Salvaging Excitement


#1

Hey everyone,

Primarily a lurker here, so you may not recognize my name, but I read the forums regularly. I’m coming out of the shadows in search of some encouragement. I typed up a bunch of vented frustrations here but have removed them. I know plenty of people have voiced much of the same concerns. I do want to point out though, that this was a preorder placed for a product supposedly shipping in December of 2015. Almost 2 full years ago. I think a lot of the community here has remained involved enough that it doesn’t feel that long, but it’s important to keep in mind the silent majority who have been very patiently waiting for so much longer than anything hinted at when their money was taken.

So as I said, I didn’t really come here to vent frustration (though sorry in advance for the negativity. and please forgive me if some steam escapes). Instead I’m writing this because I find myself completely lacking any excitement that I originally had over this product. I’ve gone through countless pages about laser cutting, project ideas, put together pinterest boards, kept lists of project ideas that I could start once I got the laser…pretty much what everyone else has been doing. But after so long, it doesn’t even feel like a real product anymore.

Imagine telling your kids in September of 2015: “Hey kids, we’re going to disney world in December and it’s going to be amazing!” And then when they ask about it you have to tell them “well, we’re not quite ready. we’ll go in the summer”. And then the next December, and then the next Summer, and you’re still telling them “in a couple of months, we’ll go”. At a certain point, you just don’t believe the person telling you that it’s “right around the corner”. That’s kind of how I feel at this point. But even worse, I’ve waited so long, that even if I accept my machine is coming within the next month, I don’t really care. I’ve had so many ideas for things to do with it that they feel like they’ll never get done, even if I get my machine.

On top of that, I’m one of the lucky individuals who gets significant time off for paternity leave (I’m in the middle of it with my 1 month old. another big life change that has happened since preordering). I had hoped that I’d get my machine with enough time to play some before heading back to work in October, but it’s not looking good. And as a 7th day Pro order, I’m highly skeptical that they’re still on track for October. They’ve been shipping Pro units for almost 2 months, but are still on the first day, and I’m supposed to believe @dan that days 2-30 are all going to be shipped within the next month or so? Not even accounting for basic orders.

I’m not considering cancelling…at this point it’d be silly. But do I regret forking over my money 2 years in advance? Yes. I knew what came with the preorder territory, but felt like it was worth it to save 50% (except that MSRP price point so far also appears to be bogus marketing material). I guess I’m just trying to make it something I’m excited for again. I don’t like spending so much money on something that doesn’t really get my juices going. But I’m not sure what else to do. Looking at laser made projects and ideas just makes things worse. It’s like watching videos of disney world rides I don’t know when I’ll ever get to go on. I appreciate the bonuses the team ahs provided to help ease the suffering, but at this point, it’s all still promises and somedays for me.

TLDR; I’m tired of waiting and the wait (and broken promises) have deteriorated my excitement.


#3

I look forward to the forum after this is all over.

The wait has been frustrating and people are beginning to feed on each other in the forum.

The amazing people here will be making amazing things soon I hope!


#4

During the first year of waiting, I connected with a few of the forum people and worked on designs with them. @jacobturner was kind enough to cut one for me. I also worked with the Glowforge team on a few things like design and file preparation workflow and best practices.

I’d be happy to test out in any way some designs for you. Even if it’s just dropping them into the GFUI and see if they fly. I’d be happy to do some prints for you also.

PM me if you are interested. I haven’t done the shared Glowforge use thing yet, but that’s always a possibility.


#5

I understand your frustration, and I share it. While I believe in the product and in @dan, that doesn’t take away the frustration and disappointment. Hopefully that will all be replaced with excitement in October!

Not sure if you’re looking for inspiration, but my “Project ADD” allows me to focus on getting other projects completed (ahem… started anyway). The Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and a 3D printer have kept my project-needs fulfilled, but still… I long for my Glowforge.

I’ve ordered only a few materials for printing on. I actually ordered some clear back when I thought the GF would ship in December '15… Learned to wait until it’s real.

Once I get my magic email, I will fill my waiting time by converting my spare bedroom into a maker office. I imagine you might fill yours with a baby though (not fill your Glowforge with a baby, that might damage both, but the room.)

Stay positive, and stay critical. This is not Dan’s first product launch, but certainly his biggest. All the feedback will help him refine his communication and predictions for future amazingness.

During the time I await my :glowforge:, I also awaited my Tiko 3D printer (company shipped a dead product then folded), and my Lily Camera (company refunded and folded.) Both promised to be dream tools. At least the :glowforge: is in production!

Not sure I have a solid point here… Just filling time while I refresh the page for the banner to change from 9 & 1.


#6

Thanks for this! I likely won’t take you up on the offer, but it is appreciated much the same. I actually have access to some laser machines through my work that I could be using if I weren’t so lazy. But the required training and learning curve have prevented me from jumping in with it. It’s less about specific projects at this point and more of I just want to have the machine that I can push a few buttons and be cutting on. I think I actually want to have the power more than I want to use the power :smiley:


#7

Good idea on the 3d printing side. I’ve actually had my 3d printer out of commission for a while and could probably come up with some stuff to do with it. In addition to my Project ADD, I also have Toy ADD. And honestly I think regular ADD :smiley: .

Sorry to hear about your other backed projects. I’m definitely a lot happier about where we’re at than if they hadn’t shipped anything yet.

The one thing that keeps ringing in my head is a common saying in my field of software development. The perfect is the enemy of the very good. I worry that this isn’t said enough around the glowforge offices. That said…if you’re going to err on one side, they’ve picked the right side to do so. Let’s hope that they hold to the current schedule and the wait is almost over.


#8

One thing worth mentioning is that day 1 was a beast. According to the spreadsheet, there are 58 day 1 orders, then 23 day 2 orders, then 10, 18, 17, 11, and 10 for day 7. Point is, once they’re out of day 1, that number should be ticking up pretty quickly, like it did with the Basics. Hang in there.


#9

That’s a very reasonable way to feel. It’s frustrating, and it’s really hard to know what to do with that frustration. I don’t believe there’s much Glowforge could do to make this happen faster, or they’d be doing it. So in the end, it’s going to take however long it takes. My personal frustration has always been over the way the delays have been communicated (or not), but the good news is that it has gotten better over time (again, from my point of view, which may not be yours).

There was a time I wasn’t sure they’d successfully deliver anything. Then as a meaningfully-more-than-one number of people got pre-release units, I gained confidence that functioning lasers existed, but I was still worried that they would hit a snag on the way to production. And then production units appeared, but no Pros, so maybe there was something wrong with the Pro design. And then the Pros started shipping. I’m one of the lucky few, having ordered very early on the first day, to have received mine and I can say for me it was totally worth the wait.

I’ve wanted a laser cutter for as long as I’ve known what they are, but I’d looked into them off and on and it always seemed to me that you have to spend around $5000-6000 for a fully functional machine from guys like FSL or Epilog, and deal with aquarium pumps and external blowers and a lot of crappy software and support. Or you go the K40 route and spend all of your time taking it apart and putting it back together. It wasn’t worth it to me to go either of those routes before the Glowforge was introduced, and two years later and having used one, the situation hasn’t changed. There is no other laser that makes any sense for me. Glowforge is the way it’s supposed to work.

So: it’s real, both models are shipping in some more-than-token quantity, they work really well, and if you stick it out, eventually you’ll get yours. There’s even a modicum more transparency in the form of the “we’re up to day X” counter, which may leave much to be desired but it’s a lot more than we had before.

Again, I’m tainted, I have one, but I think even if I didn’t, the things I was really bothered by have largely been addressed. The fact that the universe sucks and making things is hard and schedules often slip way way beyond anyone’s expectations… that’s something I’ve just gotten used to.


#10

Hi!

This is my first post as a long time lurker. I too share the frustration you have and I’m sick of telling friends/family of this awesome product that never seems to be ready. If this was a video game company, I would never purchase a product from them again just on principle. But I’ve already waited nearly 2 years so I’ll wait for as long as I need to. I hope the GF Pro is everything it says it is, because I’d hate to have to have buyers remorse on something I’ve waited this long for.

My excitement is dead and I feel like I’m owed my product at this point.


#11

same here, just waiting and hoping it’ll arrive this year (but secretly thinking it’ll probably be 2018 or later). also looking for answers when people ask me when my laser will finally arrive.


#12

I feel your frustration myself and it stinks that you didn’t get to use more of your paternity leave with your glowforge, but on the other hand, congratulations on the new addition to your family – far more exciting than any laser cutter could ever be :wink:


#13

She doesn’t do as much as a laser cutter does. At least not yet :-). But yeah, I probably wouldn’t trade her for a glowforge.


#14

totally with you here. I’ve got access to lasers elsewhere but it’s more about having zero gap between inspiration and making - no need to schedule time, travel to the shared laser, etc. I want to have an idea and just do it. I wanted that 2 years ago, and my needs and desire for this thing are pretty much dead at this time, just like you.

The arrival 6 months ago of our first child didn’t help on the free time front, though :slight_smile:

it’s made worse because devices are shipping in fits and starts but not at all in volume here and I’ve got zero expectations my 8th-day Pro order will ship any time before Christmas. Which is a real bummer.


#15

I think we all share the frustrations but the people who have gotten theirs know something - once you’re at Disney looking at Big Thunder Mountain, a big grin forms and the excitement starts again :slight_smile:


#16

I actually felt the same uninspired feelings off and on for these 2 years. But buddy, when you get the email, it changes things. It actually is like you have been awoken from a dream. I too went through all you’re talking about but now that I have my :glowforge: it has reinspired and filled my brain like sponge with creativity and possibilities. Cheer up buttercup, keep dreaming and keep creating. It will come soon.


#17

As a johnny come later I chose GF to ride the latest technology, though it promised the end of Nov delivery. I figured that there would be many problems between the idea and the execution, and that little things you did not even think about turn out to be major issues. Who thought about what glue to use on space shuttle tiles?

Despite the much higher cost I have hopes that most bugs will be worked out and planning for the future might have a more thoughtful capacity when they do get to my machine than the first ones they build.

However, I do hope that they do not fall into the trap of many that to get costs down and speed up certain corners are cut that makes the later machines a much lower quality than the early machines. I would rather wait an extra year than have that happen.

However, once production is real and they have a reasonable guess of how long it will take I would prefer that they have a best guess and post it, even if like hurricane forecasts there is change. if they can complete my Pro by Nov 30 when ordered in August, and also if ordered today, then either they could have it by Nov 15, and by Dec 15 if ordered today or they are pushing for unrealistic dates and possibly fall into the trap noted above.

If they are producing 20 a week, even at the moment, then a forecast based on your place in line, and twenty a week should not be that difficult, and the good news that you are getting yours earlier than expected would be much better PR than a longer wait.


#18

I hope they are making more than 20 a week. At that rate it will take about 4 years! It needs to more like 100 per day.


#19

Whatever the time, if it is 20 a week at the moment and grows eventually to 100 a day, I would still want the 4-year estimate that became 3 years a couple months later and continued to shrink, rather than have it grow incrementally.

As I noted I would have guessed that the long wait for first day orders when one a month might be the speed (or none) as the solved the unforeseen problems and did all the programming, buying materials etc, they would not know for sure that they could produce a product at all, as several others noted above could not. but there is production now, so that hurdle is done, and even a long estimate that will improve over time is possible.


#20

If the spreadsheet is anything to go by they have delivered about 1/6 of the orders in 125 days. That would be about 75 per week if we assume 10000 orders with 20% cancelling. That also means the vast majority of customers don’t mention getting machines in the forum because I have only seen about 200 getting emails.

Regardless one thing that is certain is production needs to scale up massively and there is very little time left for it to do so.

I was excited when I ordered mine early on the fourth day but I have got more and more disappointed with every delay and can now confidently say this is the most disappointing purchase I have ever made. I don’t see any prospect of getting it this year and seriously wonder if it will ever arrive and do the things promissed.


#21

3 more years! That scares me.
A company can not last if a product takes 3-5 years to get. And we are all on year 2, almost year 3.

Im on the fence right now on cancelling or not. I know we all have been in this rollercoaster line for years now, and we think we are about go to on, but there might be another line around the corner we are not seeing.

I have projects stacked up, and I am waiting for the “Golden Email” but I am not looking forward to getting, then waiting another 6 weeks for the final product. Wish there was a clear understanding about the process here.

And I dont understand the “Day 1” message at the top of the screen. Shouldn’t we be on Day 2 now? I ordered mine in October 2015, so Im day 25, if the “day” message is right.