Now, if I veer off of topic and wish to discuss something barely pertinent to survivalism, I can do so with nary a trace of guilt. If you don’t care for it, well, there is the next article a mere twelve hours later. I obviously don’t make a habit of it but if it’s a topic I’m passionate about than that is what you get. So today, I’d like to push back against minion suggested business models. I’m not trying to be a dingus or be hateful. If a reader takes the time to comment, or even more so e-mail, I take everything they say very seriously. But that doesn’t mean I agree with them. And when I don’t, I like to explain myself in minute detail so that they understand why I’m disagreeing. And this is something you should all listen to because it can be applied to other areas of your life. Indicative trends are always a good topic of discussion. It isn’t JUST all about prepping for the apocalypse. You have to get through all the trials and tribulations on the way there. So, for instance, I believe the trend in substandard metal fasteners was actually a survivalist topic.
First thing, you can’t always listen to the customer. They don’t always know what they want, obviously. How many times have you paged through a prepper site or magazine, barely paying attention to the trash lowest common denominator articles which have been rehashed for fifty years, that dead horse merely a reeking red smear by now, and been more attracted to a new product you had no idea existed? Not just a New Mousetrap but a new product altogether. That fire sparker that creates a spark by friction rather than a depletable magnesium rod? That Aussie ( I think ) metal thermos that has a stove underneath so you brew a bottle of tea with some twigs, in a portable container. There was an AR bayonet mount that went on one of those universal clamps ( much better to mount that, even if its effectiveness is questionable, than a flashlight, laser and twenty different other accessories ). Those kinds of things. Heck, if you offered me a non-gunsmithing solution to attaching a lanyard clip to a revolver ( other than a homemade loop attached to the trigger guard or on the neck of the grip ), and it was a $3 piece of material and you charged $30, I’d gladly buy it. That is a piece of equipment I DO wish for, but have the rest of you considered it’s appeal? Lanyards are one of the few military pieces of equipment-besides bayonets, obviously- that I wholeheartedly approve of.
It is the business owners job to discover new products and let customers know about them. Yet, most business owners are actually clueless. Back when I was working and was in one of my periods where I was running out of ideas on what to invest my money in, I subscribed to a butt ton of gun magazines ( I responded to one super discount offer and the rest followed-I didn’t pay full price for any but Shotgun News-I refuse to call it by its new name, just a pet peeve-and that was a deal anyway ). I’m still getting them even as I allow the subscriptions to lapse. And I’m noticing that NOBODY has any new products. When a new company comes out with an AR, the publications of course jump on it like the world just saw the Second Coming, but nobody is bringing out new anything. Just tired retreads. Really, we need ANOTHER plastic pistol? Perhaps we do, and perhaps this company will innovate and offer the new and unique concept of an affordable quality product, but that is all I’m seeing. New companies you need to gamble on.
My point here is not that there is any new firearm system waiting to be invented. There probably isn’t. My point is that all the companies are just playing Me Too and offering nothing new. They are just lemmings following one another. So a company doesn’t necessarily know what customers want. He might know what they DID want, in the past, but has no idea what they WILL want in the future. Quentin Tarantino, modern movie genius, didn’t offer anything that Hollywood thought should be offered. The creators of Seinfeld, one of THE funniest TV shows ever, had to fight every decision by their funding people to make the show they knew would be funny. None of the experts in the business had any clue what constituted a new and improved product. And, yes, I’m comparing my writing to some of the best in the moving picture industry. At least as far as compared to my peers. I might never be as funny as Seinfeld but I’m as good compared to any other doomer blog as Seinfeld was compared to other TV shows. At least that is my humble opinion.
You can’t do what everyone else is doing. You aren’t supposed to be different for its own sake ( modern art might be “different”, but it is still crap ), but for the sake of being better. I’m sure if I ask anyone, hey, should I write non-fiction in stream-of-consciousness, with run-on sentences, they would just call me a terrible writer. Why don’t I write impersonally and professionally like everyone else? To earn money, I should run blog ads, like everyone else ( you know why I don’t do that-it ruins your impartiality ). To keep everyone’s interest, I should cover subjects like everyone else ( a rehash of Backwoods Home, a rehash of Yuppie Scum Survivalist Guides ). Sure, there is some copying. I need a lot of subject material. But I try to cast a wide net, so at least I can minimize. And readers, they tell you what THEY want to read. That is as it should be, but it doesn’t help you the publisher satisfy all the other readers with differing tastes. Even within very narrow niches, if you aren’t just preaching to the choir exclusively, taste vary.
Which is why I write what I’m passionate about, and trust I’ve found a group of readers who follow at least some of my likes. How could you do it different if you want to stay different? Don’t think I just ignore advice to the contrary. I have plenty of blind spots I don’t even know I have. Just that, in the end, Bison Publications International is trying to march to a different drummer. And for good reason.
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