I realized a few days ago that at times during the project I may have come across as ungrateful, or even unhappy. Before we go any further I just want to say that I’m neither!
This project has been the most amazing experience I’ve ever had in my hobby life. I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: I’m consistently humbled by the amount of interest in this little machine and completely overjoyed that so many people want to contribute their knowledge and time to help make it better.
My favorite part of the project is interacting with the first time builders. It wasn’t too long ago that I was searching out information to build my first CNC machine, so I remember what it’s like to be completely excited but not really know anything. (some may argue that is still true for me!)
As they say, it’s tough to know what you don’t know. Through the forum and email, I’m constantly re-energized by the excitement of the first time builders. It’s a great hobby, and knowing now that ShapeOko is actually enabling people to start into the hobby is really satisfying.
With a long project such as ShapeOko, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture and get drug down by day to day tasks. That’s one thing that I hadn’t considered before running the kickstarter campaign. I was thinking that I’d been doing the project for 5-6-7 years already, so adding another year to it wasn’t going to be a problem. What I hadn’t considered was that in the previous years, I could quit whenever I wanted. I could put ShapeOko on hold, startup another hobby, then come back to it when I was re-invigorated.
Once the kickstarter campaign started, putting the project on hold was no longer an option.
Because of my niche hobbies, and the oddities that I find myself ordering from the internet, I’m accustomed to waiting for things. For me, waiting isn’t stressful. I know some people have fears of being “ripped off” by “the internet”, which is probably what makes waiting stressful, but I’m not one of them. In our house we order everything online; from diapers to car tires.
But, from the other side of the equation (as the producer not the consumer), I find waiting to be extremely stressful! And I find The weight of orders is much heavier than I thought it would be. backers
I keep a Google spreadsheet of all the orders. It’s the first thing I open in the morning and usually the last thing I look at before going to bed. All of those orders, just sitting there waiting to be filled! Yes, it should be exciting, and it is, but part of it scares the crap out of me! What if something happens? What if I get hit by a bus, go blind, or get abducted by aliens? Who will fill those orders? What if my part supplier falls of the face of the earth and I can’t find a suitable replacement? There are so many things that can go wrong!
(deep breath, step back, look around at all the awesomeness!)
Shipping processes (which are by far and away the most overlooked “gotcha” of the project) are starting to standardize and most part suppliers have proven themselves through at least two order cycles. So, anxieties are slowly fading away with each completed order.
I’m looking forward to seeing this project grow and getting feedback from the community on what we can do to make ShapeOko better!