MakerBot’s new CEO, Jonathan Jaglom, just completed a massive 22 state tour meeting 60 clients to gain feedback. We’re wondering how this affects their next moves.
A tour of this kind was almost inevitable. While Jaglom is well acquainted with the industrial 3D printing market, having most recently been General Manager of Stratasys in AsiaPac for two years, and another ten years with Objet before that. But MakerBot is his first foray into personal 3D printing.
Add to that the departure of many of MakerBot’s management in the months before and after his arrival, and you have a situation where Jaglom needed to start things clean. Thus, go and listen to customers and find out their needs.
Jaglom did just that during a long tour and wrote of his findings in a blog post, where we find the following quote:
There may not be a 3D printer in every home yet, but more and more households have young people in them who see a 3D printer as just another tool, like a hammer or a Web browser.
This is quite different from the previous view of MakerBot’s management, who felt everyone is (or could be) a maker. In fact, 3D Systems also seems to follow this principle.
We think Jaglom’s view is much more practical and realistic. Yes, 3D printers can be useful and will become even more useful in the future. As capabilities increase, so shall their use by the public. Thus 3D printing acceptance becomes a more gradual thing.
There’s another theme in Jaglom’s post: Education will clearly be one of their primary markets, perhaps as customers for their Innovation Center clustering product. We’ve also observed significant work towards the small professional market as well. Clearly there’s less interest in marketing to general consumers or the DIY community as the previous MakerBot regime had done.
One other notable fact: this post by Jaglom is the first on MakerBot’s official blog by their CEO since former CEO Bre Pettis did so on Wednesday, September 11, 2013, when he talked about use of the then-new Digitizer product. Having the CEO talk directly to everyone via the blog is a good thing.