Hey guys, welcome to Missions and Marketplace Podcast Episode 13. Now here’s a little fun fact for you: it is Friday and I’m recording a podcast and this is the thirteenth episode – Friday the thirteenth. Spooky! But what’s not spooky is I had an opportunity to sit down with Glowforge CEO, Dan Shapiro, who is essentially a serial entrepreneur. He has created a lot of great businesses and we talked about them. One of which is Robot Turtles game, which is for young people to kind of explore programming. It teaches them from a board game perspective critical thinking and getting into programming which I think is a really cool approach for the young people.
He also has a great book out called The Hot Seat: The Startup CEO Guidebook. He’s not just talking about all the glitz and glamour that we’ve seen on CNBC and other places where people going to they get a couple hundred thousand dollar and they think it’s that simple. He really gives the nuts, the bolts, the nooks, the crannies, everything that sound small and really insignificant, but he gives it all to you anyways. He is recently involved in the laser cutter which is a 3D printing tool that goes under the Glowforge brand. The cool thing about this is he put it out on a crowdfunding platform expecting, I believe, to raise about a million dollars and he raised almost $28 million. Obviously, he’s tapped in to something. Without further ado, here is Dan Shapiro.
Welcome to Missions and Marketplace Podcast. Join us as we talk to business and thought leaders who discussed their passion in and outside of business and how it drives them to give and be citizens of goodwill. Let’s get started.
PW: Hey Dan, welcome to the program.
DS: Thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to be here today.
PW: Yeah, absolutely! It’s good having you. Why don’t you tell the audience a little bit about yourself?
DS: Well, I have a weird background that’s a little bit all over the place. I got an engineering degree. I worked in software; worked at some big companies like Microsoft; had some startup companies. I started a company called Ontela then called Photo Bucket. I started a company called Sparkbuy, acquired by Google. I worked at Google for a while. And then I took a leave of absence to go create a board game with my kids, a game called Robot Turtles that I put on Kickstarter and then was inspired by that to create something called Glowforge that helps anyone build things. It’s a 3D laser printer that kind of makes magic and makes it really easy whether you’re an engineer or just a parent with your kids to print beautiful things that you can use around the home.
PW: I think I heard somewhere that kind of the genesis of why you started Glowforge was because of your experience with the gaming side of it. It kind of led into it like, “Hey, maybe other people can kind of do something similar to this for themselves.”
DS: Yeah, it’s funny how life takes you from one thing to another. I created Robot Turtles with an inkjet printer and a laminating machine and a pair of scissors, so, you know, maybe $100 worth of tools that I had lying around anyway. No that’s not true I had to buy the laminator [laughs].
PW: Okay [laughs].
DS: The kids tore up the first pieces pretty quick so I bought a laminating machine. I have twins. At the time they were four, a boy and a girl, and we were playing this thing together and it was just enthralling to have this box of fun that I could open up or we have this learning experience because it teaches principles of programming to kids who can’t even read yet, but also just a really fun, you know, active experience because the board games that are out there are mostly things that are designed for kids to play with kids.
DS: So you either try to dump it down and, you know, throw the match, or, you know, like if you’re playing chess with them or just Candy Land and it’s, you know, roll the dice over and over again, draw the cards. I want to build something where you’d be really interacting with the kids and having fun together.
The whole idea of Robot Turtles is that the grownups, the computer, and kids boss the grownup around [laughs]. I love that. I put it on Kickstarter. It had this shocking success that I wasn’t, you know, a hundred years expecting. It turned out to be the most backed board game in Kickstarter history. When everything was done I wound up with a really giant, ridiculous, industrial carbon dioxide cutting laser imported from China in my garage.
DS: I bought it ostensibly to go make a 3D version of Robot Turtles, but really just because it seemed amazing and I had an excuse to do it and I’d always sort of dreamed of owning one. But it was so utterly impractical: $11,000, 770 pounds shipping weight came in on giant wooden pellets. I had to install ventilation in my garage. I have a very patient wife.
PW: You have to. Absolutely!
DS: Yes, yes. So I was playing with this thing and it was frustrating and it was terrible and it was slow and it was hard to use. But once I got it tuned up it was magic. And I realized this technology could be used to create beautiful and useful things which I never really seen anything like it before. Every 3D printing technology I used was slow. I mean stuff that just wasn’t that beautiful or useful.
I founded this company, Glowforge, which is what I spent every waking moment on now to go and take this technology and put it on a beautiful box that fits on your desktop that lets you print things like wallets or lamps or even laser cut chocolate.
DS: And it’s simple enough that anybody can use it and starts at $23.95.
PW: Wow, that’s amazing! And if you guys go out there and take a look you can see videos on how this thing works, and you’re doing some Google hangouts with other people where you’re talking about the product and you can kind of see it in live operation basically. So, you know, one of the things that was most inspiring about you to me— and I mentioned offline that I have been following you for some time. You know part of it was because you’ve done the Kickstarter. It was so successful when you initially launched out. You launched out to raise about $28,000 dollars and ultimately raised $630,000. So you found immediately something that you could tap into.
Because board games for kids nowadays, you know, there’s a disconnect because even mentioning Candy Land as you did earlier I knew what that was. That resonated with me quickly. But if you ask a 10-year old, there are a lot of 10-year olds today I don’t know if many know what that is. The fact that you developed this board game and, you know, it became so popular on Kickstarter I think that’s a testament to this success and you being able to kind of tap in to different things. But is it fair to call you a serial entrepreneur based on all the things that you’ve been involved in? Would you consider yourself a serial entrepreneur?
DS: That’s probably fair because I don’t really know any other word that would describe it [laughs]. I’ve been the CEO and founder of four different companies now and somebody said, you know, “So, Dan, why do you keep taking the CEO job?” And I’ve said, “I think it’s just because I’m terrible at everything else.
DS: [Laughs] It’s the only thing I seem to have any knack for. You know that’s the one other sort of odd ball project on the side which is just a few months ago O’Reilly published a book that I wrote called Hot Seat: The Startup CEO Guidebook, which, you know, the sort of the one over-arching passion I’ve had across all these different projects is creating not just products but companies and helping people who are doing it themselves for the first time, figure out what that’s about.
I saw all these books that were talking about how to grow a company from 100 to 1000 or everything that went right at Apple or Facebook or this sort of loving biographies of amazing entrepreneurs and business people of our time. What I didn’t see was the story that I could relate to which was, “Hey, I have this idea and I’m willing to work really hard on it and I think it’s something big and I want to build something about it. What should I expect?” And not just the good stuff, not just the, you know, incorporate, not just the “here’s how to grow” but what’s going to go wrong and what are the traps and pitfalls?
I try to collect as many entrepreneurs as I could and persuade them to tell me the stories that normally only come out after hours, after a few drinks with somebody you really know and trust about the things that go wrong as well as the things that go right, and give some real practical advice. And not just advice, just some frank talk about how stuff goes wrong. You’re not alone. It doesn’t mean you’re failing because it happens to everybody. And even though you may not see it the biggest successes of our time have the darkest times you can possibly imagine.
So I talk about things like how to get along with your co-founders and what happens when your business isn’t working, and the challenges of being a great manager and leader, and inspiration and worker all at the same time. Because as the CEO you’re everything from, you know, in a startup, you’re doing everything from corporate strategy to janitorial [laughs], taking up the garbage, and how to balance that and what to expect.
PW: And you also talk a lot about in the book about funding for that entrepreneur, you know, as they have their dream or their business, what to look for in terms of funding and other things like that, which I think is really good especially for someone that has been through the trenches, because a lot of times you’re reading articles and the best ten things to ask a VC and all these and that. But these are guys that haven’t really been through the fire. And you have.
I read the book. It was a great book. It’s called Hot Seat: The Startup CEO Guidebook, which is really good as you mentioned. Let me ask you a question. How do you think startups are different today than they were when you first started getting into yours? So you mentioned you were at Google. Before that you did some other things. But eventually you just took off from Google and decided to do the Robot Turtles.
How do you think startups in general are different today? Are people just loosely throwing that term around? Do you think there are a lot more advantages with now— they have like I’m in an accelerator, our business is in a co-meeting spot that is sponsored by Google and all other cool stuff.
DS: Oh, that’s great.
PW: Yes. So there’s a lot of cool stuff for businesses. But do you think there’s an advantage over when you did it or was there a better time when you were doing it? How you match?
DS: So I started my first company at the end of 2005, and throughout that year, 2005, I spent the whole year reading every piece of information I can get my hands on, and a few folks were blogging. Folks like Brad Feld, whose blog I read religiously, and who I actually met for the first time ten years later as he became an investor in Glowforge [laughs].
DS: Which is really neat sort of, you know, full circle. But there just wasn’t the information there. Things are so much better now for people who want to start something because the information’s out there. People are writing about what’s there. There are books. There are blogs. There’s Twitter. And you can connect with these people so much more easily than— you know, in 2005 I couldn’t get meetings because the only way to get a meeting was to find somebody who knew somebody. I’m up in Seattle. Most investors are in the Valley. Today you can connect with people on Twitter. You can have conversations. You can build a relationship and then you can say, “Hey, look, you know, I’m going to be down in your neighborhood. Do you mind grabbing a cup of coffee?” And you’re building off of something real.
On the other side, I remember when I started a company everybody said, “Don’t worry about financing like the hard part is building a company. The hard part is building a product. You know anybody can get financing, and I just felt crushed like, “Really? Anybody can do this because I’m failing. I’m getting a big juicy F.”
DS: I spent nine months full time trying to raise money for the company, getting nowhere, and there was no way that I could build the company I wanted without that outside support. So that’s like financing is easy and trivial to the people who’ve done it already. But if you’re building a company, figuring out how you’re going to keep the lights on and get stuff done is job number one.
And that’s the other amazing thing that we have now is just we have crowdfunding. We have tools that lets you get started inexpensively and prove that there’s demand and let you get out and try something else if there isn’t. And there’s nothing more important than figuring out if people want what it is that you’re trying to build as quickly as possible. So whether that’s standing up a quick web page, buying some ads, and looking to see who converts and who signs up to your mailing list, whether that’s launching a crowdfunding campaign and showing what it is that you want to build and finding out if people will put their hard-earned dollars behind it, there are so many options now. It’s an amazing world.
For those folks who are looking to get started, you know, the question is now what’s the simplest test I can run to prove that people care about what I’m doing? And then you can go run a bunch of those. You can try different things out until you find the thing that’s worth your time, that’s worth your passion, that’s worth your energy. Because there’s no more precious investment than your life and your time and your attention, and you make that when you decide to pursue something. You know best to make that decision as wisely as you can.
PW: You’ve been on both sides. You’ve been with the VC site where they’re kind of putting in money in your businesses and you’ve also done the crowdfunding with Kickstarter in other places. What do you think is the best road to take?
DS: The people who get frustrated by their investors are the people who don’t understand what their investors want. And the right funding is the one that’s the right match for your business and your temperament.
PW: Frustrating meaning that you feel like you’re going to lose your vision if you give it to a VC?
DS: Or you’ve just feel like you hate your investors. I talked to people who complain about their Kickstarter backers, who complain about their angel investors, who complain about their VCs. You know the first thing is like cry me a river because if you don’t have investors it’s pretty hard to feel sympathy for people who are complaining about theirs. And I always try [laughs] to realize that myself. But the thing that they usually have in common is they don’t understand what those investors want. And while Kickstarter or crowdfunding backers are not technically investor, I think of them that way.
PW: I think, too.
DS: And the question is what do they want? So what your backers want on Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or you’re on crowdfunding campaign, what they want is not just what you’re producing but to be a part of how it’s made. If you go into it with that mindset of, “I’m creating something in partnership with my backers,” then you’re going to have amazing time where not only do you get dollars, not only do you get marketing, not only do you get exposure, but you get passionate customers who’re going to help you create and build what it is that you want to create.
So I remember Robot Turtles there are no words in the game except the logo and the instructions. And I shipped to worldwide. The problem was the instructions. So I put up the instructions in a Google doc and I said, “If anybody wants to translate this, I’ll be most obliged.” And I had translations in everything from Turkish to a number of different native-American languages to Russian to a rousing argument.
DS: Like a huge passionate argument about the proper word for robot in Dutch, I think it was [laughs].
PW: Wow! So people we’re really engaged in getting you the languages that you needed for those instructions.
DS: They were engaged in getting the languages that they needed.
PW: Oh, that’s a good point.
DS: It was as much their project— it was more their project than it was mine, and that was so amazing for me to see.
PW: How did you make it that way? Because you have been so successful even with Glowforge, you know, the laser cutter for the 3D printing. You’ve been very successful there. How are you making people feel like they’re a part of these different ventures that you’ve been involved in?
DS: You know it’s different for Glowforge and for Robot Turtles because they were community projects, whereas with my first two companies, Sparkbuy and Ontela, it was us off working in a room and hoping we built something that people would care about. Of those two I got to tell you finding your customers first is the way to go. Creating that relationship and having those people who know what care about, that’s what’s powerful.
So I took investor dollars for Glowforge because it let us build the product more alively. It let us move more quickly. It was the right thing for us to do. And I did that next to the dollars that we took in our crowdfunding campaign, but for Robot Turtles it was all just the people behind it, and so it’s that horses for courses. It’s understanding what it is you’re trying to build and what resources are the best for you.
But, boy, crowdfunding campaign, I think, is the greatest thing to happen not just to startups which are sort of the category of, you know, high growth usually technology businesses, but for small businesses in general that want to go build something that lasts, whether it’s high tech fast growth or whether it’s something for the neighborhood or something for a small group of people that’s going to endure over the years. Crowdfunding is really a gift, I think, to entrepreneurs everywhere.
PW: And I think, you know, there’s some gold in what you’re saying in terms of this question that I’m about to ask next. For people that are looking to have their business backed by VCs, let’s say they’re saying, “Look, I don’t want to get involved in crowdfunding. I don’t want to make commitments to the people, so forth and so on, for whatever reason that may be. What are some things that as they approach these venture capitalists, what are some things that they should consider first?
DS: You know the numbers are pretty clear. VC is wrong for almost everybody. Only a tiny percentage of the companies that are started have venture capital behind them, less than 1% of companies do. The right assumption is that unless you’re pretty sure otherwise, VC is not the right path because VC has a lot of strange constraints. Venture capitalists need to earn a ten times return on investment. Their model is that a third of their companies fail, a third do okay, and a third offer the rewards they’re looking for. So every single one of those companies they’re investing because they think they can earn at least ten times their money back, which is very unusual, right, for a company?
DS: It’s much more likely that, you know, you hope to be able to double or triple what comes in over the course of a couple of years. And that’s great for most investors, but that’s not great for venture capitalists. You have to be one of those companies that is willing to bet everything on a massive success and simply be sort of constitutionally incapable of settling for anything less. Because, you know, if you grow your company triple its size and then sell it your VC is going to think about that as failure.
DS: And I mentioned earlier that the entrepreneurs who get frustrated with those investors are those who don’t understand them. That’s a classic case where people think that for some reason it’s a bad to raise money from venture capitalist. So they do that and then are surprised and frustrated when their investors say, “No, we should be swinging for the fences.” And the entrepreneur says, “But somebody wants to write a really big check right now that could change my life.” So keeping those incentives aligned, taking money from people of the same goals that you do, that’s what it’s about.
So if you are one of those companies that’s trying to build a billion dollar opportunity, that’s trying to do something enormous, VC is a tremendous resource. But I try to encourage people not to get too hang up on it because it is wrong for most people and most successful companies are successful without it.
PW: One of the things I like most— I’m taking a step back and talking about your book again, is that you put it very well on the balance between failure and successes within business, which I really like because to your point, you know, a lot of times you hear about all these great stories and entrepreneurs. They set out to start their own businesses or do their own crowdfunding and they fail and they feel like I’m the only one who must have failed because they wrote a book that said nothing but rainbows, poodles, and butterflies, and why am I not getting that? Not that you did right that. I mean you wrote a very clear book and literally went through kind of steps, if you will, on here are some successes, here are failures. Here’s about finances. Here’s… I love it.
DS: It’s a little dark in some places actually [laughs].
PW: Well, it’s…
DS: And on purpose because you’re not going to get that anywhere else, right?
PW: Yeah. That’s the whole point. That’s why I’m really, really touting this book because you’re right. Either I’m getting one side of the story in one book or I’m not hearing that at all. You know a lot of times you can watch CNBC and you see all these successes and, you know, some guys starts a business, for another guy that his business was failing, and like 30 days it’s successful. They’re getting money. So you feel like, “Hey, I can just go on with my crappy idea and I’m going to be successful,” where there’s some truisms in some— you know you have to have a real audience behind you to really tell you the truth about your product.
DS: Yeah, the market doesn’t lie.
PW: The market doesn’t lie at all. So I think you have— you put in a really good place and I think because you’ve been on both sides of the fence. I mean even as, you know, up to now you yourself are investing in businesses. You have worked at full time jobs. And I’m just going to ask you what about the guy that is working a full time job, but he wants to start businesses. He wants to start robot fish now.
DS: [Laughs] I think there’s an opening there.
PW: Or there might be some trademark issues you better. So he wants to start that but he wants to do it on the side. What is your suggestion to him, because he can’t— like you where you took some time off from Google or just left, he can’t do that. He has a family that he’s trying to raise. What would be kind of your suggestions to him to forge forward on his good ideas at night or on the weekends?
DS: You know the bad news is it’s incredibly hard to start something big and it’s even harder to start something big with something small. If somebody wants to start something new and I have these conversations all the time, what I usually tell them is to start. If you only have a little time to put into it you have two choices. You can lower your scope a lot and you can try to start something small and wonderful. Create something in a small batch put it on Kickstarter or crowdfunding platform. Be humble about what you’re trying to do. Be open about how long it will take. Find some people go on the mission with you and deliver something great, and plan for that size. Or use that small amount of time to prove out your big commitment and to prove that you can take the big leap.
So do the tests. Ask people. Run ads and see how they convert. Set up landing pages. See who signs up. Do the market research and convince yourself that you’re ready to take a big jump because at the end of the day if you’re not willing to go all in on your idea, then it’s very hard to convince anyone else that they should do it, too.
PW: Oh, totally. I mean that’s why banks back in the day would want to know how much you’ve invested in your business because frankly if you haven’t put a whole lot behind your business, why should they? I mean you should be your biggest cheer leader of your business and biggest financer in a lot of respect.
DS: Yeah, and it’s not fair because some folks have huge obligations that prevent them from making those commitments and those folks aren’t in a good position to create something huge, because creating something huge kind of requires all in. So if you’re not able to do that then you either start small with a small thing, or you take the small amount of time you have to prove out the big things so you can justify making that jump to yourself. But it’s really hard to create a big idea in your spare time. And I think a lot of people who do that just wind up frustrated and wasting a lot of time and never get the traction that they need to move the idea forward.
PW: What are some of the biggest lessons that you’ve learned in your entrepreneur journey and just everything that you’ve created and gone through in the past ten years since 2005? What are some of the biggest lessons that you’ve learned within that time?
DS: You know for years I wanted to start something and I just thought, “Man, if only I had some people who would follow, who would help, who would buy in, then I could make something happen.” And it was only a long time later I realized that’s like saying I would be a famous rock star if I only knew how to play guitar.
DS: Because the thing I didn’t know how to do and the thing I had to learn was how to get amazing people on board. That is the core skill of the CEO and that’s the core of building something great is getting great people excited about it. If you want any skill at all you have to get people to believe, from customers to partners to employees to, you know, everybody along the way, suppliers. That took a long time and I had to work really hard to build up that knowledge. And I had to take different jobs and I had to take different approaches. And I had to really work on myself to become the person who other people would want to trust and believe in.
DS: Yeah. That was really a big process of growth.
PW: What did you do, Dan? What did you do? Just give me one step. What is it?
DS: Yeah, so I’m working a day job at a big tech company and I said, “I want to manage people.” And they said no and I said why not? And they said, “Because you’re not very good at these things.” I said, “Help,” and so I started taking class. I had an intern who I worked with and I got better.
PW: So you leveraged your job for some other— I think that’s a really, really good point that you’re hitting on here. So you kind of leveraged your full time job to help cultivate you into what you’d ultimately become.
DS: Yeah, and I took that one step further and I went to work for a startup. It seems really obvious but if you want to learn how to start a company the best thing to do is to go work for somebody who’s starting a company and learn.
DS: And by the way I have to throw in here. We’re in Seattle and we’re hiring. [Laughs] So if any of your listeners are excited about that at www.glowforge.com/jobs we list all the positions we have. I have been lucky to have amazing people work for me who’ve gone on to start their own companies and build successes on top of that. And that’s what happened with me. I worked for somebody else’s startup and learned what I needed to start my own.
PW: I would say that, too, to the listeners here that if you are looking for an opportunity and if you’re in the Seattle area definitely go to www.glowforge.com/jobs because I think this is a good opportunity to kind of see behind the curtain on how things are done especially for someone that’s been through it.
You know I think there’s a really, really good point that you’re kind of getting into here. A lot of people throw the baby out with the bathwater as they talk about, you know, I just want to jump out of my full time job to get in to my own business. Well, there’s still a lot of things that you can gain from having that full time job or as you pointed out going to a startup in somebody that’s already doing it to pick up and become a better leader or a better finance person, whatever role you’re trying to take within the company, a better developer, and take those classes that the company is giving you. That way you’re a lot more sharper when you finally decide to step out on your own to do it. You’ll have a lot more under you and there’ll be less, theoretically, that you would have to pay out of your own pocket both financially and otherwise.
DS: Yeah, make the mistakes on somebody else’s dime.
PW: Yeah, more or less. Yeah, that’s a really, really good point. But now not to kind of hang you up on here, but what are a couple other things that you’ve learned maybe just one other thing that you’ve learned that somebody can walk away with and say, “You know what I think I’m going to take this and hold on to this.”
DS: Well, there’s one line and I don’t remember why I heard it, but I think about it at least once a week if not every day. It wasn’t meant for business but it’s exactly the way I think about it which is don’t compare your insides to somebody else’s outsides.
DS: Because when you’re building a company you see everything. You see the guts and the blood, and the messes and the arguments, and the failures. And you look at the news and you look at the media and you see all these companies and everything they’re doing turns to gold. What you don’t realize is the biggest successes, well, they have nine failures before that one success. They don’t write the stories about the nine failures; they only write the story about what works. So all sit there going, “How come they’re getting press? How come they raise the financing run? How come they’re getting all these attention? And I’m just sitting here in this mess?” And then, you know, there’s one ray of light and you don’t realize that that ray of light for you that everybody else is jealous of.
DS: So it’s really easy to compare your worst to everybody else’s best. But what you got to remember is everybody’s living a struggle at some level. And no matter how good it looks on the outside, they’re working hard for it, and that you can’t lose hope. You can’t lose sight of where you’re at. And you got to have that balance of knowing that stuff’s going to go wrong and lots of things are going to go wrong for everything that goes right. I’ve got a lot more companies and before I talk about it’s that they didn’t work out and something happened and they wrapped up before they even started. That’s why one the chapters in my book is called The Virtues of an Early Bankruptcy.
DS: Because it’s better to find out quickly that what you’re doing is not going to work, put it to bed, and move on to something else than it is to hammer yourself into the ground. So knowing that, knowing that the world you see is through the filter of everybody’s best, that you’re looking at the world through other people’s rose-colored glasses, that’s the only way that you can keep your level is you’re building something that matters.
PW: We know about Glowforge, your laser cutter which I would probably describe to people at least from the videos that I looked at and how it appeared seems like a scanner that would sit on your desk. It’s not big and intrusive like you got to roll it in your house and it takes up a whole corner. It’s really small and pretty cool. Small is relative.
DS: Yeah [laughs]. It will fit on your desk.
PW: It will. It will.
DS: You can’t fit two of them on your desk, but you can fit one on your desk with no problem.
PW: Right. So I think that is pretty good. It raised $27.9 million as we talked about earlier which is insane. So you guys obviously tapped into a market that is it fair to say maybe you didn’t even know existed to that size? I mean obviously you knew something was there, but you didn’t know to what degree. Did it even…
DS: We had no idea.
PW: Got it, alright.
DS: We had no idea that that level of excitement was there. Our bottom was, gosh, if— we’ll feel like we did something wrong if we don’t raise a million dollars. And our top was, boy, if we raise $4 million that’d be more than any fabrication tool has ever done on crowdfunding anywhere. That was our hope. We just are offered own charts and sat back with amazement as we saw people pouring out from every part of the globe, seventy countries, all around the United States, different jobs, different backgrounds, librarians, architects, software developers, artists, designers, creators, chefs, who said, “I want this tool, and I want to make things and making things is hard. I’m going to bring the idea, but can you give me the tool I need to make that possible?”
And so, you know, suddenly, we’re going to have tens of thousands of leather workers, wood workers, artisans, crafts, people of all sorts who didn’t have the years of experience they needed to get started those before, but now have the tool that creates a shortcut from their idea into a real physical thing that they can give and share, and sell and create their own businesses. I hope we launch a thousand Kickstarters, a thousand, a thousand eBay storefronts with the Glowforge.
PW: So you guys need to go out to YouTube and check out Glowforge. Again, there’s some live examples that kind of show how it’s done. You also have Robot Turtles you and I talked about. Even my kids played with Robot Turtles which I thought was pretty cool. And, you know, I think again for this age that we’re living in it’s pretty unique. And you know what? This is going to seem really weird, but I got to tell you like this. So it does give people kind of a creative thinking, critical thought-making, you know, in a sense as I’m watching my little boy play with the game and he loves it a lot. You know but it’s like do you remember Karate Kid, Mr. Miyagi?
DS: Of course.
PW: Where he had some wax on, wax off, but he has no idea why he had to wax, wax off. But ultimately those tools that he took were meant for battle. And that’s kind of how I see this game, right? You know these kids, they’re playing it with fun. They’re just having fun with it. They don’t know that they’re intuitively learning something and something ultimately will come from it. Something will ultimately spark it. So I love that. I mean because…
DS: I may steal that because I love the Karate Kid and that’s just perfect.
PW: You can have it. You can have it. It’s all yours. But I think that’s exactly the way it works it’s like they’re learning something without knowing that they’re learning something in some regard.
PW: So you have Robot Turtles, Hot Seat: The Startup CEO Guidebook which is awesome. What else do you have going on? Is there anything else you want to share with the audience here?
DS: No, that’s what keeps my life full.
DS: You can find the Robot Turtles at Target or Amazon. You can find hot seat at Amazon or at your local bookstore. You can find Glowforge— you can pre-order it because we’re not shipping yet. We’re shipping middle of next year at Glowforge.com.
PW: And, Dan. if somebody wants to get in touch with you and talk about Glowforge or anything else. How can they reach out to you? How can they maybe share their experience with something that they played the game or something along those lines? How can they reach out? Twitter? Facebook?
DS: I’m a Twitter guy. Yeah, @danshapiro on Twitter.
PW: Well, Dan, I really appreciate your time. You’ve been awesome. This is really, really good info and I’m sure it will help someone. So I appreciate your time.
DS: Thanks so much for having me. It was great talking today.
PW: Thanks Dan.
Thank you for listening to Missions and Marketplace. If you have a brand or business that you want to take online or you’re already online and looking for more exposure visit us at www.affiliatemission.com, the premier affiliate marketing and management agency. Also feel free to get social with us and check our Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter pages, and share with us your story on how you’re leaving a mark in the world.