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10-01-2021, 21:55   #16
BenvanNiekerk
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Hi everyone.

I have been quite disheartened at the very cold and cynical welcome I received here, so I am sure you understand that I am perhaps not too eager to check back too regularly. I do however hope this changes in the future. I was very busy working extremely long hard hours over the last few days, so I did not really have time to read through the replies, but thankfully I could find some time tonight.

Kadman, thank you very much for the video, it was a wonderful watch and I have since watched many others and learned a great deal. Thankfully only one or two of the final products will require laminating or bending. It is quite a process, I agree. Further to another post, you made, a legally binding agreement and NDA covering both parties is essential and should be in place before any promises are made.

Quitesailor, thank you for the very informative post. It was refreshing to read, and you make some very good points.

JayZeus, your post was not very nice. The only point I care to respond to is that I agree that equity is key and that if people want to work together they need to do their homework, and ensure their ducks are in a row. I hope that you could try to be more constructive in the future.

Calahonda52, I am sorry to hear about your condition, I did read your posts, although a recent update still eludes me, and I am not sure what has happened since? I wish you the best of luck and hope you feel better soon.

To close off - two points:
First, my business background, since it has been mentioned by more than one of you - I have almost 20 years of management experience, most at mid-to-senior level. I have several degrees and diplomas, almost all relating to business, management, and quality assurance. I am currently studying my MBA at a very reputable institution, perhaps another reason why I might be more preoccupied with other, rather pressing matters, and why I have been quiet over the last few days. My last departmental budget was 20 million euros with 70 staff, so I hope to show that I have some idea of what business entails, and hope that this puts some of your minds at ease.

Secondly, I shall continue to be respectful and open about my intentions on here, as I have been from the very start. I have absolutely nothing to hide, and I am proud of what I intend to start. I would appreciate a bit of help from you all - I am sure it is quite clear I am not from Ireland, and sadly I can't ask my best friend for advice over a pint of Guinness of where I can find certain items or craftsmen - I don't know many people in Ireland at all, otherwise I might have been able to not post these questions on such a public forum, but alas, I was left with no choice and that is why I am here.

I look forward to engaging with you all in a positive manner in future posts.

Ben
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10-01-2021, 23:05   #17
JayZeus
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JayZeus, your post was not very nice. The only point I care to respond to is that I agree that equity is key and that if people want to work together they need to do their homework, and ensure their ducks are in a row. I hope that you could try to be more constructive in the future.
Ben, with all due respect, nice is all but irrelevant if the fundamentals of a sound business relationship are absent. I'm a patient, helpful and courteous fellow, but I abhor those who look to take advantage of others enthusiasm, especially when it's ultimately for their own financial gain. Whether or not it's intentional, makes no difference. You came here dressing a risky investment of time and expertise on the part of the skilled producer as a form of partnership, while demonstrating a basic lack of technical understanding of the product you apparently want to bring to market.

If you had relevant experience, some sort of brand value and a product design at a reasonably advanced stage, you wouldn't be taking such a simplistic approach and that's what initially drew my ire. It would be far too easy for a commercially inexperienced woodworker to end up out of pocket chasing after your vision. Again, real world experience would have enabled you to approach this in an appropriate manner, clearly setting out your requirements and the terms of engagement which would apply in a tenable format.

In a nutshell, you need to put your money where your mouth is in full, commissioning prototypes and paying for them in full. Interpreting your design, acknowledging the absence of technical expertise on your part, brings risk and it's entirely unreasonable that a producer should have to run the risk of rejection at time of delivery simply because you cannot clearly set out a specification and place your order from the outset. This comes from inexperience and suggests that unreasonable expectations are very likely to lead to a fruitless engagement in the making, for both parties. That's fine when it's your idea, but a real waste of time and risks losses for the producer in chasing down your idea.

So Ben, I'm sorry if that doesn't seem nice, but that's the reality as I would see it. Considering the business experience you say you have, I'd have expected you might be a little less sensitive to direct criticism when someone challenges your proposal.

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To close off - two points:
First, my business background, since it has been mentioned by more than one of you - I have almost 20 years of management experience, most at mid-to-senior level. I have several degrees and diplomas, almost all relating to business, management, and quality assurance. I am currently studying my MBA at a very reputable institution, perhaps another reason why I might be more preoccupied with other, rather pressing matters, and why I have been quiet over the last few days. My last departmental budget was 20 million euros with 70 staff, so I hope to show that I have some idea of what business entails, and hope that this puts some of your minds at ease.
Writing with my own 25 years of experience in R&D, Sales, Manufacturing and Senior Management, and as an MBA graduate from a highly regarded university, I know as well as many others here (with or without such experience) that none of this brings notable value if it's not relevant experience within an industry or market with some relevance to your new venture.

I've met a few highly educated, mid to senior level managers with a few years of experience under their belts who can perform very well in an SMB or large enterprise in a departmental role, but who couldn't deal with the most basic of practical challenges in getting a business up and running when it's all on their desk. Have you successfully established a business before? If so, that's relevant, but I would have thought such experience would have been mentioned first and foremost. I'll assume therefore that you haven't.

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Secondly, I shall continue to be respectful and open about my intentions on here, as I have been from the very start. I have absolutely nothing to hide, and I am proud of what I intend to start. I would appreciate a bit of help from you all - I am sure it is quite clear I am not from Ireland, and sadly I can't ask my best friend for advice over a pint of Guinness of where I can find certain items or craftsmen - I don't know many people in Ireland at all, otherwise I might have been able to not post these questions on such a public forum, but alas, I was left with no choice and that is why I am here.

I look forward to engaging with you all in a positive manner in future posts.

Ben
I think there's no real fear that your intentions are to hide things, or be anything less than respectful. I consider my own intentions in replying to be so. I'm a hobby woodworker, with no interest in pursuing commercial work, so I don't have a horse running in this race. What I contribute is intended for both your benefit and for that of someone who could be tempted to respond to your request from this community. So while you might not like the attention or perspective it brings, it's nothing other than a good faith response, something you should be prepared to acknowledge rather than dismiss off hand.

Let's face it: You begin by saying my reply wasn't nice, but Ben, that's really just reinforcing my own suspicions that you're likely to waste someone elses time if they decide to spend it on your idea. You're deflecting from legitimate questioning, expressions of concern, skepticism of your proposal and the terms you'd like to apply to this 'partnership'. Your original post is full of 'we', 'the owner' and 'I' - Which is it? All of this smacks of disingenuous nonsense, pretence and chest puffing. If it's just you, say so.

If you wrote the following, you'd have been met with an entirely different type of response, assuming it would have been permitted here in the first place.

"Hello Boards woodcrafters. I have a basic design for some furniture which I think could make a commercially viable range for direct, retail or wholesale supply. I don't know anything about making furniture, but I have some outline ideas and would like to discuss these with someone who knows about such things. I'm happy to pay up front for design consultation and if appropriate, for prototypes, but I don't know where to begin. Can anyone suggest someone I might contact for advice? I'm located in XXXX. Ben".

Take it or leave it, but you asked the questions and while the answers might not be what you wanted, an experienced business professional with a €20M annual budget and 70 staff should be able to get past their own discomfort and accept that constructively critical feedback isn't always 'nice'. If I were in your shoes, I'd be grateful to have the considered input of others, in particular those who can see through the nonsense and can spot that there's risk and inexperience aplenty on the other side of the table.

Last edited by JayZeus; 11-01-2021 at 00:18.
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11-01-2021, 10:09   #18
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Thats what I am talking about.

A very frank exchange of views and opinions on the original question.Once we leave the egos at the front door,
then we can progress to serious discussion on the relevant points that require fleshing out.

Now that we are on track,
Keep them coming.
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13-01-2021, 19:33   #19
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Just to move this along,


Over the last few days I have been contacted by one or two potentially interested parties in this venture,
for my advice and guidance and potential input in their endeavours, and i have told them that
any discussion advice or otherwise that I have on this thread, I will be posting on this thread.

I am not going to be getting knee deep in pm'ing on this.

Any view, opinion , on the offer of a potential partnership by the op, I will offer here, for the benefit
of all interested parties. It appears potential candidates have made contact, so I hope due diligence is done .

Remember guys, prototype cost is totally different to final design manufacture.
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14-01-2021, 19:44   #20
BenvanNiekerk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kadman View Post
Just to move this along,


Over the last few days I have been contacted by one or two potentially interested parties in this venture,
for my advice and guidance and potential input in their endeavours, and i have told them that
any discussion advice or otherwise that I have on this thread, I will be posting on this thread.

I am not going to be getting knee deep in pm'ing on this.

Any view, opinion , on the offer of a potential partnership by the op, I will offer here, for the benefit
of all interested parties. It appears potential candidates have made contact, so I hope due diligence is done .

Remember guys, prototype cost is totally different to final design manufacture.
Thank you for facilitating the discussion Kadman. I look forward to sharing how this unfolds.
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14-01-2021, 23:15   #21
kadman
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Thanks Ben.

Thats what this forum is all about, different points of view from many posters, on many topics.
You only have to check back through the 1000's of posts to assure your self that there is a wealth of
information from both experts and novices too here. And I would prefer to see views exchanged here for all to see.

Ben, maybe you would like to post some pics of the type of bespoke items that you would like to manufacture.
No doubt your R/D guys have worked on some design brief with you and you are welcome to throw it out here for some
input from many woodworkers who have the skilset to deliver your prototype, or advise the best methods to do so.
Or are you keeping this part of your brief strictly between you and your contactees.
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15-01-2021, 21:24   #22
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I would like to add one additional comment, specifically for those considering the OP's proposal. Sign an NDA only covering very specific conditions which pertain to this particular engagement. Do not sign a boilerplate two party NDA, as it will be too restrictive. If you aspire to produce for other clients, the NDA should limit the disclosure only of unique design elements contained in the OP's outline, in the event that he has indeed conceived of a product for which there are no comparable designs. It should not contain any ridiculous penalties for disclosure, or survive termination of the commercial term by more than 12 months. If the OP won't work with you without this, take it as a clear indication of what may be anticipated should the outcome be less than satisfactory. Forewarned is forearmed.

Essentially, any contracts you sign should not prevent you from discussing how your expertise has been used to realise a design outline as a piece of furniture. You are, after all, the one in possession of the practical skills, equipment and understanding necessary to realise a prototype of a product from a concept drawing. If you bring this expertise to the OP's project, it should be clearly understood and stated that this is not something which will be made available exclusively to the OP during the term of the contract, or for any period beyond that.

The reality is, most of these agreements can be undermined in the courts or through arbitration if you provide for it, but it will frustrate you financially in doing so and distract you from better uses of your time. Don't underestimate the opportunity cost associated with ill-fated projects where one party initiates with heavy terms and contracted obligations.

This is not and will not be a partnership in the early stages, unless you're into taking big risks despite sound advice against doing so, so go in with your eyes wide open. The OP is looking for a supplier of services and/or products, even if he thinks otherwise at this point in time. The need is for such, not for a partner at this stage. Treat him as a customer. That means, be professional, hold yourself accountable for delivering on the commitments you make, but don't ever allow a single customer to limit your options or jeopardise your ability to take what you know and do to other projects, similar or not to the OP's engagement. Don't over-invest yourself in a project if you have any indicators that the payments won't be made in full and on time. It's up to the OP to put in place what YOU need to reassure you in this regard. If the OP doesn't yet have secured funding on hand, I wouldn't be putting any time into this myself.

To reiterate: Time and materials, paid in full, is a good starting point. Test out and prove that the way you work with the OP is beneficial to you, doesn't unduly burden you in terms of draining your resources (time, finances, work life balance, level of stress etc) and only once you've had the chance to assess their suitability as a business partner should the discussion proceed in this direction.

To Ben, and other interested parties, I wish you well.
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15-01-2021, 22:41   #23
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Good post Jayzeus, thanks for your valued input.

In the op's opening post, Ben has clearly asked for expressions of interest from up and coming carpenters.
On that note Ben may be unaware of the skilset taught to a trained carpenter in Ireland. Its predominantly
construction based skils, as in those related to home building. Roofing,timber frame,shuttering, flooring ect,ect.
These are mainly involved with rough timber elements, and require skill to master, but not necessarily the right skilset
Ben should be seeking.

I have had the privilege of seeing similar designs required, I think a carpenter is the wrong choice for this, its like
choosing a mechanic for some panel beating work. He may be familiar with the process, but he is not specifically trained for it.
Having seen the proposed type of item required, if it was me, I would be seeking someone who is familiar with making a wooden Item,
in solid material, and finish the same. This is not the realm of a carpenter. This is the art of either a cabinet maker, furniture maker,
or an experienced woodworker. All mentioned should be able to think so far outside of the box, that there is no box.

You need the skilset, and a flair for imaginitive thinking to be able to deliver an idea or concept, that is not constrained by a normal methods.

Still waiting on the design brief for discussion.?
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18-01-2021, 08:12   #24
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Thank you for the very productive post JayZeus. I realize you are trying to protect your fellow woodworkers on the forum, and I also saw a good tip (or three) in your last post. Much appreciated.

Kadman, your explanation regarding the skill set of a carpenter vs. e.g. a furniture maker was also enlightening, and I thank you for that too.

As for the design brief for discussion, I'd prefer to not share the designs publicly, for now, however, 95% of the product will be standard furniture with a small twist - however good quality console tables, coffee tables, or bedside lockers are small examples. There are only a few items that require steam bending (or perhaps lamination as Kadman showed us in the video), however, this will be dealt with when the time is right.

Thankfully a very experienced person made contact, and he has been around the block many times, so no need for you to worry that I might pull the wool over a junior's eyes We had a very productive meeting, and we are prototyping the first design this week. The aim is that we empower local communities as much as possible during the entire process, and ensure an extremely sustainable approach to everything we do. It was great to meet a like-minded person, so I hope this is the start of a good relationship.

The local enterprise office is also on board, with a mentor already assigned to the project and meetings already held - as JayZeus rightly stated: I might know how to run a large organization, but small ones are a different breed. It is important that you know that which you don't know (a.k.a. trying to mitigate the Dunning-Kruger effect). I look forward to implementing what I learnt in large companies in the small one, and also what I learn from the small company, into the larger ones.

I'll keep you all up to date as things progress, and look forward to continuing to learn from you all.

Ben
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18-01-2021, 09:08   #25
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Well done, I hope the process goes well for both you and your new associate.
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21-03-2021, 11:49   #26
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2 months now since the initial thread, any chance of an up date on how the prototypes went.

I would say a lot here would be interested.
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21-03-2021, 16:16   #27
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2 months now since the initial thread, any chance of an up date on how the prototypes went.

I would say a lot here would be interested.
IPO imminent perhaps
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23-03-2021, 19:24   #28
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IPO imminent perhaps
Are you in?
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24-03-2021, 20:46   #29
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Are you in?
sometimes things happen slowly kadman, patience my friend...
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24-03-2021, 22:39   #30
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sometimes things happen slowly kadman, patience my friend...
tim
I ran out of patience a long time ago on this particular thread.
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