I wonder what directions Glowforge will take

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#1

I wonder what directions Glowforge will take as it transitions from startup to regular company?

I don’t even know if @dan and company have had time to consider this but as the preorders start to flow several new things will have to start being put in place.

Repairs, in-house or all farmed out? Central or regional reps?

Support, that is going to have to be ramped up a lot as gobs of people who have never owned a smart tool before get their hands on this. PLEASE keep this in-house.

Distribution, direct, retail, a combination?

Butt loads of things I don’t even know to ask.


#2

I would be surprised if backers didn’t require all this to be a part of the business plan before they would participate. If I had a pile of millions to invest, I would want those things thought out.


#3

I wonder about future product. Will there be new hardware on the way? Deeper Z axis? Rotary expansion?

Maybe product updates will be limited to new features/capabilities added into software?

Looks like ProofGrade will be the main product offering if hardware development is off the table.

I would love to be able to do stuff like is shown in the Laser Origami video on YouTube!


#4

I’m certain they have their plan…


#5

Support is going to be a big thing, and proofgrade sales (which also requires &d), but at some point they are going to have to offer something new. My prediction is that it won’t be until there’s a sense of how many additional customers there are in the Basic/Pro market, and also until it becomes clear how whether the Muse is gathering respect and selling in quantity. Other prediction: Whatever it is, they’ll bring it much, much closer to full production before announcing.


#6

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”


#7

I think so, Brain, but if the plural of mouse is mice, wouldn’t the plural of spouse be spice?

I think so, Brain, but culottes have a tendency to ride up so.

ad infinitum…


#8

This is AWESOME!!! NARF!


#9

No sir, plural on the spouse is polygamy, and against the law in quite a few areas.


#10

“Narf! I think so brain, but how will we get the monkey into the dress?”


#11

Sometimes I get a shiver of dread (frisson of anxiety) about the whole enterprise. This isn’t about just cranking out a machine. It’s an ecosystem that works because there are a lot of people doing their job. That Glowforge primarily depends upon people keeping the lights on really thrills me, but also could mean it is vulnerable to the whims of persons. The three founders are pretty bold to embark on something like this and the crew they have hired have really gotten into a cool enterprise.

But that is the nature of technology these days. It is connecting people and that is a good thing!

The ProofGrade material will be essential for expanding the market. I think they got the Glowforge as a laser machine almost dialed in. They do need that filter working. 3D and passthrough to access another tier of participants. The design catalog is not a concern of mine. They have some creative folks to do that. The hard part is coming up with consistent material, priced within reach for folks to just stick it in the bed and press the button.

I’m sure there are some dreams that are pretty powerful for the future, but there is a lot of stuff that just has to work off the bat. Take support. That’s going to be huge once 15,000 forges are delivered. sure, the product is good, but some people will be contacting support just because they are uncertain about something or other.

Anyway, all signs look good to me.


#12

Having provided support for end users (with their phones, computers, email, internet, wireless, ipads, etc) over the last 20 years, having something just works is what people want.

It is not that people cannot make things work. They bought the technology to use it, not spend hours a week or month trying to tweak their product. Us techie/geeks love the tinker factor.

Glowforge’s concept of “it just works” is what will sell their product and materials.

It would be nice to be able (for the techie) to tweak back-end settings, but I don’t know if Glowforge wants to have to support resets. Or worse, support those who think they are “technical” because they were able to program the VCR’s clock (and find access to the back-end settings), but get confused about plugging in cables back into their computer.

The support aspect Glowforge will be dealing with (once 5,000 to 10,000 or more units are out the door) is going to be shocking to them. Whether something goes weird with a software update or a DDOS happens in are region or an SSL cert gets whacked or little Johnny decides to “fix” the wireless, telephone support is going to get hammered.

Justified or not, consumers will expect to be able to talk to someone (email technical support will not be accepted) and tech support is going to need remote access to the end users computer.


#13

I totally agree with you about wanting the thing to just work without having to fool with it. This will be the greatest selling point for the Glowforge. :relaxed: