and made massive cuts to every area of spending. Our executive team took a pay cut. We managed to avoid layoffs, but it was close, and it’s scary right now.

But looking at the need, we’ve decided we’re going to lean in further.

We’re not just going to have a dozen Glowforge printers creating Ear Savers around the clock at our factory - we’re going to build a new tool. Actually, two new tools. Injection molding tools that we can run nonstop to produce hundreds of thousands of Ear Savers each day. I just signed a $100,000 purchase order for the tools, the plastic, and the labor, and expect it to go even higher.

That felt bad, to be honest. We’re not about mass-produced plastic pieces.

We love that you’re printing Ear Savers for your community. We sometimes get cc’d on the emails of caring and appreciation that come back, and it means the world to them too – not that Glowforge, a faceless company did this, but that you, someone in the community they serve, are taking care of them.

But even though mass-production feels worse by comparison to this community’s work, it’s one more tool we can use. It’s what we can do to help during this calamity, and we’re going to help as much as we possibly can.

We’ll print as many Ear Savers as we can, and ship them to whoever needs them. At the new scale we’re operating at, we’ll ask recipients to provide prepaid shipping labels to our factory for bulk shipments.

And here’s where we need you more than ever before

Years ago, when we first started dreaming up the product that would become your Glowforge, we said lots of things like “this will change the way people get the things they need” and "this can reinvent global supply chains when people can create things for themselves and their communities.” Then, those were ideas. Today, they are a reality that’s making a difference to the people who matter most.

Please help us get Ear Savers to essential workers right now.

You can register to donate more Ear Savers here.

After sign-up, we’ll match you with the people and organizations in your community who need your help. It’s fast and easy to get your prints in the right hands.

And for those who are waiting on Acrylic to make more, we just got in a new acrylic shipment of Lavender, Matte Black and Clear Blue Acrylic. They look stunning! Just head to shop.glowforge.com to stock up.

One more small thing we made for you

For the past few weeks, I’ve been delivering batches of Ear Savers I printed with my family to the people who need them. That includes hospitals, but also nursing homes, grocery stores, and a youth shelter.

Every time I do this, it’s kind of weird because I want to tell the folks thank you. But instead I have to drop off a sanitized package and wave at them from a distance. I wanted a way to connect with the people on the front lines, a way to let them know how grateful I am. So we made one.

We made you this design for a “Thank You” Ear Savers dispenser. It looks like this:

We also made a version that hangs outside your home:

We’re giving these files away for free. You can download them here.

I’ll be including these with all of my upcoming deliveries to large organizations, where Ear Savers can be put out for passing staff to grab. I expect I’ll be making a lot more deliveries.

Ever since this has started, everything feels chaotic and uncertain. Minute by minute, the world has been changing in profound ways. But we found a way to make a difference together. We’re in it for the long haul. That’s me, the team here at Glowforge, our families, and so many more. For as long as there are people in need, we’ll feel the need to help. To do our part.

Being able to do this work with this community is one of the great privileges of my life.

I’ll keep saying this, because I can’t say it enough: thank you. Thank you all for helping the people who are helping us.

– dan

P.S. If you like to skim-read, here’s the important part: please sign up to print Ear Savers for essential workers in your community. You’ll be joining a massive community effort, and your prints will make a real difference.

Discussion is here!