Independent Audit of Glowforge


#1

You have changed the schedule again. Many of us are losing our trust in the company (many are not, and that’s marvelous). For those of us who are losing trust, I suggest a simple mechanism to help us regain it: an independent audit by software and hardware engineers.

We have asked in various update threads for more information. Some have asked after the schedule update for pictures as proof that you are beginning manufacturing. You have responded to some of these requests by saying that giving out too much information would release trade secrets. This is the exact situation that an audit is designed for.

Your company has brought in funding far beyond many Kickstarter-type projects, and as you point out, has brought in independent investors. An audit would be a small addition to your current costs.

I apologize to those people who feel confident in Glowforge– I don’t want to slow down the production. However, we have invested a huge amount of money in this and many cannot afford to lose it.

If you do not choose to accept this audit, you choose not to show pictures of broken Glowforges as requested in the Schedule Update thread, and you refuse to update us more frequently, then we may have cause for concern.


#2

Goodness. They’re not going to do an audit, and it isn’t even reasonable to expect one at this point in time. They certainly have no legal responsibility to do so.

I mean, I’m as dismayed as anyone else, but if you require an audit to be satisfied, you may as well cancel now.


#3

I make no claims that they have a legal responsibility, and simply requested an audit. I also pointed to other decisions made by the company (not releasing information more frequently or giving an idea as to why this has taken so long) that would be a perfectly reasonable alternative.

I would be extremely grateful for any suggestion other than inaction that would help demonstrate that the company is doing what it says. The statements that we have received until now are not sufficient to convince many of us (for example, there are many incensed comments in the Schedule Update thread).


#4

I dunno, if they sent out fifty more of this second beta which regular posting on the forum, I think it’d be pretty illuminating as to functionality.


#5

@arthur, much as we would all like to have proof positive, we just aren’t going to be able to get it. (And believe me…I’d love to see one of these things on my desk more than you do.)

On the other hand - seeing the physical examples of the 3D engraving and the details on the photo engrave make me understand now WHY they are taking so long to build these things…they are building something that is more spectacular than I expected…by a long shot.

I hope you decide you can hang in there…it’s going to be worth it in my opinion…good luck making your decision.


#6

Honestly, the easiest audit they could do would be to cancel all the crowdfunding orders and start taking new orders from scratch. At the new prices.


#7

If you have a useful suggestion to offer that would accomplish what you ask for, it would be best to post it in Dan’s Q & A thread here.


#8

I’d rather not have my costs increased, thanks.


#9

hush!


#10

In what way would that be an audit? The purpose of an audit is to inspect information. I don’t see how refunding people’s money and allowing new orders to be placed would be equivalent to an audit.


#11

Very smart people (VCs) have invested $31 million dollars in GF. These people don’t invest that much money in scams or enterprises that waste money. They have dedicated people to keep track of their investment. That my friend is your audit. They don’t waste or lose money and they are not rich for no reason. Go :glowforge: - Rich


#12

Very smart people invested in a lot of companies that failed epic. Thats why its called venture capital. Read for example a bit about a company called better place. Founded by smart people and funded by smart people. We are talking about $700-850 millions here. In the end it was a complete fail.

So… smart people invested in glowforge - great for us who are still hoping. But this proves nothing.


#13

You are correct about VC’s investing in companies that fail, but they weigh the pluses and minuses against the potential return on their investment (while looking at the risks) and in this case (unlike Better Place - which was banking on taxpayer subsidies as does Tesla for electric cars, proprietary charging stations with $350 per month subscriptions, lack of real costs versus pie-in-the-sky estimates and just general under demand for their total of 1500 sold vehicles) VC’s for Glowforge see a single product, niche market demand, recurring revenue from lower cost additional addons (Proofgrade), marketed to a disposable income group (yes it at a disposable income level - compare to cruises, vacations, high end sporting events (ie Superbowl)) and relatively soon manufactured and marketed worldwide.

Investors do take a risk. Surprisingly, those who have crowdfunded the Glowforge are only out of currency exchange rate changes (and interest on the credit card) because of the generous no questions asked (effectively) refund policy.


#14

Very few of those invested millions again months down the line for apparent failures. - Rich


#15

@arthur, I’m not trying to argue with you, I just have a different perspective. We, you and I, aren’t investors, we are customers. We purchased a product, that we knew was not ready yet. We were led to believe that it would be ready at a certain time, and it wasn’t. In fact this is the fourth such delay? Still we are just customers, and I am impressed that the company is still offering a no questions asked money back policy, so we can stop being customers any time we want. Now if were were truly investors, like those who have put over thirty million into the company then we could ask for an audit to make sure they are using our money they way they are supposed to. As it is, while delivering late is not really good business, it is business and happens all the time. I will go on to say that it is the trust of the investors that helped me get over my initial fears since theirs is the money being spent right now. Dan has said repeatedly that the reason they can offer full refunds on our purchases is the fact that they haven’t used our money, and won’t until our machines are manufactured and ready to be sent to our door. Just my perspective.


#16

I agree, it’s not an audit. It’s not an audit in the same manner that, as a PRIVATE COMPANY, they don’t OWE you an audit. If you were one of the capital investors investing millions to fund the company, THEN it’d be appropriate to ask for an audit.

People ordered a product that over promised and under-delivered to their satisfaction… people should either get their money back, or wait for the issue to be fixed. There’s nothing to be gained by screaming for heads to roll, wasting time on an effort that ultimately doesn’t improve the situation.

Edit: Sorry @baldengineer, I didn’t mean you specifically. I meant people in general.


#17

Investing in a product from a business perspective is not the same as being an investor in a company. Many of us have invested in a product from a business perspective, hoping to realize returns from said product. We are not investors in the Glowforge Corp. A small but important distinction as the inherent rights are much different.


#18

Everyone should understand that they backed a Kickstarter project and this is not the same as buying something from a store. Go read the Kickstart FAQ

"Kickstarter does not guarantee projects or investigate a creator’s ability to complete their project. On Kickstarter, backers (you!) ultimately decide the validity and worthiness of a project by whether they decide to fund it. "

“It’s not uncommon for things to take longer than expected. Sometimes the execution of the project proves more difficult than the creator had anticipated.”

“Steps should include offering refunds”

“At the same time, backers must understand that Kickstarter is not a store. When you back a project, you’re helping to create something new — not ordering something that already exists. There’s a chance something could happen that prevents the creator from being able to finish the project as promised.”

You are basically investing in the company but instead of getting equity you are usually getting a product at reduced price and the privilege of getting it first. If you don’t like the risk at least you can get your money back.

The only thing that you can even remotely complain about is maybe transparency, but this is hardware and not software. It is not like you can build a new revision weekly unless you own your own production facilities.


#19

Nobody backed a kickstarter project. This wasn’t on Kickstarter, it wasn’t even crowd funded despite the hype, since they had millions in external funding and just took pre-orders, so the kickstarter FAQ isn’t really relevant.

The stuff about discount for early adoption is on point, tho.


#20

Glowforge isn’t a Kickstarter project. It was a preorder campaign run independently. You can read the terms and conditions here, which I believe we all agreed to when we clicked “accept” before purchasing.

I know that seems kind of nit picky, and I don’t mean to be - just wanted to clear up any potential confusion.

Edit: man, I type slow. Stupid iPad and stupid dog sleeping on me. Lol