I noticed today that the already depressingly delayed schedule is now delayed by another 6 months until December? How can that be possible?
I find this shocking and upsetting beyond measure. I have gone from a position of utmost respect and fandom to one of anger and questioning your ethics.
I know you keep saying that you want to make sure we get the quality machines we deserve (that’s a given), and no one would expect you to ship units before they are ready.
This is not a matter of not shipping until units are ready, but how your company has (mis)spent all the time and money we gave you in good faith.
You took a lot of money from a lot of people (both your initial investors and the crowd funded pre-orders) and spent it unwisely. Or rather, greedily held onto too much of it, thus failing to invest properly in the resources and people needed to develop the product you promised on schedule.
I was concerned at first when I saw how slowly you were spooling up and bringing on new staff, and how sparse (and guarded) any progress updates were. The only way you could have met your ambitious deadline (based on not even having fully functional hardware and software prototypes when this all started) would have been to throw a lot of money and people at it. Based on where we are now, it is painfully clear that you have done neither. A big enough team could have completed this, but that would have cost money out of your own pocket, and that of your non-preorder investors. That concern is only highlighted by Dan’s statement in the 4/20/2016 Q&A video where he stated “There is a lot more hiring, and a lot more to do” which I take to be a crystal clear admission of guilt.
If you have “a lot more hiring” to do and you are so late in the game that you are delaying a further 6 months then there is no question about what the cause of this delay is.
In the same Q&A video Dan stated that you are valiantly making a “7 digit cost” sacrifice to make up for the delay. But that is likely the very same money that had you invested at the start of this debacle would have led to on-time delivery.
The phrase “too little too late” was invented just for situations like this.
Lets say that even after the first round of delays I got my laser (the professional model) in June. And lets say that I barely used it professionally (only on weekends) and so I only made $100 a week from it. This new 6 month delay means $2,400 more out of my pocket. And that is a ludicrously conservative estimate. You may as well have just mugged me. The real financial reality is so much more painful that I don’t even want to do the math, because then I’ll feel like I made an even bigger mistake trusting Glowforge.
You know what you’ve done is profoundly wrong, and you know it could have all been avoided had you hired on time and invested in the product early rather than attempting to maximize profit and letting things go off the rails. There’s a reason you chose to disable comments on your latest Q&A video… you know exactly what people will have to say.
What I want to know is what are you doing about it? Just sitting back and saying “we’ll have them by December” is not enough. Investing now what you should have at the start is not enough. You are well past the point where “I’m sorry” carries any weight.
Since it seems greed put you in this situation, maybe charity will help save some face.
Even now, with all this anger, I still feel bad writing to you in such a negative tone. I was once your fan and supporter before you made me your fool. Part of me still wants to be a cheerleader for you and fight in your corner, but that part is all but dead.
I shrugged off delays and lack of progress updates when questioned/hassled by my makerspace and tech scene friends who did not believe you would deliver on time (or in some cases at all). I told them I trusted you and believed you could do it. That trust is gone. I wish I could say I still believed in Glowforge… but that would just be another lie.