Here I am again to complain. Maybe soon I’ll post something happy, like pictures of my dog.
I own a Cricut. Yes, I do, and I’m not ashamed. For those of you who don’t know what a cricut is, it’s basically a fancy machine like the old plotter printers in the 70’s and 80s except instead of a pen, it has a cutter. It cuts shapes out of paper. I find it really handy for all sorts of things like quilting, paper crafting, the mixed media paintings I’ve been doing lately, etc. It can be used for more things than scrapbooking. Provo Craft, the company that manufactures the Cricuts don’t agree with me.
They would like to keep the tool restricted to house moms who like to cut cute little animals and scrapbook pages rather than being savy business people and realizing there is a wide world of artist and other crafts people who might find their tool useful. Why do I say this? Well . . .
A few years ago two companies came along and saw a need. Up until then, you could only cut out designs from “cartridges” that Provo Craft sells for $89 each. While there are lots of cute things on the cartridges, there wasn’t the flexibility to cut your own art.
These two new companies, Sure Cuts A Lot and Make the Cut created computer software that interfaced with the Cricut to allow users to cut whatever the hell they wanted, not just the cutesy stuff published by Provo Craft. Evidently, the creators of those software products had to hack into the Cricut’s own software code to create the interface, thereby violating the terms of the Cricut user agreement. Provo Craft sued both of these companies and now, users are back to square one with only pricey, froofy designs to cut.
I own several cartridges that I use a lot. But, I also like to cut my own designs. Sometimes I like to personalize what I’m doing. The primary reason I bought a Cricut was because of Sure Cuts A Lot. I realized I could cut my own stuff on this great machine. No way would I buy anything that restricts me like that. When I bought an MP3 player, it wasn’t an IPOD for the same reason. I guess I don’t like to feel controlled and boxed in.
I don’t blame Provo Craft for being pissed that someone “stole” their code or even for suing. I would think they were simply jealous that someone came up with the idea first, but after all this time they haven’t released their own version giving users the flexibility that some competing tools have. This leads me to believe that Provo Craft thinks what they publish is simply enough and that people shouldn’t want more. Would you buy a CD player that would only play the 50 CDs published by the CD player manufacturer and restricts you from the millions of other CDs? Again, I don’t blame PC for being upset, but this should be a wake up call that people like their machine and would like more flexibility in using it. If PC would have offered a similar software, I would have purchased that. Additional revenue stream anyone?????
I’ve heard people say “you knew it was a cartridge based system when you bought it.” True, but tools existed that allowed me to use it anywhich way I wanted – which is why I got it.
My question is this: what sort of dim whits run this company? Both of the aforementioned software companies were successful because they sold a product that people wanted. PC should capitalize on this customer desire which would benefit the company and the customer – what could be better? Heck, they could buy Sure Cuts A Lot and just publish it under their name. I’m confused.
I sent them a note letting them know that the tool they just put out of business is the reason I settled on a Cricut. I don’t know why they bothered, Provo Craft has notoriously bad customer relations skills. Which could be why they ignored this huge opportunity, other companies took advantage of the opportunity, and then Giant Provo Craft squashed them like little bugs for their creativity and continued marching on like a deaf, dumb and blind giant heading straight for a clif.