Why Enthusiast Brands Will Betray You

Thought this was interesting. I don’t think Glowforge falls entirely into the category of companies he’s talking about, but there are some good thoughts there about what happens after a successful crowdfunding campaign.


Good video but several things he left out. One, if structured for it a company doesn’t have to grow and grow to be successful. My favorite example is Shopbot. Hardly a household name but they have done a steady and slowly growing business for many years now.

Also, he acts as if there is X number of buyers for anything. In something new, the number of buyers is not so much a matter of taking sales from others but developing a market that never existed.



The only thing I think was of any value was his very last statement.

Humans seem to have this very odd need to see ourselves as some sort of elite or special group in one area or another, and we seem to get upset when our interest suddenly gets a wide audience and acceptance. I was a fan of X sport team and then they won the championship and now everyone likes them; I read X comic when you could hardly find it anywhere and then that movie came out and now you find character napkins at Target; I supported X product when it was just getting off the ground, and now Beyoncé is on the commercials for it and my Aunt Mildred has one in the kitchen…

Be proud you have the vision and the where withal to support cool things that can change the world. Be glad you get to say I played on the forum and saw all the cool beta tests and pre-release projects and messaged Dan or Bailey or whoever way back when. Be glad you get to own the product when it hits the street and it does all the cool stuff we bought it for.

But don’t own it.

In our case, GF owns GF and they will do everything in their power to take it where they want it to go. Stay with them as long as it does everything you want it to do, move on if it doesn’t, but don’t try to hold it in the exciting box we are in right now – it is going to grow and change. The “enthusiasts” as the guy calls us help get things going. But the bigger market will expand and grow it

If you want something that stays exactly as you see it and want it to be – invent it, make it, and never sell it. Then you can always have it exactly as you want it to be.


bingo. I never would have thought of buying a laser cutter. GF captured my heart. :glowforge::heart_eyes:


very well said! I really like the attitude that Jimmy DiResta has towards his tools. He buys them (or is given them) and then paints over the logos and puts his own name on them. You are not what you buy! My wife gives me a hard time for putting gaffer tape over the logos on my phone and laptop, but she has no idea how much further I could go…


I went for ironic with my new Win10 box…


Remember my dad trying to buy his first new car and asking the dealer to not place a dealer logo on it. They told him that would cost extra. Some bull about it being installed before the car showed up on the lot.

Glowforge has gone a step further. If you cover the logo on the laser head the unit just won’t work.


I did the reverse a couple of years ago. I have a MacAir that I repurposed as a Windows machine - it’s Intel inside so it’s easy enough to replace OSX with Windows (natively at boot - I didn’t want any of that Parallels crap).

At the time the MacAir was the absolute best road warrior Windows machine - weight, size and battery life. I spend a ton of time on the road and my objective in life is to carry as little as possible that’s also as light as possible. I stuck a Windows sticker on top of the Apple on the lid.

Now of course I carry a Microsoft Surface - it’s a better machine for me than the Air. Although I have high hopes for the Ockel Sirius A as my new travel machine this spring.


He does do that, with notable exceptions (sponsorship deals.) Off the top of my head, his SawStop table saw and his Lincoln Electric welder are both proudly branded.


I wonder if you could cover it but then re-draw the Glowforge logo in whatever UV-radiating ink they plan to use to mark the proofgrade materials… but that’s probably not worth the effort!


I was looking at Surface Book, but for the price, I think the higher-end Surface is probably a better bang for the buck. That said, I might be happy with one of those Dell 11" or 13" laptops. Anything would probably be better than the old Macbook Pro I’m using now. It’s huge, heavy, and slow… and that’s a bad trifecta to have :wink:


Can you do all the design, 2D, 3D, video editing that you need with your Surface? I haven’t looked at notebook/laptops/portables for a while. I’m afraid I’m going to have to break down and buy something more powerful for my home computer. I’ve managed with some rebuilt PCs running ubuntu but thse old machines can’t handle the design work I am now doing for a Glowforge.


I completely support the ability to make money through your relationship to a company, after all that is what most of us call a job.
In fact if you want to proudly display the “brands” you love, go for it!

Personally I just find it the be a shallow unrequited love. :smile_cat:


I do 2D (AI, Corel, Inkscape) on my Surface 3. It’s the low end model with an Intel Atom chip. But it’s got a 3:2 screen ratio and uses a micro USB power supply. That’s my travel & teaching laptop. About $500.

I do have a Surface 3 Pro with an Intel i7 Core chip, more memory, etc. It has a 16:9 screen ratio and uses the Microsoft magnetic connector power supply. That’s my desktop now - I have it in a dock with dual 21" aux screens and Bluetooth full size keyboard & mouse. I think it cost me about $1600 .

I don’t see any real difference in performance when I’m running only one of the design apps at once. The S3 might be slower running all three 2D design apps at once but I don’t do that. I’ll run AI or Corel and the laser’s CAM software at the same time without any issue. Will also have an image app open for when I’m pulling pics in for processing.

The S3 can go all day on a charge. The S3Pro can get 3ish hours on the battery.

If you don’t need the portability of an ultralight machine there are a fair number of other cheaper options.


You’re never going to believe me but that never occurred to me until you said it. It’s accidentally diabolically brilliant.


I had the same experience! My solution was to take a razor blade and remove their logo. Scared the hell out of me to take a razor blade to my brand new car, but I was young. Worked like a charm though. Slight discoloration where the logo was for a month or so. But then the sun evened things out. :slight_smile:


Maybe it wasn’t your idea, but some engineer-come-marketing-guru had to have known what they were doing there. Until the moment it was stated that that logo was used during the initialization process, I intended to cover that logo so would-be competitors wouldn’t know what was using. Then I figured I’d just have to build a thin wall around it to keep it slightly out of prying eyes.


Ironical that it is…great idea !

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Dental floss works a treat of removing car logos. Use a sawing motion and clean up any residue with Sticky Stuff Remover (Goo Gone in USA,) although some badges have locating pins which match holes in the bodywork, so check first before trying.


Older cars are more likely to have the locating pins, which are sometimes rivets or bolts that you need to get at from inside, under the trim. If you use dental floss or fishing line, wind it around a pair of pencils, dowels or sticks, and not around your fingers. If you do hit a locating pin while pulling hard, you can cut yourself.