Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Red Storm Passing :: It's All Rainbows and Unicorns

Ah, the inter webs and social media... they help give your voice wings and thus even the tiny can raise their volume and be heard.

A fine gentlemen from SRAM rang me up this morning and took the time to explain the circumstances surrounding the launch timing of the new 2012 Red group.  I mean gentleman in the sincerest sense.  I'm certain that he had better things to do with his day, but that he took the time to follow up and explain to me what was going on in a direct and fact based manner was much appreciated.

Simple answer is that they had production delays which pushed out the planned December launch date until now, and unfortunately, it is not likely that parts will arrive in time to make it through the distribution system and on to our NAHBS bikes before they have to be on trucks bound for Sacramento.

Perfectly reasonable, entirely understandable.  Even if it was BS, and I don't believe that it was, at least it isn't an excuse that demeans the small builder.

This whole brouhaha could have been avoided if this was the approach from the start.  The take away for me just reinforces the notion that a direct approach to a difficult situation is always best.

It also reinforces my commitment to never allow anyone to tell us that we aren't deserving of having the best.  I'm sure that sounds a bit silly to some, especially when placed in the narrow context of a conversation about parts to be hung on a bicycle frame.

But this was about more than that, and I struggle to articulate what it was about to folks that don't get up every day and obsess about small details.  I found a kindred spirit in this regard with Richard, but as things on the inter webs go, there has been some online chatter from folks with no skin in the game, but lots of keyboard courage, implying that this was all about ego.  Apparently these online commentators believe that Richard and I should have just sucked it up and moved on.

I've pondered that a bit over the past few days. Is it egotistic to be maniacal about the little details?  Is it wrong to be obsessed with how perfect your product looks?  I don't think so.

I believe that as soon as you allow someone to tell you that you aren't worthy of the best... well then you aren't worthy. I believe that our customers expect us to be obsessed with the little things and I believe that we have an obligation as professionals to never stop caring about the small details that add up to something more than just another consumable product.

So, crisis is over, the Red Storm has passed and I'll be the one proudly displaying my bikes with last year's Red(ux) prom dress, unless of course the new one miraculous appears in time.

And you know what? I think that we looked pretty sharp in last year's Red(ux) dress.

Thanks for listening, thanks for the encouragement, and thanks SRAM.




Easton Heights Blogger said...

when the uninitiated who think plastic Chinese bikes w/ American names on them are the greatest thing, the ones who compare bikes based on the doohickey hanging off the dropout, when you have to explain AGAIN why a handbuilt, professionally built and fit bicycle truly IS better, then yeah, you were/are justified in having the supposed 'best' on your bikes.
nice job getting your voice heard.

Andy said...

I'm personally pleased that you and Richard cared enough to publish whatyou did.

The handbulit cycing community should aspire to be the best the industry offer.

So well done for putting your stake in the ground, and for SRAM for taking your views seriously

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LugHugger said...

You could of course have used another manufacturers groupsets. After all, hanging either Shimano or Campag on one of your framesets would at least illustrate reinforce that quality matters rather than manufacturers weight numbers and an all-encompassing warranty.

And SRAM is DEFINITELY not the best that the industry can offer.