I'm going to post this in a separate thread.

Help Support GroupDIY:

cayocosta

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Gentlemen, I'll take the heat.

There might be some issues you should all consider:

1.) Somebody is paying for this forum out of his pocket and Steve has just turned an $800 profit today, of the back of that generosity.

(Steve's own admission is to an $80 profit per unit.)

2.) Before anyone suggest that Steve "kick-back" a few bucks to the host, that would set a precedent for the possibility of the host conspiring with enterprise in the future with the aim of exploiting this forum for profit. We just left something like that.

3.) No one is suggesting that Steve close his business. Only that he refrain from transacting deals directly in this forum proper. That goes for inventory updates by the minute as well. Do it by email or pm's. And let's set up a separate forum - for a reasonable fee - where businesses can advertise. The proceeds can go to help offset the cost of this place. Let's work it out.

4.) Steve has stated his profit to be $80 per unit. That's upwards of 20% gross margin. That is a serious margin by any standard. The PC industry would kill for that. Personally, I don't care if he makes 100% profit, good for you Steve - just don't make me feel like I'm being exploited when I come here.

5.) This is an enterprise with a name, "Bloo Technologies," that is a far cry from individuals carrying out group orders. Furthermore, the chassis has this name written all over it. That doesn't sound like the spirit of DIY to me - more like free advertising for someone else after you've built the damn thing yourself and had to source many of the parts.

6.) Steve has indicated plans for many other kits in the future. Again, that's fine, but that's also enterprise. This potentiality gives me the impression that this forum will forever be marketing these products to me.

7.) Is it not reasonable to assume that "the Lab" could serve as a free technical support forum and knowledge-base for Steve's business? For other's who do the same. Couldn't answering questions about la2a problems end up solving one of Steve's customers problems? Obviously, there's a lot more to building an la2a than just buying this kit. So, in theory, Steve gets paid a 20% profit on one half of an la2a kit, and this forum picks up the tab for the support and help in sourcing the rest of the parts.

8.) Personally, Steve's entitled to a profit - I agree. That's business. I have no problem with free-enterprise.

9.) Steve asked to use my la2a layout - he offered to pay in future hardware - I declined. That layout took several days and an awful lot of research to put together, and I gave it to the people here for free as a token of my appreciation. Unfortunately, that layout can still be used by Steve or others to enhance their products and as such contribute to their value and as such contribute to their profit. That means I've been exploited. In fact, could it not be argued that Steve's kit is potentially an amalgamation of much of the information posted prior, the sum of our individual labors, bundled and marketed back to us at a profit? Or was the kit developed in a cave somewhere?

10.) I've put together a Pultec EQP-1A layout that I will not make available if it can blatantly be put to use in a for-profit manner. How many others might withhold contributions?

11.) If we set this precedent, this place could turn into Times Square. We could all end up marketing each other - and we get enough of that in daily life.

12.) If this is allowed, then where do we draw the line? At profit figures? Character analysis? Design? Or is there no line?

Lastly, if none of the above makes sense, then I'm crazy and I'll leave and I won't come back. And I'm sorry.

Sincerely,

Ron
 

ChrisA

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Its just my 2 cents, but I think an $80 profit per unit for all of the work that he did to put the kit together isn't that much really. Also, if it was too much, people simply wouldn't pay for it. I think its great for people to have an option to pay a lttle more to have that work done for them if they so choose. Where else but a better place than here to have that option?

I do have one problem with what he's doing though and thats the BLOO Technologies logo and name on the unit. I don't think thats appropriate.

Bottom line is i think this helps people who would like to pay a little extra for the service he is providing. This is not a huge commercial enterprise we are talking about here, its just a fellow DIY guy making a little extra cash for providing a service to the community. Obviously if he is selling them, then there is also a demand here by the members of this forum. If not, he would be stuck with a lot of parts, so he is also taking a risk in doing this.

my 2 cents.

Chris
 
T

tubejay

Guest
Why don't we put it to a vote?

I see both sides of the issue on this... However, I would probably say that for most of us newer people to the DIY world, these semi-complete kits are awesome. Getting the faceplates and enclosures made is near impossible for a newbie. The amount of time, effort, and energy it takes to get the actual stuff to Steve, and then out the door to us has to leave him at making about $2 an hour or less. Top that with the amount of risk you put into having something manufactured (Steve could have lost his ass trying to make this kit for the group) and I think it's a fair proposition.

In my opinion, as long as Prodigy Pro doesn't haven't a problem with this, then I don't. If Prodigy Pro has a problem with it, then it shouldn't be allowed. What if we confined these types of posts to the buy and sell forum?

I realize that a lot of people contribute to making these designs happen, but if you're concerned about other people using info that you've posted, you should develop your own kit for us, and we'd gladly buy them!!

All that said, I truly hope you do not leave the group!!

I think we should take a vote...
 

Zee1usa

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Seattle,WA USA
.02$

I myself like what steve (scenaria) is doing.
It is a great kit and he has put in alot of work
to put this together. Alot of us here like these kits and like the convienance although many of us would rather source everything
independantly.

I dont know what steves future plans are with this? more kits? more profit? buisiness venture?

I do not have a problem with this. I also know we dont want to loose
Ron (cayocosta) as he is a *valuable* member here and even though he has a difference in opinion he is entitled to it. Ron has a reasonable point he is trying to make.

Here are some idea's:

Keep it in the Black Market?

Have a seperate forum?

Have steve keep his "BLOO" stuff on a website?


I really hope we can work somthing out that is fair for all?

as KEV would say "come on guys"

"WE LOVE OUR DIY"
 

soundguy

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I personally wouldnt be bothered to only $80 profit for all the friggin nightmarish work that goes into what steve is offering. Again, I work in a studio and as such am busy 20 out of the 24 hours a day, if I was sitting on my ass doing nothing maybe that profit would be worth it, but perspective is everything. Worth noting, its none of our business what anyone is making, I mean, isnt that like the first courtesy you are supposed to learn about business?

As for the layout is concerned, its cool that you did a nice layout and all, but its not like you cant just go and use the widely published UA layout. I mean, come on, thats just being a litttle bitter, isnt it? I'm sure your pultec layout is cool too, but many of us have built pultecs with the old existing layouts, no biggie. If you arent comfortable publishing your artwork then dont. there are plenty of people that make commercial audio products for a living, surely they must benefit some from this group and their involvement is AWESOME on this group, I would hate to spite those people who contribute just because they make audio products. Its not like he's packaging the kit with your layout after you asked him not to, then I could see your point, but to think that you are gonna publish information freely on the internet and then be able to control how every end user uses that info, well, that would be a lot of work, yeah?

The kit wasnt developed in a cave somewhere. Actually, some company already made this product. Jesus, you speak of it like its something that the tech talk people designed as a group and that now one dude is profiting from. Its an LA2A, been on the earth for like 40 years, its not like he's selling kits for a gyraf circuit or PRR's limiter, its an LA2A and really, its just a chasis and some parts, you could really put any circuit you wanted in there, its just a damn chasis neatly drilled and colorfully painted. I suspect dave jansen probably doesnt have a problem with a guy selling HARDWARE to assemble an LA2A.

This all seems way to heavy for me, but then again I am an opinionated motherfucker on a good day...

dave
 

HiString

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I think what needs to be considered is whether Steve is making a profit based on a design that is available for anyone to copy OR whether the profit is based on the amount of time, effort and financial outlay involved in making this kit available.

There are others who are making items available to the community here and if they have to put in time and money to do so, then of course they should be entitled to make a profit.

So long as "items for sale" are posted in the appropriate forum there should not be an issue............if you have your balls in a knot over this, then it should be discussed privately, not used to create a public issue.

Frankly, I think you already know what the majority think...........you just don't like it.

:mad:
 

soundguy

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I'll add, I make recordings for a living.

Ive read a lot of great information freely posted on the internet about recording.

I have directly used info that I read on newsgroups and forums to enhance the quality of the recordings I make, recordings I make for profit.

Should I be feeling guilty about this? The info was free, I made money... Hmm...

dave
 

cayocosta

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Messages
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SW Florida USA
Hi Tubjay,

Thanks for the sentiment.

I'm not arguing the value of the kits. Or what Steve is doing as a business entity outside of this forum. I'm just addressing some of the points made here, as well as raising some of the issues that may have been overlooked.

Most importantly, someone is footing the bill for this place, and if people are profiting from exposure here, that would seem to me to be a pretty bad deal for the person going into his pocket to fund the forum.

Secondly, if for-profits within the forum lead to the suppression of otherwise available knowledge, then I'd say we should find a way to get around that. This place is about knowledge first and foremost. Not that I have much to offer in the technical sense.

As for a vote, is that a vote for Steve? Or a vote for all enterprise?

Again, no one is saying that Steve should go away with his kits. Let's just hash out an ethical solution.

I would prefer a formal structure that we can put into place and forget about. Otherwise, it's a potential nightmare in each instance. Why not set up a classified section?

Soundguy,

1.) His profit is our business if he makes it public to us. And the amount doesn't matter, it's the principle. Did you even read my post?

2.) With regard to the la2a layout, there is no widely published one that I am aware of - that's why I did it and why I made it available to everyone here. Please enlighten me as to where the original UA layout can be found.

3.) Are you confusing layouts with schematics? Again, where are the old Pultec layouts?

4.) There has been much discussion regarding the la2a circuit, it's various incarnations, troubleshooting, wiring, components, tuning, the t4b, sourcing of parts, etc. The archive on la2a is considerable and contributes significantly to Steve's effort, and I think he will attest to that. I sourced the knobs for him and supplied him with my parts list, for example.

5.) Pro-audio contributors to this forum do not actively market their wares here. I don't see your comparison.

6.) As far as things being heavy, it would seem like the right time to set up some protocol here. Otherwise it's going to be like the wild west.

Thanks again,

Ron
 

MikoKensington

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From my simpleton stand point I think it's nice to see a kit out there for anyone to buy. It takes much of the fear out DIY. I don't have the capacity to make my own boards or machine my own cases and that deters me from most of the GROUP projects. But this kit and the Drewtronics Sherlock are great springboards for those ready to step up their DIY game.

I don't see anything to frown upon here. His $80 dollar profit was by his own admission. Compare that to Manley or anyone else for that matter.

Sometimes it's necessary for some Do It For You in DIY. Just my take.
 

CJ

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Bottom Line:

Steve ain't making no 80 dollar profit.
How do I know?
A little thing called the T4 project.

I mean, he Wishes he was making 80 bucks a pop, but believe me,it's all on how you add it up.
Are you counting all the r and d?
Are you counting waiting in line at the post office?
Are you counting the mental stress that comes along with keeping something like that working?

On and on.

We have to charge 5 times as much as our product costs us in order to stay in bussiness.

I doubt Steve is charging anywhere near that.

To a lot of beginners, an LA2a kit is a Godsend!
There have always been people asking for it.
Just an ace in the hole if you ask me.
He ain't gonna be moving 100 kits a day, and if he ever did, there would be even LEss profit, because he would have to rent a Suite somewhere!

cj
 

cayocosta

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Again, nothing against the kits being sold, the kits are great!

And I don't care about the profit.

WTF? Hello?

It's just unethical to sell them in this forum for any amount of profit. Let's create a separate forum for all business like this and have some kind of standard fee back to the house.

People are checking the Black Market all day long, it's not like this stuff will be banished to Siberia. If there's a demand, like there is for this kit, then it will do fine in a seperate forum under this site. And some money can be paid for the right to do business here.

Whoever is paying for this place will not do so for much longer if we're going to turn it into a pro-bono marketplace!
 
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tubejay

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[quote author="cayocosta"]
As for a vote, is that a vote for Steve? Or a vote for all enterprise?

Again, no one is saying that Steve should go away with his kits. Let's just hash out an ethical solution. [/quote]

Hi Ron,

I think the vote should be on DIY based enterprise. I would say anything that falls out of the DIY arena would be out of bounds (I'm sure Prodigy Pro would agree with that sentiment), and that the marketing of this stuff should be restricted to the black market. In all honesty, Steve could just claim not to make a profit, still make a profit, and we'd not know. I could easily see that situation arising.

I mean, I personally wouldn't have a problem with someone like Alan Hyatt coming over to the Black Market and plugging his microphones (being that he is a manufacturer and designer, not a retailer). I would draw the line at someone like Sweetwater sound, or even a small mom and pop shop selling new gear that conflicts with Prodigy Pro's market.

I agree with you, we should hash out an ethical solution...and THEN vote on weather or not it should be allowed. One could fairly easily argue that DIY is inherently not ethical. I don't agree with that sentiment, especially on our scale, and the amount of time and energy it takes to make the gear. I think most of us want to make this gear, including kits, to learn so that we may some day develop our own gear to our own tastes. Plus, it's just damn fun to do. The stuff that makes it un-fun for newbies is getting the cases and PCB's made.

Thanks!
 
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tubejay

Guest
[quote author="cayocosta"]

People are checking the Black Market all day long, it's not like this stuff will be banished to Siberia. If there's a demand, like there is for this kit, then it will do fine in a seperate forum under this site. And some money can be paid for the right to do business here.[/quote]

Would you be ok with this stuff being restricted to the Black Market only?? I'm not sure how you'd quantify the kick back to the site. It obviously would have to be on the honor system, and in all honesty shouldn't be much. Less than 1%?? In this case Steve is still doing almost all of the tedious work...

Admin, what do you think of the kick back idea?
 

CJ

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I and about everybody else agree 100 percent with your "no commercial" aspect of this forum.

Steve is full of piss and vinegar, I admit, and he can be rather "brash" at times, but his intent is the main thing.
I really do not think his intent is to make a million bucks here.
I think it is an honest endeavor pointed at helping people.
It's way too much hassle for 80 bucks.

Plus, think of the support he is going to have to provide.
People are going to be driving him nuts with questions, refunds, shipping damage, lawsiuts from UA....

I mean I don't think he realizes this just yet,

Ok, when he sells 100 grand a year, I say we give him the boot!

(this will never happen, of course)
 

HiString

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I didn't notice any sign on the door stating that this was a non-profit organisation.

And out of curiousity, if you are so worked up over this issue, WTF wasn't it raised at RO when the kits were first announced?

:?
 

SSLtech

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...Hell, if this thing really is that big of a deal, why would it possibly be a conflict with Prodigy Pro...

-If a customer of theirs is handy with a soldering iron, there's nothing to stop Prodigy-Professional from saying "You know what we seem to have fostered in one of our other enterprises?... there's a handy little kit. -Save a little, learn a lot!"

I see that not as a conflict in the least, and Scenaria has gone along with the perceived rules at all times, and without hesitation or argument.

Profit on these forums can't really be policed. If I chose to sell one of the six Neumann U67s that I found in Wales for $1200 (that's less than $200 each, BTW) is there a single person here that would begrudge me a profit if I were able to get market value? -Howzabout if I sold it for significantly under market value but still made a couple of grand?

As says the majority, so say I.

Keith
 

cayocosta

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SW Florida USA
You know, CJ, I've been wanting to write Steve for the last few days and tell him he can go ahead and use the layout. So, Steve, if you're reading this, if you still need the layout - go ahead. I don't want anything in return.

With that, I say a separate forum for DIY for profit sales, and maybe another for group orders that are not really profit, or not company offerings. Maybe a flat rate to advertise? And how about the right to notify everyone of a new offer in the Lab forum proper? Once!

CJ do you want to host the Pultec stuff?
 

CJ

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Yes! I will post the Pultec Stuff!
You have my pass.
Put it in the Pultec icon.

cj

I do protest against Sticky being used to sell stuff.
It gives this nice new add free a bit of a comercial look.

Howabout a "No Comercial Stickies" policy, send it to the black market?

:guinness:
 

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