Makerbot’s Saddest Hour
In the process of growth, startups change. They change from scrappy three-person operations to behemoths with new employees rolling in daily. They go on hiring sprees and the founders no longer know the people sitting at cubicles outside their offices. Bigger companies – Google and the like – start sniffing around.
And those changes add up – going from 50 mph to lightspeed is as hard on the Millennium Falcon as it is on a manufacturing company. That’s what’s happening at Makerbot right now.
I’veVolumetric Efficiency been speaking to a few people who prefer to remain anonymous and most of my contacts there are gone (the head of PR was apparently fired) and don’t want to talk. But the news from inside is troubling. The mass-layoffs are blamed on low revenue and one former employee wrote “Company was failing. Couldn’t pay vendors, had to downsize.” Do I think Makerbot will sink? At this point I don’t know.
The worst thing is that it has far to fall. Let’s look at what happened between a triumphant CES 2014 when the company looked to do no wrong to last week when about 100 people were laid off and most of the company’s flagship stores were shuttered.