Wimminz – celebrating skank ho's everywhere

July 27, 2014

What the B said

Filed under: Wimminz — Tags: , , — wimminz @ 12:27 pm

Ode to the Dave Clark 5

OK, so, commenter B on the last post.

His last comment / reply raises an issue I can’t let go, both because it is at the crux of the argument, and because the point he is missing is at the core of what I was saying about X (not *my* X, but X in general) and yet he appears completely blind to it, so maybe I didn’t explain it clearly last time.

I’ve put his last comment, unedited, in green text.

An actual cat engraving vs. a theoretical flux capacitator. No contest. “Yeah, I could totally bang models, while your girl has all kinds of flaxs.” Well, she’s real and the models exist in your imagination.

So you adhere to the any output beats no output model do you?

Dozens of people avidly updating twitter / fuckbook beats the guy considering writing a novel or blog but who hasn’t got around to it?

I’m not saying it doesn’t, on some levels, but those levels are the ones concerned only with page impressions and footfall and user’s eyeballs

Three customers lined up is great. Until money changes hands, it’s the theoretical flux capacitator from above. How long did it take to get those customers lined up? How many more are out there available to you? Until money changes hands, it’s the flux capacitator. You need some cheap way to test. Like maybe using someone else’s kit, renting by the hour.

You’re preaching to the choir re the money changing hands and it ain’t real until it does, and I explicitly talk about that in the post too.

How long did it take, I dunno, no time at all, because it came up in conversation, and they all started reaching for their wallets…

How many more like them are there out there? I don’t know, but there only has to be “enough” to make a living.

You seem obsessed with me needing some cheap way to test, like renting someone else’s kit, and studiously ignoring what I am saying, that doing that will teach you things, but not the things you neeed to know, because the two things are not similar enough…. NONE of the three potential customers of mine would even consider giving me a penny under those circumstances.

If your 3 customers are willing to wait for you to make up your mind about buying X, they’re willing to wait a week for China (probably.) They’re meeting their needs SOMEHOW right now.

No, you seem to have a blind spot about this, the two things are *not* comparable merely because they both involve a delay, you are doing *exactly* what I talk about, seeing the big picture, and *completely* missing all the fine details, all of which make it a total fuck up from the big picture perspective.

24 hour turnaround from a shop running $250K kit? No fucking problem. How about multimillion $ kit? Just so’s you don’t think I’m bullshitting you, the place I used to work in would do that, and they were running a cutter that cost a couple of mil, plus benders, plus the welders and sanders and a third party painter across the street. For another example, I can think of at least 3 places within an hour’s drive of me running EOSINT M280 laser sintering machines in cobalt chromium/wax 3D printers and furnaces for casting, whose whole model is 24 hour global turnaround. Orders come in in the morning, by evening they are on the plane going to Japan/wherever. Maybe Israel is more advanced than the UK in that sense, but I doubt it.

You make the same assumption as above again.

I hope you add enough value to justify the proposition, and the best way to test is to rent kit for a bit.

And you trot out the same core theorem that you won’t let go of, that I must test small scale, despite the fact I have been explaining such tests cannot test the things you need to know, because it is not the same, so let me explain some more.

For starters, you don’t know what “24 hour turnaround” means, maybe you are just young, and you are using the new marketing shit speak, but 24 hour turn around most certainly does NOT mean whose whole model is 24 hour global turnaround. Orders come in in the morning, by evening they are on the plane going to Japan/wherever because what YOU are talking about is from the SELLERS p.o.v…

When I, and older guys, talk about 24 hour turn around, and incidentally it is what I do in my non-day job as it were, is that 24 hours after the CUSTOMER pulls the trigger on the job it is all completed, signed, sealed, delivered, installed, up and running, service resumed, and indeed if necessary shipped to THEIR customer.

For my X, this is one of the reasons they want to throw money at me, at present all they can get is *your* version of 24 hour turnaround, which is useless, so they simply do without, by the time your version of 24 hour turnaround is done and the job eventually arrives the proverbial boat has been missed.

It’s not about being willing to wait a week for china either, because that’s cheaper, quite apart from the unacceptable delays, there are two other vital factors, again, *far* more common than people like you assume.3625646090813857763

One of these is proprietary information, copy paste, there is your proprietary information, gone and copied and no longer your own, and for many people, their proprietary information and designs and so on *are* their business, they cannot even conceive of letting that data out of their sight and control, a total non starter, and nobody, not even the locals with 250k shift production facilities, are prepared to have the customer hand over a USB stick, plug it in machine, do production run, remove USB stick and hand back to customer, wipe machine memory in front of customer.

One of the other issues is materials quality control, not everything in the world is cast 10mm acrylic, not all pieces of wood or leather or cloth or so on are the same, not even close, and I’m talking about taking two random pieces out of a pile of apparently identical pieces in the stores, so it isn’t just selection of materials but also quite often orientation of materials prior to cutting, none of this is on offer either locally or abroad.

*NONE* of these things are amenable to “testing”, there is no way to test them, do them, or do not do them.

The fall back position for these people is they are either doing without entirely, or doing it themselves by hand and it takes forever entirely, there is no middle ground.

Ah but, people like you will say, why don’t they just buy their own fucking X if that is all it takes, but the fact is, they do not want to, they do not want to branch out on new equipment, new skills, new this or that, and for many of them, where would they put it, because it absolutely *cannot* go in their existing premises, either because they simply do not have concrete street level flooring with double wide access, or because it would totally destroy the whole ethos and ambience of the shop, and so on.

Indeed, this is where, in my night job as I call it, most of my work comes from, people with computer problems,and whether it is a business or a personal computer, they all contain private and proprietary data, and to these customers you simply cannot overstate the importance of;

1/ knowing that literally only 1 guy is ever going to even physically touch their machine, let alone go anywhere near their private and proprietary data.

2/ knowing that they can have it done just they way they like it, not the default factory reset, etc, you know there are a *lot* of people out there who will pay me an hourly rate to do things like migrate their data with windows easy transfer, even if they could figure out how to do it themselves

3/ knowing it is a 24 hour turnaround, as in proper 24 hour turnaround, not the shit you were calling 24 hour turnaround

B, please do not think this is me having a personal attack on you, but, you do exemplify, almost perfectly, things I have talked about so often in the past, for example I have talked about the one thing businesses CANNOT track and monitor, no matter how high tech they get, is how many people just walk past the shop, would never go in, and why.

There is a *lot* more of that out there than anyone in mainstream business would have you believe.

There are few more competitive and more cut-throat and less profitable enterprises that anyone can go into than building fucking PC’s, I still sell hand built to order PC’s, why? Because I offer things nobody else can, much less will…. I also make a profit per PC that the likes of dell or crapple can only dream about.

If you’re sat there thinking WTF is he on about, there is nothing that one asshole can do that dell or lenovo or whoever cannot do bigger faster better, then by definition you are missing the point, and my class of customers, *completely*.

They, as a group, do not even exist on your radar, and you, by definition, do not exist on theirs.

Again, not something you can “test”, you either cater to them, or you don’t, it’s binary, there is no almost or nearly good enough or close enough.

By the time these people come to *my* door, they have deliberately walked past every other commercial door out there, and I can sit here and say yeah dude, I have a kick-ass website for that, and though I say so myself, I think I do, and my marketing budget, it’s zero.

Word of mouth.

There are *enough* people out there that do not fit “your” definition of commerce and customers that they meet enough of other similar people that it generates enough work for me.

The gap I discussed between the macro view and the larger picture, it is a fucking chasm, and yes, it is full of people who want 500 bucks worth of work on a 250 buck laptop for 20 bucks labour with a 3 year warranty, but, that chasm is so big, there are lots of other people in there too, people who will discuss a set of components with me, order and pay for them themselves, and ship them to me, and pay me 250 bucks to build that machine, and they get an attention to detail and level of skill that the monkey assemblers at dell etc can only dream of, and again, if you think *anybody* can build a PC that well, you don’t understand what a PC could and should be, when silence and performance and reliability come first, component selection was dictated by air flow through the case, as in the route of the air flow and besides, to them, it’s worth the 250, because they know 100% it turns up in their place, plug in, and it just works, perfectly, nothing to set up or tweak or anything else.

If you have ever owned a *proper* tailor made suit you’ll get where I am coming from.

The modern high street tailor made shit with laser cut cloth and fancy sewing machines, it’s a 2 dollar crack whore compared to the bespoke hot teen virgin made just for you.

Because people don’t understand X

Because people don’t understand you can’t do macro *or* the big picture.

Because people don’t understand what “service” means.

I don’t think for a moment your views are what they are because you are in Israel, and I won’t make any cheap jokes about your view being different if you were in Palestine, because you would probably have the same views in Italy, or the US, or China.

But, I have spoken before about how those views you have were once utterly alien in all those places, what the USA did 70 bloody years ago, long before computers or cnc or mig or anything else, building liberty ships in 2 to 3 weeks from laying the first piece to launching, *that* was fucking service.

Your “24 hour production turnaround” in an environment where being brutally honest you just make sure the tool changers are full of sharp tools, and the materials bins are full of material, and the swarf bins are emptied, and a job comes in and basically effectively just gets added to the fucking queue for the office laser printer……  really, you think there is *anything* even fucking *remotely* impressive about that, that reeks of “service” or “customer care” in anything even approaching what those words used to mean as standard?

Yeah, in a world where “WE always answer the phone within 3 rings”, means it gets answered by a fucking machine, please select 1 for assholes, 2 for cunts, and 999 lines to deal with sales and orders, and not one single option to deal with problems or complaints….

But, please don’t get side tracked thinking this is about me, or *my* X, or B, it’s the broader picture, and where all those things fit in, or don’t.

Whether I personally do or do not end up buying *my* X, it doesn’t change *anything* out there, and that is what we all should be aware of, and dealing with, the reality out there.


  1. A very limiting aspect of doing business in modern western society is the prohibitively expensive recurring costs and administrative burdens. The real estate bubble has found its way into commercial real estate, and driven up the cost of leasing office space to the point where an entrepreneur must, at minimum, make a profit above $1000/mo simply to cover the lease on the office space. This figure will likely be more depending on the industrial needs and environmental compliance costs of the operation.

    Anyone setting off on creating their own business must also have all their ducks in a row when it comes to navigating the legal environment, tax codes, permits and restrictions, etc. Those administrative burdens only become more complex when employees are added into the mix. You could be a hard working and honest businessman with many satisfied customers, but if you’re encroaching on the big boys and you’re in violation of any minor aspect of the esoteric zoning, health and safety, or tax codes, get ready for business-crushing compliance and legal costs.

    Even if you can make a profit, as a clever and enterprising individual cutting your own cloth and selling a product or service to willing buyers, you are already starting from the inside of a deep pit that you must climb your way out of. Maybe the above is an over-exaggeration. I’ve never set out on an entrepreneurial pursuit, but I suspect it’s not so far off the mark based on what I’ve seen from small business sentiment surveys; I have also noticed increasing vacancies in commercial real estate on well-traveled high streets. It has almost gotten to the point to where every 4th or 5th unit is vacant in some areas. I simply can’t imagine that many businesses can turn a profit with leasing costs as high as they are, and with the decreasing disposable income of the western consumer. Who knows how many would-be entrepreneurs this asset bubble has crushed.

    If one were to put forth a conspiracy theory, perhaps the big businesses in the industry have pushed for things to be this way. Increasing administrative burdens and leasing costs means that only those who can afford to hire compliance accountants and legal aides as a small fraction of their entire operation can navigate this environment and remain profitable. I think I recall Amazon saying something to that affect a year ago.

    Slightly off topic, but this whole subject brings the concept of the sari-sari store to mind. A sari-sari store is a small window store often on the side of the road or out of a home that sells common goods like food, medicine, coffee, and candy at a small markup to locals who can’t afford or can’t be bothered to travel to a mall or grocery store to get the goods. They are common in the Philippines, and allow poor people access to food and medicine without going through the trouble and cost of traveling to a major point of commerce, and the seller the ability to make a living income providing for their neighbors. This kind of arrangement would be illegal in the west, and the business owner could potentially face jail time. An arrangement of individual sovereignty is long overdue in this backward society.

    Comment by freeman — July 27, 2014 @ 8:24 pm

  2. I’m honored you responded with a post-no sarcasm!

    Let’s keep arguing.

    Output beats no output, every time. That guy who wrote the “Yo” app beats the guy who will write the world’s best OS as soon as insert excuse here. Excuses are like assholes, everyone’s got one, and I’ve watched good enough beat best in theory all my life.

    I do know what 24 hour turnaround means. In this case, the dentist in Japan orders the implant at 9 in the morning, by 5 PM it’s on the plane, tomorrow morning it’s in the customer’s mouth. That IS what you were talking about, no?

    Now, what I used to do was not running the office copying machine. I used to make the cutting bits by hand, take a 2D pdf design and turn it into a 2.5D relief, pick a cutting strategy, etc. CNC is not 3D printing, no matter what you do. Not saying I was a genius at it, not saying that I came anywhere near the boss, who had done the whole apprenticeship dodging wrenches while using a pantograph (WHAT THE FUCK, BOY, DIDN’T HAVE NO PANTOGRAPHS IN MY DAY!” *wrench comes flying by*)but “ensure tray A is loaded with A4, hit “print”” it was not. So I do actually have a bit of a clue here.

    I’ve never owned any kind of tailored suit. The one guy I know who was a tailor his whole life, started out long before any kind of laser cutting, advised me to stick with high-end storebought machine-cut and sewn, and have the suits tailored to me after purchase. Said the whole bespoke suit thing was a bunch of marketing horseshit. I don’t know or care one way or the other. But I do know that the Liberty ships you bring up as an example of worksmanship were known for being considered by pre-war shipwrights as shoddy work, a compromise of speed and price for quality, welded instead of riveted, unsafe deathtraps, etc. How true was that? Well, there was some truth to it, but not all. It’s always a tradeoff between craftsmanship and price/availability/speed.

    Now, as for proprietary info. This is not a problem exclusive to this situation. The second you deploy a design, it ceases to be proprietary. Even a bomb fuse-it works 99.999% of the time? The 100,000th one will get dug up and taken apart. I know a CNC/engineering shop run by a no shit mechanical engineer luminary, classic X+operator case. They make unique stuff. But guess what-the second the demand curve takes off, China copies it. There’s always a tradeoff between secrecy and deployment.

    I hope there is a big enough niche for you to survive, and that it doesn’t turn into a marketing operation, which you’d hate. But, if the only way to find out is to find out, it’s a fools rush in type of deal. But then again, the guy with the Yo app made it big, without any kind of testing. No way to find out how many people would use an app that just let you say “Yo” beforehand.

    PS-technically, by your lights, I AM in “Palestine”, whatever THAT is. We don’t let those guys have CNC machines, fortunately, they cause enough problems as it is.

    Comment by B — July 27, 2014 @ 8:25 pm

    • You could write a Yo App, and you could release it but then your reputation would be forever tied to it as well. When it gets hacked and your users’ data is released, and everyone comments on how such a useless app it is, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. No one will want anything to do with your products from then on, and you will always be known as the guy with the shitty app with shoddy security. Maybe you could get away with cashing out early, but if you have any long term plans, then I don’t see how it’s the best strategy.

      Comment by freeman — July 27, 2014 @ 8:40 pm

      • But the probability of an app/site’s user database getting hacked is not connected directly to its quality or reputation-Yo’s limited feature range tells us nothing about its security or popularity. For instance, the Sony Playstation App Store got hacked a few years ago. Did anyone switch to Xbox 360? The hell they did. We all live in this world, we all know that any one of the sites we register on can get hacked, or the CTO can forget his briefcase and laptop on the train, etc.

        Plus, security is modular. If you release an app you wrote in 8 hours, with basic out of the box security measures, and it takes off, you will be taking follow-on funding, and one of the things you’ll be using that for is improved security (along with all the scalability shit, load balancing, etc.)

        Comment by B — July 27, 2014 @ 9:00 pm

        • as we see today with ios being wide open, by design, has anybody stopped buying ishit? nope. new shiny, new purchase. in a sane world apple would be going out of business.

          Comment by let it burn — July 27, 2014 @ 11:15 pm

    • Oh, I do full design it in rhino export it via stl to cam toolpath generation, my 4 axis mill is beyond obsolete when it comes to feeds and speeds compared to modern kit, so toolpath optimisation and rapids aren’t as important as they would be cutting corners on a 20 kW spindle job, but good enough, CMM and DRO to check of course, so all the above should tell you I’m not a fucking idiot, all this I caan do in my own home, just walk through the kitchen to the workshop, and I know the difference between CNC machining and 3d printers and ordinary printers and plotters and vinyl cutters and plasma / waterjet / laser….

      Trust me when I tell you, compared to the planning and set-up and tweaking you *used* to have to do, it is just as exactly as easy as queuing a print job on the office printer

      Flight time from Israel to Tokyo is 12 hours, when there is a flight, plus customs, lading and unlading, yadda yadda, y’all ain’t getting no 24 hour turn around, from any hour of the day or night pulling the trigger, and it still doesn’t address the issues of proprietary data or materials selection.

      If proprietary data *is* your business (eg limited number runs of artwork) then first, second, third, fourth, and so on, 99th, priority is that data never gets out, anywhere, ever, even temporarily, the instant it is even suspected that it *might* have, your entire reputation just went down the shitter forever.

      You can do all sorts of tricks, for example map makers include fictitious objects and places, which detects copying, and I can’t tell you how many people do this with stl and dxf files, it’s incredibly common, in fact it is more common than not… I could name you one motor vehicle component, it’s made in one of four different places, and you can tell which one by measuring a particular dimension…. but it doesn’t prevent dupes, it just makes them easy to detect after the event.

      Which is fine for mass produced shit, short run is a different world entirely.

      Comment by wimminz — July 27, 2014 @ 9:17 pm

      • Follow up to myself “Trust me when I tell you, compared to the planning and set-up and tweaking you *used* to have to do, it is just as exactly as easy as queuing a print job on the office printer”

        Back in the day, before computers and cnc and dro and all that shit, temperate climate machine shop, in winter you did the precision work in the afternoon, after the tool had had a chance to warm up on lower precision work in the morning, and then 45 minutes to rest and even out temps during lunch, in summer you did the precision work first thing in the am.

        I know cunts now with micrometers and they have maybe ever used the reference pieces two or three times, in total, back in the day, they were used every bloody HOUR…. even if you were measuring the same thing over and over, just to catch temperature and handling.

        Christ they used to leave the work outside or in the stores on a shelf to “season” (and I’m talking ferrous metals here, not bloody wood) for days or weeks or sometimes even months before even considering putting it in a machine and cutting.

        You kids today, don’t know you’re born… lol… now git off my lawn…

        Your old boss, maybe, he didn’t have an attitude problem, maybe you did, not appreciating just how truly skilled and careful and versatile and experienced you had to be, back in the day….. just a thought…

        Comment by wimminz — July 27, 2014 @ 9:29 pm

        • If I didn’t think you knew what you were talking about, I wouldn’t waste time arguing with you, since there would be nothing to be learned and I have limited time in my day.

          Of course compared to what it was before CNC and computers, it’s as easy as queuing up a printer. So what? Compared to what there was 200 years ago, what there was 70 years ago was easy. And let’s not even start on what it took to chip a spearhead out of obsidian, then kill a mammoth with it (and I’m not joking, and there are guys who can make stone knives by knapping today, and they are masters.) Is supermarket steak worse than fresh mammoth barbecue? I am certain it is, from every point of view except the effort expended to get it and the risk of taking a 2 meter mammoth tusk up the ass.

          Of course I had an attitude problem. The old boss was a master. But the shit he was a master at was pantograph and hand-grinding bits and the rest of it. He was very skilled and versatile and experienced. But when it came to software, he was using shit from 1993 because too afraid to try the new stuff, and moving points around and tracing a bitmap to a vector file by hand and taking six hours to set a basic job up, and you can say that’s all very good and well, as long as it got the job done-but it severely limited what he could do. So when it came to something more complex than recess this feature .8 mm and this one .4mm, and customers wanted a bas relief in reverse, he was taking their orders and sending them to China, from which they came back fucked up because he was inarticulate+the language barrier, and it took me to get him set up with the modern CAD/CAM shit to make things in true 2.5D (and I wouldn’t be surprised if they went back to the 2/3 level stuff when I left, because nobody else in the whole damn shop was allowed near his domain, and his own son who was pricing quotes for customers had no idea how to mill shit.) Which is fine-the 1850s shipwright would have looked at the punks making Liberty Ships like they were dogshit. But you can’t move that tonnage at those prices at those speeds with wooden ships.

          On the other hand, we can say that they went to the moon 40 years ago with log rulers, and the SR-71 was made on turret mills, and where’s today’s SR-71 and lunar lander? To which I can’t say anything except that it’s all tradeoffs and dynamic balance, and I by no means think we are sitting in a sweet spot, but I don’t think the sweet spot will involve turret mills and slide rules.

          You’re right on the transit times.

          Comment by B — July 27, 2014 @ 10:14 pm

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