There’s plenty to look forward to this month - back to school, the beauty of fall, and holidays around the corner. But here’s one we celebrate that you might not: Hobbit Day.
For those of you unfamiliar, September 22 is Bilbo and Frodo Baggins’s birthday, which is a pretty good excuse for a party. (As long as those uncouth Sackville Bagginses aren’t invited.)
Why Hobbit Day? Well, when my daughter was four years old, she had to go to the hospital for a frightening fever. We were alone in a grown-up ER waiting room, and I searched for a book to soothe and distract her - and there was The Hobbit. I skipped some of the scary bits, but it was that story that got us through - and we continued to read it together.
Do you remember the first time you entered Middle Earth? It’s incredible to me that Tolkien was able to create an entire world that millions of folks have spent billions of hours in. That’s such an incredible gift, and he gave it to everyone.
And you’re probably thinking, “Dan, I love The Shire as much as anyone, but why are you telling me this now?”
Good question! It’s because I’m working my way up to a bold prediction: you can create your own world too.
Let’s go into a few new things we’ve released this month to help you make that happen.
Your designs are spectacular, and we’re here to make them even easier to bring to life. This month, we’ve added new ways to move, group, ungroup, and control your artwork in the Glowforge app.
Now you can group your art to better organize it, and ungroup artwork to precisely refine it. I have been waiting for this feature for years! I’m a neat freak when it comes to designs (and little else) and organizing them into groups is one of the ways I keep my thoughts organized when I’m printing.
The Customer Success team put together a deep dive on these new tools here: Copy, Paste, and Group.
Sometimes you just need to make a few tweaks on your phone, and your laptop is in the other room. Sometimes you want to curl up with your ipad and let the creativity flow. Wherever you find a touchscreen, you can now long press (that means tap and hold for a couple seconds) or right-click to bring up a menu that will unlock copy, paste, and more.
We love celebrating your success, and lately, we’ve noticed that media outlets (and regular ol’ internet traffic) are paying attention to our celebrations. The other day, we heard from a business owner we featured who said that he doubled his social following within a week after being featured by Glowforge. That kind of boost can make a big difference for businesses.
I’d like for us to give way more folks a boost.
So if you have a story to tell about what you’re building with your Glowforge, let us know!
And you don’t have to be building a business. Are you starting a non-profit, helping your community, or simply super proud of what Glowforge has unlocked for you? We would love to brag about how great you are.
Just email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what you’re up to. Make sure to include your social media links so we can follow along and follow up. A note - if you don’t hear back from the team right away, don’t worry. I suspect this mention will have them up to their eyeballs in the best Glowforge stories out there, and it will take them time to read through every last one.
Remember how I said we’d start discounting Proofgrade whenever we had good fortune in our supply chain? Well, I’ve got good news! Our sourcing team found an incredible supply of high-quality Basswood, Poplar, and Red Oak. Those hardwoods are now on sale – 50% off while supplies last.
And just in case you’re not sure how to put those spectacular hardwoods to good use, we’ll send you a coupon for one of these amazing puzzle coaster sets if you buy during the sale.
The sale only lasts while we have extra inventory in stock - you can purchase it here.
Ok, now I’m going to put on my wild-founder-CEO hat and get a little weird with you.
Throughout all of human history, everything we ever wanted or needed was made in our community. Food, clothing, horseshoes, catapults, bottle openers… things were made custom, by people who cared about what they created.
Then, a few hundred years ago, technology broke all that. Technology said, “No, stuff should be made in special factories by special companies halfway around the world. It will get to you by boat, truck, and rail. And if you want something, you’ll choose from the options our factories have already mass-produced.”
…and as you probably gathered, Glowforge is using technology to break all that to smithereens.
We’re seizing the means of production, the capabilities of creation, from industry - and putting it in the hands of people.
That’s why we’re a community of creators. Of builders. Of dreamers. Of crafters. Of makers.
Well… what if we could share?
Glowforge Provide is a tiny piece of a big vision: a way that any Glowforge owner can share their creativity, technology, and materials with anyone. That’s right: a platform where anyone in the world can partner with you to create. Where you can earn an income by sharing your Glowforge with the world.
Of course, it’s not ready yet.
But we’re getting things started.
With the beta launch of Glowforge Provide, a handful of Glowforge owners are testing a system to sell custom classes and print experiences. It’s just a little pilot right now so we can start to learn. But we think it could be the beginnings of something world changing.
Stay tuned for what comes next!
The other day, I waved goodbye to my kids as they climbed onto the school bus for the first time… in years. Back to School season feels a little bit different this year, so it’s even more worth celebrating when kids take a big leap.
I hope you can make your kid’s first day back to school extra memorable with this fully customizable Back to School Photo Frame. Personalize it with their name and grade level and customize with your own designs – or theirs. Choose from Glowforge Proofgrade draftboard and acrylics or you can even use cardboard.
Glowforge Premium members can get it for free, through the end of September. After that (or for those of you who aren’t members), you can purchase the design for $14.99.
Holidays are right around the corner and customers like you are adding dozens of incredible designs to help you set that holiday mood. From fun & spooky to winter wonderland, there has never been a better time to check out all the latest designs, created by a huge variety of Glowforge owners like you!
And of course, they’re all earning an income from their designs now. Sound good? It’s the perfect time to submit your favorite holiday creations. Premium members can apply to become a Catalog designer through Early Access.
That’s a longer announcement than I anticipated. If you made it all the way to the bottom here, you might even call it… an Unexpected Journey.
(Somewhere else in the house, my son is heaving a big sigh at how uncool his Dad is for that.)
Here in Seattle, we’ve got plenty of work ahead of us – and all kinds of features getting polished just for you. Every new feature, from giant impressive tools to itty bitty quality of life improvements, is designed to make it easier for you to bring your ideas to reality.
Because as much as I love spending time in Middle Earth, I want to live in the world you’ll create. You, not Tolkien. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, because I’ve seen so many recent stories of Glowforge owners going way beyond with their creations. I
Piece by piece, print by print, Glowforge owners are literally creating their world. It’s more than ideas. It’s ideas made real.
So on September 22, my kids and I will be printing little round doors and big hairy footprints to strap to our shoes to bring a little bit of Bag End into our world. What will you bring into yours?
Happy Birthday, Bilbo! Happy Birthday, Frodo!
PS: You can discuss this update in the thread here.