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Yet another Kickstarter/crowdfunding cattle call

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by JCProv, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. JCProv

    JCProv New Member

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    As I'm sure many of you are aware, Robo3d sent out the email today announcing their new machine.
    I was initially excited since the rumors and specs sound promising.
    What's starting to get a bit old and tiresome is the continued use of crowdfunding. I know Millenials are not conventional and they love to "hack" the system to avoid as much actual work and rejection as possible ... Having said that, it worries and frustrates me when an established company continues to use crowd funding beyond their initial product offering. As far as I'm
    concerned, It sends the message that they didn't plan ahead and are lacking in financial management.
    For me personally , it simply tells me there will be a delay in availability, or worse if enough people don't back the printer it won't come out at all. I can't believe this is "par for the course" for so many companies... Sad state of affairs.
     
  2. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    In this case I suspect they are using Kickstarter to do what it was intended for...to kickstart a new product manufacturing. The retooling costs to get started on a completely new version are significant and Robo is not (yet) a large enough company to eat that.

    However, I hear you... there have been a lot of struggling and failing kickstater campaigns (most that filed were simply poorly structured or managed, but some were just bogus).
     
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  3. Rigmarol

    Rigmarol Well-Known Member

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    It's easy to criticize a business model from the outside. Especially if you are simply a consumer and not a business owner. You don't like it, fine. If you can do better than do so.

    Today's culture is full of customers or even critics who's focus is on being upset, outraged, or somehow insulted by anything and everything. Everyone seems to know how to do it better but very few actually try.

    I respect the balls it takes to start a business and even more respect for anyone who can keep their business growing in any manner they can. So freakin' what it's a kickstarter project. Don't like it? move on to something you approve of, otherwise they will move on and will be successful or not and I personally wish them well.

    Opinions abound, that's mine.
     
  4. JCProv

    JCProv New Member

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    Normally you might be right ... But I am
    A business owner and a B-school graduate. I only mention this because you made broad assumptions and I wanted to clarify.
    I know what it takes to start, maintain and grow a successful business.
    Today's new business culture is so woefully dependent on a free handout (crowdfunding) by offering slick videos and promises they don't yet realize are hard to keep. Having said that, crowdfunding has a place in business , however it is my opinion that it's being overused. As a business owner and a consumer it's frustrating from 2 different perspectives. A) as a consumer who doesn't want to lend you interest free money for no gains or returns I'm left with a long waiting period for new up and coming technologies.
    B) as a business professional it's frustrating to see the future of our industry being left to people who don't really take the time to understand the true operation of a business model. Mind you I know that their have been excellent examples of companies using crowd funding to start and grow their business... That's great ... But to continue to use the crowdfunding platform after you've established your business really says a lot about the inexperience of those running the company.
     
  5. Rigmarol

    Rigmarol Well-Known Member

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    We can disagree and still enjoy the hobby I'm certain. I see crowd funding as a refreshing alternatve to the stock market model. Although they still blend eventually I like the model.

    I admit I do not have the experience of starting or owning a business, or being educated for business, however I am extremely experienced at being a consumer of goods and that places me at the most influential position of the business equation. Without people willing to hand over cash in either a crowd funding project or online shopping cart or a physical cash exchange, the product won't be made and sold. Again I say who cares how the funds are raised. And to be clear this is simply my friendly opinion, anyone can feel free to disagree, I respect that too.

    Sent from my SM-N910P using Tapatalk
     
  6. daniel871

    daniel871 Well-Known Member

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    The complaint about established companies using crowdfunding for product development comes from the bit about kickstarter where it was originally intended as a venue for "the little guy" that might otherwise not have the resources to develop an idea to have an easier time of getting started than an established company.

    There are hundreds of 3d printer developers out there, and Robo3D is #15 in the Amazon.com rankings for 3d printers. By all of the published marketing metrics, they really have no business trying to crowdfund the development of their next printer.

    Especially since it's a model that's supposedly been in development since 2013.

    That's the bit everyone is glossing over. That model they emailed about?

    That design was originally promised for release/sale Christmas of 2014.

    That's why some people are getting upset over this email campaign going back to Kickstarter. It's just the latest in a long series of complaints.
     
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  7. danzca6

    danzca6 Well-Known Member

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    Robo has made a reputation around this community with announcements either at trade shows or news articles of the R2 coming out at various times since 2014. Supposedly it has been "ready to go" many many times. Braydon has been diluting their "street cred" over the years with these broken promises made over and over and over. He should have just been saying that they are in development of a new printer or series of printers without ever giving any estimate of release dates unless it was truthfully known to be in the final stages of production readiness. They've changed the specs and such as well over those years which is expected. Although pictures of it have always been renderings. And the prototypes they've had at trade shows were never shown actually printing. Since Kickstarter is a platform where the consumer is putting money towards a product without any insurance of that product actually being released even if the campaign gets fully funded, makes me take a big step back from being too excited about what Robo is trying to offer here. Will they ever put product to market or just make empty promises. That is why I have decided to wait off and see if the R2 or C2 actually hit the retail market. And if they actually have anything special to offer over other printers around the same price I may then decide to buy it. I just don't trust putting my money at risk towards a campaign for a product where the company has been unable to deliver on their promises the past couple years. I love my R1 and would recommend it. I've gotten good service when needed. It's just new product development has been very sketchy with Robo and that concerns me. They were bought out several months ago even. So the new owners have bigger pockets to put towards product development and tooling up for release. So why do they really need Kickstarter? They aren't fresh college grads anymore trying to get an affordable printer to market. 3D printer manufacturing isn't a new line they are trying to get into. They have already been successful making 3d printers.

    But the why they are doing a Kickstarter isn't as big of a concern for me really. It is an option out there today for any company or entrepreneur to use for getting a product to market. My biggest concern is can they deliver? Man I hope they can. I really hope they can and this is going to be a spectacular start to a new direction for Robo. I really want to see it succeed. I'm tired of being let down. I've lived in Illinois my whole life and have seen our Cubbies and Bears let us down at the end of the season over and over no matter how good they look in the beginning. I still love them and always hope that this is the year. I have that same optimism with Robo and the R2/C2. This could be the year!
     
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  8. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    I suspect that at this point they can. Using KS to offset the ramp up costs is actually not a bad idea if they can stir enough interest to meet they funding goals. I just hope they have a plan to do that since they are one of a few 3D printers that actually started on KS anc delivered a product as intended (and then a couple of new versions after). My hope is that all of the (some spectacular) failures on KickStarter recently have not soured this as a viable means of raising money.

    Aside from the KS I just hope they are taking the lead again in price/performance since when the original Robo hit the street there was nothing close. Since then others have caught up :)
     
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  9. daniel871

    daniel871 Well-Known Member

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    That bar was set really low after the whole Peachy Printer thing (and several others).
     
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  10. danzca6

    danzca6 Well-Known Member

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    As long as we don't see Braydon building a new house, we shouldn't worry about hitting the bar that peachy set.
     
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  11. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    I meant printer tech in general had come a long way and raised the bar a bit :)
    But yea... You get the problem.

    Kickstarter and 3D printers almost has a taint on it these days
     
  12. daniel871

    daniel871 Well-Known Member

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    At least that $500-600 delta kickstarter that I backed this year is on track for shipping this month.
     
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  13. JCProv

    JCProv New Member

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    I wouldn't hold my breath on Robo following the price/performance of the V1 ... The features they are reported to offer don't look cost effective. Who knows... they may have found a cost efficient production model... But then if that was the case ... Wouldn't traditional funding be easy to obtain? I'm just ranting ... I guess this whole KS/CF model is really making me sour.
    For the record I really like my Robo and have appreciated the support from the company. I was hoping to reward their company with my continued loyalty... But they're making it hard.
     
  14. KTMDirtFace

    KTMDirtFace Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like a pre-order. I don't do pre-orders on anything ( very rare anyway ). So i'll wait till its on amazon or their webpage.
     
  15. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    Only if you can interest a VC fund/group in your business and given the current state of 3D printer markets.. I wouldn't think that would be easy. Look how many have folded.

    Is the market healthy? I think so, but it is on the cusp of a change that will (hopefully) make it consumer friendly. Why do you think HP of all the companies involved in 3D printing at the industrial level has not produced a consumer grade 3D printer?

    I totally understand WHY they would use KS to get this change going. I don't much like it either and I think that it has a potential to backfire given all the recent 3D printer failures on KS.

    I hope they have a good design that will make it attractive enough. There are a lot of potential things that they could do along those lines, we will see.
     
  16. JCProv

    JCProv New Member

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    True ... But they showed to be able to carve a position in the market which produced retail relationships with Best Buy, Frys, Walmart, Office Depot etc...
    As a VC this would be an attractive market position that could convert to a buyout or a quick retail funnel for all future product releases.
    This is why going back to Kickstarter smells like bad management and/or a lack of financial health.
     
  17. daniel871

    daniel871 Well-Known Member

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  18. danzca6

    danzca6 Well-Known Member

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    I mentioned this already in another thread, but the news today is that Robo3D will be now 100% owned by Falcon Minerals and changing their name to Robo 3D Technologies Limited. "as part of the transaction, Falcon Minerals is set to initiate a Capital Raising to raise at least AUD $4 million. Forrest Capital has been selected as Corporate Advisor for the Capital Raising." So this kickstarter...well...I am still not sure about it.
     
  19. JCProv

    JCProv New Member

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    Interesting... Yeah kinda makes the KS a bit more puzzling ... My gut tells me it's a cash flow (with R2 dev & Roll out) issue that FM wanted no part of. It might of been a stipulation of the buyout. Who knows ... Interesting news though.
     
  20. cosber

    cosber Active Member

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    I know nothing about business, but couldn't simply be a matter of, why pay for it out of my pocket when I can get someone else to come up with the cash?
     

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