Originally Posted by Nougat
I get that, but there's a difference between "Here's how you might fabricate this yourself," and "I think I could get these manufactured if enough people were interested in buying. Do you think you'd buy this at $x?" The former is obviously fine. The sense I get is that the latter is only just tolerated.
Well... in a sense you may be right, but really, it's not that we actively discourage it - more that much like the OP, we see it a bunch & given that almost every person that's ever built an motorized bicycle has considered going into business... we jus' kinda wait and see what comes of it. Add in the fact that beyond the ready availability of goodies to purchase we're really not interested at all in the business end of things, it's up to the vendors to figure that out - we're primary a forum for the hobbyist, not such commercial interests.
Rest assured that the vendors (not all even being active members) do in fact use our forum quite a bit already, researching viable products and their market - but honestly... such can be actually quite cutthroat, profit margins are narrow or considered a "ripoff" so it's best to not discuss costs publicly, unique products often copied directly or indirectly - sometimes even before it can be copyrighted or even if it already is, ideas offered freely sometimes taken and used for profit w/o even an acknowledgment... even with such a fun niche market as this - business can be a nasty business lol
So while we don't discourage for-profit product R&D, the vendors themselves may not be willing to be as forthcoming - their base interest as a vendor is in fact sales potential, as it needs to be with any business. While the two aren't mutually exclusive - their goals are somewhat different than the average hobbyist, while we're here to assist one another as much as possible, businesses are usually primarily interested in helping themselves... in that light, publicly posting new ideas can be seen by them as hazardous not helpful.
So while we don't discourage it, I don't think it's a very popular concept beyond the occasional exception - an individual with a a new business or a mere refinement of a product already available for example.
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