Monday, October 4, 2010

"What we've got here is... failure to communicate."

As I scan the eCraft Facebook and Twitter pages I am reminded of that great line from Cool Hand Luke.

I find the silence much more incomprehensible than the problems with the software.  And, that was puzzling enough.  The last entry on Twitter was in August!  And, while a Craftwell employee will randomly offer some insight on the Facebook page, most of the help users get is from other users who, themselves, are just hanging on and waiting along with everyone else.

You know something?  That's just not good enough.  Not by a long shot.

Craftwell, you have a machine that I am ready to support and support in a big way.  I look at the hardware design and, as I've repeatedly said, I see a design that has the potential to dominate the digital cutter marketplace.  But,  a great machine design is NOT what makes for great success.  It is only part of the equation... and, a small part at that.

The Mindset Computer was a great design.  It's the ONLY computer on permanent display in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City!   But, I'll bet not a single reader knew it ever existed.  It came.  It went.  It is forgotten.

So, much for great design being a deciding factor for success.

While I think the eCraft also deserves to be considered for such an honored place in design history, I would MUCH rather see it on thousands of tables in homes and businesses then in a permanent display in a museum with no users.  But, that is where it is heading if the management of Craftwell doesn't set aside it's pride in building the first matless digital cutter and start realizing that communication, not engineering, is their ultimate ticket to success.

Cool Hand Luke ended badly.  Mindset's brilliant design didn't keep it from ending it's race badly.  Let's hope that Craftwell's "Failure to communicate" is corrected.  And soon.  Or, it too, might be just another footnote in history.  And, none of us want that.


Ruthie said...

Tom - I agree - its been waaay too quiet lately. I think they just need to pop on and be honest about where the issues lie....then give us an HONEST proposed date for the first patch. I would much rather they told us a month if thats what its going to be, rather than telling us 10 days! I appreciate things dont go to plan (Lord knows I really do appreciate that!) but I personally really respect it when someone comes back and tells me what is going on - whether its good or bad news. I am a big girl, I can take dates being put back etc - BUT I am a brat when I am told something is going to happen, it doesnt and then I dont hear anything at all!!!

I am feeling a little miffed at them too!


Terri-Lynn said...

Unfortunately this is not the first time the company has gone silent. When units failed to ship as expected earlier in the year, the company announced the delay and then communications went dead. No updates to the website, Twitter or FB for months. They didn't even tell us what the issue was - design, manufacturing, financial. Nothing. I was pleased when they came back with a redesigned machine that achieved the expectations that they set. If things had gone smoothly I might have overlooked the communication problems and the fact that they initially over promised. But as time goes on the situation looks wrse and worse. This is not just a company with software project issues; this is a company with serious management flaws.

Tom Meeks said...


Perhaps Monkey could hold a seminar for them. After all, Monkey has been EXCELLENT at using his blog to keep us well informed. And, it has quickly become my GO TO blog!

For any that have NOT visited the Monkey, Monkey blog you are missing a treat! And, it is EXACTLY that kind of continuous contact with followers that Craftwell needs to learn.

Tom Meeks said...


Thanks for your comment! :)

It is hard to defend a company that will not defend itself by proactively communicating the status of things.

BP certainly learned that the hard way. But, what we DON'T want is for Craftwell to learn it the hard way. We'd like them to learn it by listening to it's FRIENDS... even if those friends are dishing out some TOUGH LOVE. :)