Over the past few years, you’ve seen me write about Glowforge, the 3D laser printer that made history with their crowdfunding campaign back in 2015.
Glowforge launched that very campaign at a jam-packed World New York Maker Faire, where folks lined up for hours to get a glimpse at the shiny new machine. Over the next 30 days, they sold $28 million worth of pre-orders to an insatiable crowd of makers.
More recently, Glowforge was named Make magazine’s 2019 Editor’s Choice for a laser cutter. Their thousands of makers have already printed more than 3,000,000 amazing creations. And as a company, they have seen sales triple in just the last year.
So it was sobering when, last week, Maker Faire / Make Media closed their doors for good. In interviews, Make founder Dale Dougherty explains that the company wasn’t interesting to investors anymore, and that, frustratingly, it was failing as a business, but thriving as a mission.
As an investor in many businesses whose founders and customers count themselves among this maker movement, this gives me pause. I see the demise of Maker Faire and I know that an astounding 97% of seed or crowdfunded consumer hardware companies meet the same fate.
But I’m compelled now more than ever to invest in the maker movement, and I hope you’ll join me.
And in fact, now is a perfect time. This week is the kick-off to the National Week of Making, June 21-28. In 2014, the White House launched the Nation of Makers to “empower students and adults to create, innovate, tinker and make their ideas and solutions into reality.”
This is exactly why we continue to invest in new technologies that are leading the maker movement and making it accessible to schools, homes, small businesses, and many enterprises that embrace new innovation and experimentation. Companies like Glowforge, Formlabs, Sphero, littleBits, Modular Robotics, and others in our portfolio are the companies who are helping to drive this movement forward.
The team at Glowforge created an offer this week so that you could celebrate the Week of Making with us. This discount code is good for a $500 discount off a Glowforge Pro, $250 off a Glowforge Plus, and $100 off a Glowforge Basic.