I believe that evil word 'marketing' is done by everyone here in the handbuilt bike biz too. e-richie does a fantastic job¡DThere are a lot of cigar smoking millionares that want 'the best' -even the best bike. And I doubht they are looking at his bikes as just bikes. It's a matter of artistry. The 329 surly customer and riv saluki customer is not a richard sachs or B bayliss customer- at least not yet. I know I'd buy a cheaper bike that's made in taiwan (which by the way has the same issues ¢Ð¢Õbrought up- even Taiwan bike makers discovered it's not all about price but quality and crafstmanship are a factor in the buying/selling decision) for now, but the holy grail is mos def a Sachs or bayliss or weigle. I just can't afford that artwork right now. I have a few friends that spend a lot of time behind the canvas or other medium and while their work moves me to tears (really)- much like some of the bikes at the NAHBS- I will not be able to afford their work for at least a few more years. That doesn't stop me from haging pictures in my living room.
Your customer base is out there, it just hasn't been discovered yet, Bruce. Take a page from your colleagues. But don't berate your future customers for the desicisons they make in not buying your craftsmanship just yet. That will surely keep them away, thereby fulfilling your phrophecy.
I went to San Ho on friday and wished I had more time to go on saturday and sunday. I talked to my girlfriend all night about it (she was happy about that....), rang up some friends and blathered to them about it. It's the only thing I talk to my colleagues here at a trade show on the other side of the world. Pretty much everyone doesn't even know many of you guys exist. And some of them live in the same town as you. And they are bike guys.