I think what Doug is saying is that a shop with a good retail trade, refinishing business, etc. may be able to "subsidize" the frame building a bit. So they can then take more time and care with the framebuilding than would be justified by the frame price. Of course, in theory, one can just charge more for the frames, but in the real world, there is only so much the customer will pay and it seems that in UK the customers will often not pay as much as in the US. There have been lots of great products produced at a loss because the manufacturers had other sources of profit to subsidize then. Hybrid automobiles, at least when they were first introduced, were an excellent example. In the world of classic bicycles, it is quite possible that two pioneering bikes (whether the trends they started were good or bad) the Teledyne Titan and the Exxon Graftek, never made any money. Both were produced or marketed by huge companies for which they were an insignificant part of overall opeartions. So they could be produced as R&D, or public relations regardless of whether they made or lost money. Eventually, most products must make money or their producers will ultimately tire of subsidizing them. But many great products are produced for years at a loss before this happens. The so-called "laws" of capitalism are really no such thing. They are forces, and admittedly powerful ones, which do shape human behavior. But fortunately, human behavior is more complex than that. People can and do act counter to the profit motive to produce objects at a loss because they find those objects beautiful or important or visionary.
Jerry Moos Big Spring, TX
Nick Zatezalo <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: Doug Wrote:
Ellis Briggs also painted frames on their premises so I was very fortunate to have learned those procedures there as well. I think both of those places made better frames than most others partly because their shops were not financially dependent on building alone but were just part of a bigger operation. That allowed them to take time to finish them they way they wanted rather than turn out the numbers to make a profit.
Doug Fattic - getting closer to some of the mysteries of framebuilding in Niles, Michigan
How does making a profit hinder an artisan from producing quality work?
I have heard this mentioned from several other sources and have a difficult time comprehending this thought process.
If it was in fact true; their best work would be free.