On the one hand we have the desire as a group to dig in and find out how it works, share the knowledge, as evidenced by the EXTENSIVE thread on the induction pickup.
On the other hand we have a feeling of family and protectiveness toward each other, and that covers the folks that achieve making some decent coin at selling their wares, wanting to protect their profitability.
We all tend to browse our esteemed sponsor's online shop for parts first before looking elsewhere if needs.
Its a bit of a trick to find the comfortable path between the two, sharing as much as we can but still supporting those who sell i.e. we chat a lot about how to build for ourselves what gitty sells already built.
That's the main points in a nutshell JL; good post. Gitty told me in PM this isn't a business forum. It's for the promotion of all things CBG (and a bit beyond, to be factual). So if Gitty isn't worried about competition here, I really don't think the rest of us should be either.
Every time any one of us merchants shares one of our experiences in building a CBG, we're encouraging someone to build for themselves rather than buy from us. Every time we talk about a new design method or finish or fretting method, we're doing so under the realization someone else may decide to start selling CBGs and may even give us some competition.
I'm not the only CBG seller on Etsy. I'm not the only pickup seller on Etsy. I don't view the others as competitors; I view them as co-hobbyists having similar interests to mine. I study their designs and see if I can learn anything from them, just as I do here. When we find something that works for us, we tend to share it here. All someone has to do is check my profile to see a whole index of "how to"... me sharing my "secrets" with others. We have to if we want to learn from others as well. It's a give-and-take thing. The more we give, the more we get in return.
No need to feel protective, secretive, or paranoid that someone is going to steal our ideas. Like Ted wrote earlier, nothing can be done about that. We can pretty much be guaranteed that if the CBG business really booms, the Chinese will soon be in here selling cheaply-made CBGs for $50. They'll be mass-producing flat pickups (probably even good ones) for $10 and making 50 cents profit per unit. They have the factories and manufacturing to pull that off. Not a thing we can do about that.
Reality is: even though the Chinese sell decent and even good "Telecaster" pickups for ten bucks... people still buy official Telecaster pickups from Fender for $75 each. Even though the Chinese sell pots for a buck apiece, Gibson still sells pots for $11 and Fender sells them for $5 or so. And even though the Chinese sell Telecaster clones for $200 or less, Fender still sells thousands of them for $600 a pop.
Elmar sells so many pickups he can't keep up and had to pass the wand on to Dan. I doubt my joining the field in 2015 has put a dent in their sales. I think that's how it will continue for as long as any of us want to make pickups.
People can reverse-engineer computer code and even chemical composition. The smart businessman keeps on truckin'. There will always be the customer who purchases Fender Stratocaster or Gibson Les Paul for the name, prestige and assurance of quality. There will always be people who will choose hand-made, custom flat pickups over Chinese versions simply because of the hand-made tag and personal support. When a customer buys from me he knows he can ask me questions about installation, special wiring methods, sound effects, or just about anything else CBG related. They can't get that from a Chinese factory.
Etsy is a business founded entirely on hand-made items. The market is vast and by no means saturated. What we do works. CBN member should be proud of the sharing nature of the community and if anything, crank it up a notch. It benefits everyone.
I couldn't agree more, and you pretty well nailed it on the head. Before I continue, it's important for me to express a sincere apology to anyone who may have been irked at my response to the video, in that it has caused some very awful bantering, both offensive and defensive.
Being a member of Nation has been educational and life changing for me. It has given me a hobby that sometimes results in monetary return for the hard work put into a project.
But this is not why this place is important to me. I have created friendships with some very nice people who share similar views and passions.
Taking part in this site has also afforded the opportunity to learn when I was new, and to share and help when others are looking for answers once I had enough experience to warrant a reply.
So in closing, perhaps we can all agree that this issue is over and it's time to move on to sharing and caring.