Product Updates?

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#1

By placing a pre-order I feel we (the backers) are both customers and investors. I understand delays happen - what is important is how those delays are handled. I would like to assume that things are going well, however with little to no information it makes backing the product difficult.

Would it be possible to get more frequent updates (biweekly)?

It would be nice to see a single list of issues and what you have in place to solve those issues. That way things are transparent and backers can make an informed decision to keep backing.

Thank you


#2

@durhampj, I appreciate your desire for updates and certainly wish the same. Have you been a regular reader on the forum? This topic has been one of the most discussed on the forum. I encourage you to read these topics to see where the community and Glowforge are in regard to this question. I find that the best answer to this question is following the beta project posts by @jkopel.

Also

And


#3

honestly with it keeping coming up, I’m wondering what’s going on that change people’s comfort and worry level. I’ve backed a lot(though others here I’m sure put me to shame) of kick starters and it seems a lot of them the comment section disappears into the morass of I demand an update for various strengths of expressions and adjectives on the demand.

@dan has been pretty straight forward and willing to process refunds should someone need or just want one. so I hope people will freely take that if it makes sense for them, and judge their own mental state and risk tolerance on the glowforge accordingly and hopefully avoid the personal why is everyone so stupid not to be screaming for updates/trying to sue glowforge to make them give me my glowforge right now.

though maybe a pre-emptive why there is no updates and what to do if you’re passing out trying to hold your breath waiting for the glowforge sticky might be good in the forums.


#4

The reason it keeps coming up is because when people have good news to tell you, they can’t wait to shout it from the roof tops. When the news is not so good, they wait until the train is just about to steam on over the edge of the cliff before they loop you in. That’s why it keeps coming up.

I participated in the Shapeoko 3 crowdfunding project. With the Shapeoko 3, Edward Ford’s approach to keeping the natives from getting too restless was to keep them pretty well informed about what was working and what wasn’t. Having the crowdfunders empathize with the team and the issues throughout the process I found to be very effective. Completely different from the approach of Dan et al at Glowforge have taken. Here, they basically say we are not going to tell you anything about the ongoing trials and tribulations and if you don’t like it, we’ll give you your money back.

Having been part of both crowdfunding campaigns and as a consequence both approaches to treating the customers, I prefer the Shapeoko 3 hands down. Either way, I’m in until the end whatever that might ultimately look like.

In my opinion, anyone that wants to figure out the status of the hardware and software need only watch what Josh is doing and combine that with the videos from the Maker Faire events, etc. By example, with Josh, you have not seen any sign of two sided cutting. Conclusion, not working at this point. The first Maker Faire video I saw had people drawing on acrylic and the resultant cutting and etching. Conclusion, scanning and cutting etching working along with some aspect of cloud functinality. Latest Marker Faire I saw video of the demo of creating a design and subsequent cutting and etching. Conclusion, SVG (I’m guessing) design and printing functionality working. Neither Josh nor Maker Faire saw CAD software (e.g. Fusion 360) design to DXF cutting. Conclusion, not working at this point.

I believe at the point people aught to be thinking less about getting that next shot of Kool Aid and more along the lines of “I’m from Missouri, you’ve got to show me”. As a glass half empty kinda guy, if I don’t see it, I have to assume it ain’t work’n.


#5

I expect it keeps coming up because there’s nothing new in the announcement section. Then any new forum member or someone coming to check in may be inspired to offer the “more frequent updates please” suggestion.

Each is an individual and unrelated request. To those here regularly it seems like deja vu all over again.

Clearly the answer has been given - “no”.

That might make a good announcement - “there will be no updates until we think we have something we want to tell you” :smiley:


#7

@marmak3261 - I’ve seen the other threads and there lack of response is concerning.

The prototype/proof of concept is why I chose to back in the first place. The beta testing is just that, it shows they have something that functions (to a certain extent). Updates are important. Ideally they show progress, however failure is always an option. How they solve those failures shows how strong of a design team they have. I work in advanced development. Putting all of your issues on one list and reporting on that list is important. Accountability. If there is no accountability the delays will continue, the issues won’t get solved, they will never ship a product. On the consumer end a 6 month delay seems like a lifetime. On the development side 6 months goes by in a flash. Can they deliver? It depends on whats on that list of issues.


#8

Also, unlike most “kickstarter” esque type buy-ins, the customer really is a funder. By default all purchasers are funding the companies they purchase from of course, but I’d like to point out what other have before as well as @dan has added to. Glowforge raised 9million$ previous to the pre-order sale. That $9mil is what the company runs on day to day and @dan has claimed was enough to run for a couple of years(I can’t remember if it was 2 or 5). We aren’t investors like most Kickstarter or indigogo campaigns. This was literally a pre-order sale for proof of demand. (very very few kickstarter campaigns are like this. I believe either Mighty No9 or Bloodstained(castlevania famed Iga).)


#9

I personally do not think this is an issue of regularly following the forum, but a matter of sifting through the ton of irrelevant banter present in each thread. Every time an update is posted, there would always be a huge number of responses from other GF owners. Some can be really helpful and insightful - I have to admit - but some are really not relevant at all.

Maybe to solve this problem, there should be regular, periodical updates (keyword periodical not sporadic) , where only OFFICIAL GF staff post their updates, like a timeline. And have it as a sticky. That way, it might minimise the number of people creating new threads asking for updates, and it really saves the trouble of sifting through all the conversations that are not relevant.


#10

You don’t have to regularly check the forums or sift through anything. There’s an Announcement section that contains the official pronouncements. Those are from @dan. Ignore everything else if you’d like.

It’s been made fairly clear by Dan that they’re not going to communicate status or progress or issues until they’re ready to say something and our curiosity has no impact. We can either accept it or get our money back. Continued wishes that they’d do something different are not effective.


#11

I agree. I just don’t see regular updates to customers about development milestones as part of the Glowforge culture. Haven’t had it, yet; won’t see it in the future.

I appreciate that there is a lot of dross to go through on the threads. Perhaps some house keeping is in order in this forum to assist with stickies that summarize the discussion.


#12

To be fair, GF has accountability to actual investors - of which we are not. We have secured a place in line for a product. We get our product and appropriate product support and that’s it.

We don’t own any % of the company through our pre-order.

We don’t get a dividend.

We don’t get proceeds from a sale.

We are not investors in Glowforge.

Investing in a product is not the same as investing in a company.


#13

Of that we are only customers we are not backers or investors. We are not entitled to anything other then the parts we have paid for… At a basically wholesale cost / parts cost as a means to gauge public i treat that far exceeded expectations


#14

Agreed. Sort of, but mostly sort of not. . .

If Glowforge fails, the investors lose $9,000,000.

We the customers lose $28,000,000. . .

In a “typical” business/customer relationship, the customer gets the product at the same type as business gets the cash. So in a lot of way, in a crowdfunding campaign, purchasing the product represents the same risks as investing in the company.

I believe we the customer have a vested interest far beyond the normal business/customer relationship.

Unlike with the investor, there is no outcome scenario that represents and “upside” for the customer. Best case? We the customer get what we paid for. Worst case? Well you know worst case.

While the crowdfunding campaign was “50%” off, I know I have seen (or heard) Dan comment that he cannot guarantee what the Glowforge will ultimately sell for through other channels in the open market. I’ll be very impressed if it is twice what the crowdfunding group paid.


#16

I think @Dan still has some credibility on the new December Date. The problem will be if that date slips again. The advantage of being more transparent with where things are is it builds confidence that the team knows what they are doing. Pushing a date into the future without much behind it makes you take that on faith.
If there were regular updates, people would see the issues pop up sooner, and I think most people would understand when a delay would inevitably happen. While I don’t have numbers, it seems that the number of dissatisfied purchasers that cancelled were small. I expect a slip of the 3rd deadline of December 2016 will push a much larger number of people to cancel their orders.

Better and periodic information would reduce that loss I am sure.


#17

As a person who has invested in my life with the possibility of a GlowForge being in it. I look at the delays and subsequent non-recent release of an update, I am not at all concerned with the non-releases. I think that through the time we aka. most of us on the forum , have created a community to which I am happily invested.
I really do not wish to scare anyone off of their demands for more knowledge, but if you take into account , this community, and join us in our sometimes frivolity, some may see this as an opportunity to expand their knowledge, (of which I have ) and some may see this as a non-sensicle way of complaining. Either way this is a community, adn we all live here together.


#18

Here is the return on my $2,000:
I double my money in value a year once the machine is shipped.
I get access to a forum that has made such a difference in being prepped for a Glowforge.
I meet new friends and interesting people.
I get a backstage pass to @dan and an insight into product development.
And I get freebies for the delay.
If I don’t get a Glowforge by 2017, I may cancel because my interests will have moved on and I have wasted too much time learning about something I’ll never put to use. The sunk costs fallacy is really at play.


#19

So am I to understand that some of us because of our more technical interests, backgrounds, views and such, are somehow black sheep because of the questions we pose. But if we were to mend our ways we would be welcome to join the frivolity which is the “real” Glowforge community.

I don’t really see a lot of people complaining, just on a quest for knowledge and information by some that has been otherwise unavailable.


#20

No Sir…I really meant this as an invite to naysayers to join the frivolity instead of naysaying. :vulcan:


#21

Wow! I mean WOW! ! !


#22

It’s true that the investors stand to lose $9 mil, but since we can get our money back at any time I don’t agree with the second statement. Though there is certainly lost opportunity cost and/or maybe lost interest if you had that money in an investment instead.