Oh I agree. I said earlier bat their biggest issue was just not having the funding for advertising. I mean Samsung or Apple, they build brand awareness by spending unbelievable amounts on media.
I think that this kind of thin is going to happen more and more (it’s been happening for a while) as tech companies get into traditional consumer areas where the repeat-purchase cycle is much longer. I’ve had the same watch for 20 years (and mostly the same two watches for the 25 years before that). The average car on the road is something like 10 years old these days. And so forth. You either have to keep producing new shiny stuff or else have a plan for what happens when your production rate goes down to replacement levels. (GF is smart having a big contract manufacturer, because as growth eventually slows they won’t have that whole infrastructure to drag around.)
For sure there are some people who never buy designs but the people who do buy them again and again, month after month. And glowforge will be a mix too - some people will only use their own designs, some people will only buy designs, and some people will do both.
I don’t really know a ton about cricut, but guaranteed most people who use silhouette are not exclusively designing their own stuff (even though, at least a few years ago, silhouette was definitely see as the ‘designer’ software compared to cricut). They’re for sure buying designs. Regularly. If glowforge gets the market they’re aiming for, I think they’ll see a lot of design sales (assuming the designs are both commercial and personal use, and aren’t too expensive).
You’re absolutely correct. Some people are authors, some readers and some a blend depending on the situation. The catalog should definitely accept user uploads with a rating system (worked well, design fail, etc.) and provide professionally developed complete and partial designs. I generally look for starting points and then modify for a unique result, but that investment in time and the skills isn’t available for everyone. As an example, I saved the wood joinery templates that I find because I don’t want to spend my time on those mechanics.
Was going to back Pebble but didn’t for some reason (don’t remember why). Lucky call on my part. I currently have 2 “backings” that have been delayed over a year. Glow forge and TIKO. Hey I prayed for patience, I asked for it! Although I am most confident in @dan and team as opposed to the other backed project. Is there a way to apply for a pre release unit?
Creating a post with just a quote-link didn’t work, so I wrote this sentence.
I backed M3D Micro 3D printer and it was delayed a long time as well. Thankfully I backed it beyond the original deadlines, so in my perception it hadn’t been delayed much… I think 4-6 months from when I initially expected it. The problem was it didn’t perform as advertised. After a while I gave up and sold it (right after I backed GF actually). They are doing fine though and are currently kickstarting their 2.0 version.
The first thing that comes to mind as relevant learning is that they tried to put a lot of novel tech into one device. Speaking from experience, it’s so easy, when developing hardware, to massively underestimate the complexity and entanglement of the glitches that arise when you start combining multiple new technologies in one system. It’s not that it can’t be done, but it takes a heck of a lot longer than is possible to reasonably predict, and is most easily done by very large teams with very large budgets (time and money) and historical knowledge base. It creates what (the not-so-great) Dick Cheney referred to as “unknown unknowns.” You simply can’t envision what’s going to go wrong, because no one has ever done what you’re doing before, and they’ve certainly never done it with dozens of other things no one has done before.
I’ll be honest.
I thought this thread would be about having trouble engraving pebbles…
My thoughts… They tried to play in a market that ended up with too many better players. With their low-res screens, and competition from name players like Samsung and Apple, how did they really stand a chance?
When I chose a smartwatch, Pebble didn’t even make my list of choices. After all, this thing had to compete with my Movado. The Pebble seemed behind the times and unattractive. And then add its proprietary OS into that and I think it was a real loser. I really wanted a Motorola because, to me, the “watch” part of “smartwatch” must come first and I believed that Motorola made the most-attractive of them all. And then I couldn’t get past that “flat tire” screen. I wanted a round face… like a watch. In walked Huawei with the answer. Beautiful and feature-full, the Huawei Watch, to me, had it all. Can I check my heartrate? Sure. Measure my steps? Yep. Can I have one of thousands of incredible watchfaces to tell the time? Indeed. Does it look fantastic on the arm? Everybody comments, so I think so. It’s got Android on it? Who can go wrong there? Can I play Space Invaders? What? I can?! Wait… With SOUND?! Yes… Yes I can. Now, compare that with a Pebble. No, don’t really… it’ll just be a waste of time.
What does Glowforge have that Pebble didn’t? Just about everything. Who are you really competing with? Cheap Chinese kits, or expensive domestic commercial-grade machines. No competition, really. You’re packing everything into it from the start. No Model 2 in the works that “really” has it all. You’ve priced it very well. You’ve made it attractive not for the dirty, unwelcoming workshop, but for the home! (Although black would certainly be a great option!) So, compare Glowforge with… who? No… don’t really… it’ll just be a waste of time.
My one thought on the Pebble is they failed to mature. Going into their 3rd iteration they were still trying to do presales on Kickstarter. For me crowdfunding is for startups or when a small company wants to reach beyond its current limits and try to strike out. Pebble never seemed to mature as a company. I find the comparison with Glowforge interesting because I believe @dan has said once the company is launched they plan on getting out of the direct to customer sales. Correct me if I’m wrong.
I’m crossing my fingers that the 2.0 version rectifies the issues of their first version.
It looks like they’ve addressed most of the issues that I had… though no mention at all (in the video anyway) of being able to print ABS. I could barely get an 18mm die to print in ABS on the Micro.
The Huawei Watch looks really neat. How do you find the battery life now you have had it a while?
Do you use with an Apple or Android phone (I have an iPhone)?
Yeah mine died 90 days after I got it. They did drive quality well enough. Good to see that Glowforge holds that torch up with the printers.
I really love the watch. I do need to charge it nightly, which is no big deal. If I let it go it lasts about a day and a half. I use it with my Samsung Note 4 running Android.
I do wonder if Pebble’s failure to deliver the Pebble Time 2 relates to the financial troubles of their memory LCD provider, JDI. Because they just shipped Pebble 2 and seemed otherwise ready to produce the Time 2.
The good news is Pebble attracted the kind of crowd that is busy at work developing replacement infrastructure to keep existing watches working independently of Fitbit. They’ve backed up 14,000 apps + watchfaces and are working on a new appstore, phone app, and possibly firmware.
I’m always skeptical when a multi-million dollar company does a kickstarter. I own two of their watches and am sad to seem them go.
If anyone is interested in Pebble’s failure this is a really good article from the CEO’s mouth.