Forums > Social Chat > A sad staff story, i'd like your input on

Login/Join to Participate

RavingLunatic
member

Member Since: 30th Jul 2001
Total posts: 286
Posted:So, once upon a time there was this boy. His next door neighbor showed him the basics of how to manipulate a staff, the figure 8 pattern, and the double handed figure 8. So this boy took his knowledge and expanded on it. He would practice every now and then, with a broom handle, or a hockey stick(this is a canadian story), or whatever was laying around. he liked to twirl, but never gave much more thought to it than a passive entertainment.a few years passed, and this boy was now a young man. he went to an outdoor rave one day, and saw some hippies playing with fire staffs. his mind was blown, and he knew at once that he had to do it.he asked the girl if she could try, she said, no sorry.. but i'll sell you one!so, the young man sat back, and watched the circles of light, enthralled.After the rave, the boy went home, never having gotten to play with the staff. he saved up his money, and bought a staff the next canada day from the hippie and her boyfriend.he practiced all night, and that night he lit the staff up, and danced up a storm for the canada day crowd.in the coming months, he practiced hard, and bought another staff when the first ones wicking grew thin and ratty.he became friends with the hippies, spun with them many times, shared moves and techniques with them. bought many other things from them, including a 13 moon calendar, some essential oils. he even went to their wedding.one day, this young man decided he would make his own staff, he wanted one of a different length. he ordered the wick off the internet (http://www.renegadejuggling.com). he bought some wood, some metal, and some screws. he looked at the staffs he had bought, and made his in the image of it.now, this could be construed as.. plagiarism i guess. he copied someone elses work.the young man felt a little guilty about this, so he checked with the hippies. he said "i feel kinda bad i copied your design" the guy said "well, that's the best way to do it!" then they spun all night together.the young man made a few more staffs, two small ones, a couple more 4 foot ones to do doubles with.. one got broken, another got given to a friend in need... his staffs weren't nearly as nice as the ones he had bought from the hippies, they didn't even have a handle.one day, a few girls showed up at the young mans house. they wanted staffs. they wanted him to build them staffs and sell them to them. now.. this put the boy in a quandry. if he was to sell the staffs to the girls, he could potentially be taking business away from the hippies, who had got him into the art in the first place. he thought about it, then decided it would be OK to sell the staffs, as long as it was only to those 2 friends. he sold them for a lot cheaper than the hippies staffs, because not nearly as much work went into them.well... a winter passed, and the boy lost his staffs. he decided he wanted more. he ordered MORE wick off the internet, a lot more (100 feet). he bought 25 staffs, and 12 feet of copper tubing. his plan was to sell staffs to his friends, so they would stop asking to borrow his.people complained that the hippie staffs were too expensive. and that the hippies were hard to track down.so, things went on over a winter. the young man felt bad, and gave the first staff he made, the only one with a custom handle, to the hippie girl as a present. he also gave them a copy of the COL2 video.then.. disaster happened.the hippies found out about the young man selling cheaper staffs. they accused him of forcing them out of buisness. of betraying a friend. they told him that he was the reason they would never build or sell their staffs again. they told him they wanted nothing to do with him. the young man felt horrible, he had lost 2 good friends.now.. the question i'd like to ask..was this young man wrong? should he have never tried to steal their idea? or was it OK for him to build his own staffs and sell them to his friends?------------------~whoosh whoosh whoosh~

~whoosh whoosh whoosh~

Delete Topic

SickpuPpy
SickpuPpy

Ninja Rockstar!
Location: Denver, Co. U.S.A.
Member Since: 27th Nov 2001
Total posts: 1100
Posted:Assuming that he didn't intend to drive the hippies out of buisness then he is in the right. Staffs are all similer in design so plagerism really shouldn't be an issue. It sucks that he lost friends over it, but it was the hippies choice to stop building and selling staffs. They could have asked him to stop, but instead they decided to get mad about it. And obviously the friendship wasn't worth much to the hippies to let it end over some inanimate objects. The moral? Blame the hippies!------------------If you love something, set it on fire.

Jesus helps me trick people.

Delete

Whiffle Squeek
Whiffle Squeek

addict
Location: Hartford, CT USA
Member Since: 29th Oct 2001
Total posts: 416
Posted:heh, not like theres that many ways to make staffs...fairly basic...

Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

Delete

Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:*With a "duh" stunned look*Not meaning that in a rude way but I can not believe anyone would think it morally correct to stab a friend in the back like that.
Non-Https Image Link
First of all, there are laws that protect such designs, so generally getting permission is for you and you alone, not for the general public. All staves may be similar but I have handled many and they are very different in the end result. And that is the point of creating them to sell, taking pride in your work, making it individual enough to be recognised as such. I can tell the difference between poi Malcolm made and Adam Rice. I can tell the difference between a staff from Malcolm than from Prometheus. The tools are similar but very distinctive. It is about putting time and effort and passion into what you do to turn out a quality product that is not only a tool but that is representative of an art that you have a passion for. In this respect, the boy had permission to make them for himself, and selling cheap knock-offs without premission was beyond wrong.In a business capacity what the boy did is called undercutting and it sets a lousy precedent. Undercutting is when someone offers a half-assed product or service for a reduced price to attract business away from quality professionals, such as in this case.Essentially what this tells the public is that tools that fall apart or break are fine to work with. It drives down the prices for everyone in that specific art and can really hurt an internal sub-culture economy in the end. It also puts out the belief that tool crafters simply put them out for money, not because they take pride in their work, which is vastly untrue of the many that I know. Ever notice that similar stores have similar prices? It is so that there is *healthy* competition, which allows business to flourish, not die a painful death. As a friend, this boy deserved to lose his friends. He betrayed their trust. He ****KNEW**** they used this to make money, to feed themselves and such. He knew they loved what they did or else they wouldn't have done it for so many years. He knew the pride they put into what they did, and yet he took it, cheapened it and took away their livelihood, all the while not being upfront with them. So he kept secrets, stole a design for public use, betrayed their trust, and a lie of omission is still a lie. I wouldn't be able to remain friends with a person like that.It is a sad story. To lose a friend is always a painful thing. To lose a friend because of your own stupidity, no matter what the intention, is worse.I sincerely hope the boy learned a valuable lesson. And thank you for posting this too. Diana the Huntress (I miss her) also posted a similar story about of one of her spinning students ripping her stuff off and then hedging in on a performance. This crap happens in many areas and I hope other people learn how hurtful it can be.My best to you and "the boy".------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...http://www.pyromorph.com


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

Delete

RavingLunatic
member

Member Since: 30th Jul 2001
Total posts: 286
Posted:Thank you very much for your input everyone, especially Pele.This raises an interesting question. where did they get the idea. i'm sure they didn't invent it either. had they not to take it from someone else?as for the staffs themselves, they were made with just as much love and care by the "boy". they were not half assed, or substandard. they were made with the same wick, different wood, and different metal.this is because the boy asked the hippies, where they got the wood and metal. the hippies wouldn't tell him. they just winked and said it was hard to get ahold of. so the boy went to his local hardware store, bought some wood and pipe, and got to work.they were not mass produced by walmart. the boy did not set up shop across the street from them. he sat in his house and crafted them all by himself, just like they did.they lacked a nice leather handle, because they boy did not know how to work leather.as well, the boy WAS upfront with them, telling them several times he was building staffs, even going so far as to GIVE them one.does this change anything pele?(i will be back tommorow, i'd like to hear more peoples input)------------------~whoosh whoosh whoosh~

~whoosh whoosh whoosh~

Delete

Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:The very base of a staff is always the same. It's a big, straight stick, and some even have counter weights on the ends. Now, take a look through the HoP shop, or at other sites that sell them and see how many different ones there are. *Many* because people experiment and use innovation to push the creation to become their own. "his staffs weren't nearly as nice as the ones he had bought from the hippies, they didn't even have a handle"This is where I go the half-assed from. Does that matter in the end? Nope because the boy was upfront about the making but evidentally not the selling, which is where the betrayal is ("the hippies found out about the young man selling cheaper staffs"). If something of a similar quality, modified design, for a similar price were sold, I bet the hippies wouldn't have had a problem. But that seems to not be the case. It was a blatant design copy, permission was given for personal use..not business.. and undercutting the sales (Let's face it, do you think if these guarded hippies figured the boy was going to start undercutting their livelihood they would've given their design? Not a chance.)Setting up shop means nothing in this scenerio, because there isn't enough of a market to support a shop, though there is enough of one to suppliment an income nicely, which is where the encroaching is.The real issue is the betrayal. And there is very little that can change that. Staves were sold behind a friends back and without permission or input. I also would like to add that the boy must have known what he was doing was wrong because had he not, he wouldn't have mentioned the guilt repeatedly, nor would he have tried to keep his "business" a secret. As far as giving a staff and a video, that came across to me more like an appeasement to the internal guilt than a genuine gift offering from a friend to a friend, even if it was subconcious. When he gave it did the boy say, "This is the staff I am going to be selling instead of sending people to you to buy one."? If he did I missed that part of the story.So many things could've been done so differently but coulda, shoulda, woulda....we all have to learn somehow.Best regards------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...http://www.pyromorph.com

Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

Delete

Katinca
Katinca

See my vest.... see my vest...
Location: Adelaide - South Australia
Member Since: 9th May 2001
Total posts: 693
Posted:I don't think the boy is in the wrong. Well if he wanted to keep some friendships he might have been in the wrong. But there is healthy busniess. You can't really have oh my friend is making "blah" to earn money. Better not do that, if there is a large market for it, do it, sell it. Better yet, go into a partnership. But I don't think it is appropriate to say, oh well I can't do that. If that happened in the real world we would have a choice of about 2 products.?? Ok yeah people would be better friends with each other maybe...I am sorry that your friendship fell through. But I don't think you were purposly trying to under sell the Hippies. I mean you said it yourself. Your Staves were cheaper, less work had gone into them, and the hippies were hard to track down. Now if you take for instance K-mart $20 shoes, they are ok made and work, but the Quality and care isn't there then if you bought a pair of leather shoes that a cobbler in Italy made for $300.So I think what you should have done was to ask people do you want a cheaper alternative, but not as nice, or would you like a quality one.But again whos to say the Hippies were better quality then your, looks maybe but functionality and safety maybe not??...I also think that the Hippies were hard to track down is a valid point. You know yourself when you first try fire the first thing you want to do is twirl. The sooner the better, now if you are finding it hard to track down the makers of the tool. You are going to get pissed of. However, since the design was taken from the Hippies (who probably got it from other people who sold staves??? ...who knows maybe the Hippies where friends with these people once?) the "boy" probably should have always promoted them first, as in well here is their number....blah...blah...and then if the person got back to the "boy" saying these hippies were slack and they couldn't get intouch with them, then the boy could say well I will make you one?I think that you are a little harsh Pele. And perhaps competition scares you a little?But getting back to the point, I think the boy did undersell his friends a little, and if I were the Hippies yeah I'd be annoyed. But also I think that it means I would have to market my product more and be around so when people come up to you and say I want one. You are there and say no problems, would you like your name carved into it too?*ramble ramble....slow day at work*Then again. I come from the opinion if you really want to fire-twirl you make your equipment yourself, that way you know how to modify it as you get better and you can make the ideal tool for your personal use.------------------ ~*~ Katinca ~*~

Love and Light

~*~ Katinca ~*~

Delete

Ade
Are we there yet?
Location: australia
Member Since: 14th Mar 2001
Total posts: 1897
Posted:Thanks Katinca, you said exactly what I was thinking in relation to this moral 'dilemma':1. They were expensive - and cheaper products are attractive to some consumers.2. The hippies were hard to track down - a problem if you want to play NOW.3. The hippies should blame their loss of business on poor marketing skills, not undercutting from someone else.I don't think a monopoly of equipment suppliers in a particular area is a good thing - diversity of equipment available will help to broaden our understanding and adaptations within this art. [This message has been edited by Ade (edited 02 April 2002).]

Delete

.draevon
.draevon

member
Location: Androgen
Member Since: 12th Dec 2000
Total posts: 92
Posted:The first staffs we ever ever used were made by a "girl". Now, this "girl" didn't invent fire staffs. She no doubt saw someone elses staffs and had ideas about how to make them better and/or cheaper. She made some for herself and some for the people she was teaching. She had put time and effort into making these staffs, so she asked that these other people pay her a little money to cover her costs and her time.We got some of these staffs, and we saw ways that we could make them cheaper and better. We asked this "girl" where she got her wicking from and she told us. We didn't ask her where to get any of the other things we needed, as they were all readily available at our local hardware store. We made a bunch of equipment for ourselves, and as our group of twirlers grew, we made their equipment as well. We had put time and effort into making these staffs, so we asked that these other people pay a little money to cover our costs and our time.All was well in the land of fire twirling. Until ...One day a stranger commented on the price we were asking for our equipment. He believed that our prices were too high. Rather then using harsh words to get our point across, we gave this stranger step by step instructions on how to make a staff, exactly as we had done. He now had a choice, he could buy a staff from us at the asked price, or he could make a staff on his own and keep his spare coins right in his pocket.This stranger chose to purchase a staff from us afterall.Our staff making instructions are freely available on our website and we are happy for anyone to use our design, either to make equipment for themselves, or to sell to others. We still find that people are willing to pay us the price for the quality of our equipment. This is not our source of income however, and I certainly would not like it to be. If people choose to make a living out of fire twirling and related things, they must understand that there are people who do not see it soley for it's monetary potential. It is not "the boy"s responsibility to ensure that the hippies can pay their rent each week, just as it is not the K-Marts' responsibility to make sure the Italian Cobbler can pay his rent.Wouldn't it be horrible to be stuck in a world with just Pepsi, and at $5/can.raevonof Incendiumwww.incendium.org.

Delete

Charles
Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:Lots of good arguments, although I think I like Draevon's the best...But Pele also has a point, not on the copyright of staffs, but on the pricing issue. It may have been better to charge the same price as the hippies and/or tell them that you were doing so.I know that the second option is a hard one, but if someone is too worried or not strong enough to let others know what they are doing, then they shouldn't complain when people find out and get angry.Overall, I think the price-cutting and not telling the hippies were the two major mistakes, but mistakes that are easy to made.Yes, R'Lunatic, I feel you did those two things wrong, but it's not that big a deal. The hippies should have been more mature and sensible in their response to you, instead of acting childish and just giving up.I think there were errors made on both sides, and obviously the friendship wasn't much to begin with if they didn't even want to discuss it.I do disgree with Pele that "you" took away the livelyhood of the hippies. If it their livelyhood, they wouldn't have given it up so easily, and would have tried to come to an agreement. It was their choice to go off in a sulk, and stop making staffs that cost thenm their livelyhood, and that makes the finality of their decision all their own fault.They could have even asked for you "please stop making them as it is costing us money that we need" and you may well have done that, but they didn't, so they never found out.Both parties are repsonsible for this...and despite some of the facts seeming to be more important than the others, both are just as much to blame.(just my two cents of course...)------------------Charles (AKA INFERNO)newdolbel@hotmail.comhttp://juggle.co.nz/fire/fire.html[This message has been edited by Charles (edited 02 April 2002).]

HoP Posting Guidelines
* Is it the Truth?
* Is it Fair to all concerned?
* Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
* Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

Delete

adamrice
adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA
Member Since: 19th Dec 2000
Total posts: 1015
Posted:My own thinking is that competition is healthy. There are obvious exceptions--when Walmart comes to a small town, drives all the little stores out of business, and then raises its prices, that is not healthy. But that's not what we're talking about here.It is debatable whether "the boy" took any business from "the hippies." Perhaps none of the boy's customers would have paid the hippies prices--the demand would have gone unfilled.It is possible that "the boy" was unintentionally placing an unfairly low price on his staves: if you think of equipment-making as a hobby, not a business, then you'll only worry about covering your material expenses. If you place any value your time, staves get *a lot* more expensive to manufacture. At a minimum, I probably put about 2 hours labor into a staff, and I don't have a low estimation of my time's value.We see a related issue with fire performers--where amateurs will perform for free (or for minimal compensation). This may or may not be taking work from a paid performer, but it can contribute to a climate that devalues the professionalI'm not the only person making fire equipment, obviously, and I'm not the only person who makes poi wicks using my recipe, which (if I do say so) is pretty distinctive and ingenious. I wish I could find the URL of the other person who uses my recipe (or independently arrived at exactly the same thing). Interestingly, he charges the same price for a pair of wicks as I do. When I discovered his web page, I was bemused, but I can't really complain--after all, I publish my recipes right on the web[This message has been edited by adamrice (edited 02 April 2002).]

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

Delete

Posted:I have seen and used a lot of different home grown fire staves, and they really arent all _that_ different.I dont believe the 'boy' was stealing any design, after all by his own admission he used his own design which was inferior in workmanship. If the staves had been *exactly* the same as the Hippies' then I think there would be moral concern for the intellectual property rights of the Hippies, but I think that isnt the case here, after all there is no doubt they got their designs either directly or indirectly from other ppl.I think perhaps that the boy should have told the hippies, and that the fact that he didnt is some cause for concern - but I guess he felt that they would react badly, and it seems that he was right.The behaviour of the Hippies however was of more concern to me - after all, if this is their livelyhood, their staves should sell themselves, not out of charity (oh look, these poor hippies wont be able to pay the rent if we dont buy their poorly made firestix) but because they were a value product. If their product or marketing was at fault they had no-one to blame but themselves. I really dislike the sentiment that the monopoly should be preserved for the sake of the monopoliser - if you cant take a bit of fair competition you are living in the wrong economic system.I guess this for me boils down to this; I believe a product should be sold for what it is worth (whatever you want to include in that go for it - as long as it sells) not just because you have cornered the market, as so often seems to be the case - I believe in a fair transaction; the goods for decent financial compensation.Sounds to me like these 'Hippies' werent very hippy at all, and in fact were waaay too focussed on finances, and not focussed enough on things that should be important to hippies, like valuable interpersonal relationships.So yeah, I think the Boy ideally should have said something, but I think we are dealing with BAD hippies here folx.Josh

Delete

Dom
Dom

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK
Member Since: 19th Dec 2001
Total posts: 3009
Posted:I'm with Kate, Draevon, etc...Only thing I'd say is that when people starting out offer products or performances cheaply you're doing a disservice to everyone. If you can by a bad staff at WalMart for $20 then people are going to look at the $100 staff built by a pro-spinner and bitch that it's too expensive without thinking why. So the good quality staff maker has to cut the price to compete with a $20 crap staff, and the quality of their staff will have to fall.Similarly if an amateur spinner accepts $20 and a drink for spinning in a club that affects the whole market for performers, driving down the percieved cost of perfroming.

Delete

TheBovrilMonkey
TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England
Member Since: 3rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 2629
Posted:This bit here:"... his plan was to sell staffs to his friends, so they would stop asking to borrow his."is why I don't think 'the boy' was wrong in selling the staves he made, as long as they didnt cost much more than the materials.I'd hate to think that anyone whose ideas I used while making the many sets of practise poi for my friends would accuse me of stealing their business and their livelihood.------------------We've got a blind date with destiny and it looks like she's ordered the lobster!

But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

Delete

Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:I think it is interesting that people are focussing so hard on the business of it when that isn't the dilemma at all. He betrayed a friend. There it is, right there.Katinca, please don't tell me I am afraid of competition when that is all my life is. I compete for spots on stages every single day. I compete for spots on pages with my writing. If I didn't welcome competition, I wouldn't be teaching people what I do, belly dancing and creative writing. Please do not insult me or my intelligence. And while it might not be how you meant it, it is how I took it.
Non-Https Image Link
Healthy competition is good, I said that.Healthy is to compete openly and honestly. Evidentally this was not healthy as the boy had guilt over it. We have the emotion guilt to tell us when we are doing something against our moral code, therefore doing this was not right nor healthy for the boy, and the problem is that **he knew that all along**. That is where he fouled in my book. He did not make the design his own and he did not own up to the sales. There is a lack of integrity there in my eyes.I don't think the hippies re-acted wrongly at all. I think their initial response to the boy was wrong. The initial "easing", for lack of a better term, him into the spinning seemed a little off to me.This is how I see it, the basics of story composition are all the same. The imagination behind it, the word choice, etc. is what makes it mine. If I find out someone wants a copy of my story because they enjoy it, then they change the character names and sell it to a publisher I am trying to get into, and they do it for cheaper...I am going to be pissed. That is not competition. In the literary world, that is plagerism. But still, the basics of all stories tend to be the same. If however they write their own, great for them! If they change my story so that it is not recognisable as their story, which a couple of us do trade stories this way, it is interesting and wonderful to see other ways the stories can go. But to peddle virtually the same thing to the same people, that is wrong moralistically in my eyes. I wouldn't even be thrilled if this person offered it to another publisher but it would be better than to the one I was working on. Same concept here.This is not a case of simultaneous genious, where two people come up with the same great idea at a similar time. That is also different, and what happens very frequently in this market.For those who aren't finding their staves to be very different, then I am truly sorry for you. There is a gloriously diverse world of staves waiting for you!
Non-Https Image Link
And lastly, stop omitting things I have written to concentrate on what fits you or reading harshness into my words that is not there. I am a liberal smiley user, and I would use them if I felt that way. This has caused many miscommunications on this board and I am trying to stop it before it starts again. I am not being personal, taking this story personally or anything of the sort. I am stating my opinion based on my moral values. In the end my overall opinion is....he should have told his friends he was selling their design, possibly worked with them to make them more accessible to others, but he should have told them and it might have saved this friendship, which he evidentally seemed to value in retrospect. I think he was inconciderate throughout the whole thing to their emotions.------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...http://www.pyromorph.com


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

Delete

RavingLunatic
member

Member Since: 30th Jul 2001
Total posts: 286
Posted:Thank you everyone again, especially Pele.I came here, not to justify the boys actions, but to work this out in my head.a few misconceptions i want to be clear on though.the boys staffs, nor the hippies staffs were crappily made. they both had a 4 foot long 3.25 inch thick piece of wood, 2 pieces of metal for the ends, and 2 pieces of wick, 2.5 feet long each. there was one screw to attach the metal to the wood, and 2 screws threw the wick to attach it to the wood.this is how to build a staff. there is no other safe, reliable way. well.. maybe you could put three screws.. whatever. that is pretty much it. the boys staffs were only different, because they didn't have a leather handle.as for not being upfront with the hippies. the boy told him, and showed him his first staff, for personal use only. they said it was ok. he gave them the next staff, crafted with a custom handle that took hours of winding tape. you could say it was out of guilt, maybe sub-concious, maybe you'd be right. but.. guilt and karma can be the same thing. he thought it was karmically right to give them one, since they got him into it.as for selling the staffs. here ar the specifics. the hippies sold theirs for $100. the boy made a few, and calculated the cost to be about $35 a staff, plus labour.some close personal friends of the boy, came to his house, and asked him directly, PLEASE make me a staff. so the boy did it. he sold them for $50, because it was for friends, and he was only doing it to get people spinning fire, not to make a profit.At this point, these are the ONLY 2 staffs the boy has ever sold.Now. There is more to this story, i will explain later, the recent developments.------------------~whoosh whoosh whoosh~

~whoosh whoosh whoosh~

Delete

DJ Dantana
veteran
Location: Stillwater, Ok. USA
Member Since: 15th Aug 2001
Total posts: 1495
Posted:I think "the boy" has already shown us if it was wrong or right....he repeatedly said that he "felt guilty" about what he was doing....he is already his own judge. he was wrong for not being open with them, and that is his only offence, the fact that they "found out" means that he didn't tell them, he didn't tell them because he felt guilty? then he is his own judge...whats all this crap about $100 staves and poi being better? Ok, I'm sure some people have to make money...but personaly, I make my own fire staves for about $4 each, and I make my fire poi for about $6 a set. (and they work just fine for me) sure, they are getto, and cotton wicks need to be replaced every 100 or so burns, but they do work, and they don't take more than five minutes to replace. I have never sold any, or given any away for free....never had the opportunity. (I do give away practice poi though) If I am doing a performance and somebody asks if I bought them, I reference this web site, then I tell them I made them myself....If they want to buy kevlar poi and nice staves (I hear is is the bomb!) then so be it, but if they are "poor country folk" like me, they can't afford to spend lots of money when they can get the same experience for a lot less money. I would love to buy some kevlar
Non-Https Image Link
from Malcolm one day, but that might be a while...


we eat and we drink and we smoke and we try!

Delete

Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:The way the original story was told sounded, at least to me, that the boy sold many more staves than two.
Non-Https Image Link
As for the quality of the staves, in the story it said they weren't as nice. Again
Non-Https Image Link
My opinion still stands but a question...are you "the boy" here RL, is this hypothetical or a story of where you got your staff? I am curious.Honestly, I read it that you are the boy but will not assume as much, so I thought I would ask.Many kind regards to all------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...http://www.pyromorph.com


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

Delete

Jaeden
member
Location: Edmonton
Member Since: 2nd Sep 2001
Total posts: 220
Posted:Just because someone feels guilty dosen't mean that they are wrong in what they did. Now, as more recent developments are not yet posted, I can only reply to what I read here.The situation:-The boy got introduced to fire-spinning by the hippies. He enjoyed it.-The hippies sold him a staff at $100.-The boy realy likes spinning staves and wants more but can't afford/dosen't want to pay $100 dollars each, so he makes his own.-The boy feels guilty for making his own staves instead of paying the hippies $100 each (now you say that his guilt makes him wrong, so I ask: Is making your own equipment wrong?).-Now here's the tricky part. Two friends aproach the boy and want to have thier own fire-staves. They have dificulty finding the hippies and would not pay $100 per staff even if they could, so they ask their friend to make them a pair.-The boy agrees to make them. The staves cost him $35 to make and take time that he could have spent doing something else. I assume that he is not a wealthy individual and just wanted minimum compensation for his costs and time.Now, for some reason the hippies took serious offence to this. It is not as though he set up his own staff making buisness, he just sold to a couple of friends (basicly at cost). He did not take any buisness from the hippies as these friends were not prepaired to pay $100 per staff. I believe that the hippies mistook this situation as the boy attempting to cut into thier monopolistic staff making buisness when all he realy did was help out a couple friends. If he planned to continue selling staves, then there might be a potential problem.It was unfortunate that the friendship was lost, but I see no wrong done by the boy at this point. Just because the hippies got mad and he feels bad about loosing thier friendship dosen't mean he was wrong in what he did.

The world is not out to get you but if you fight it you will be eaten alive

Delete

RavingLunatic
member

Member Since: 30th Jul 2001
Total posts: 286
Posted:Yes Pele, the boy is me.I wanted to tell the story in 3rd person to be as objective as possible.the staffs weren't as nice, because they lacked a leather handle. also there's were stained black, the wood and the metal. i'm unsure whether they got the metal and wood black, or painted it themselves.mine are regular unpainted wood, with copper ends.other than that they are identical. they are not any less safe, or less usable.there is more to this story, i am at work right now, and can't elaborate, but i will this evening.but as of now, those two staffs to those two friends of mine were the only ones sold.------------------~whoosh whoosh whoosh~

~whoosh whoosh whoosh~

Delete

nomad
nomad

retired
Location: Paris, France
Member Since: 15th Jan 2001
Total posts: 356
Posted:Yay, Josh and Katinca are back!!!
Non-Https Image Link
Nomad------------------A.N.T.H.E.L.I.O.Nwww.anthelion.org


Delete

RavingLunatic
member

Member Since: 30th Jul 2001
Total posts: 286
Posted:OK.. the more to this story is this.Me and my firespinning friends, used to go and spin fire, every friday night, in a public park. We loved our little gatherings, we had drummers, dancers, singing, tea, candles. it was a great place to come, and got very popular quickly. this is the 4th year now that we have been doing it.last summer, i had a vision of making this a REAL event. not something to make money at, but something that was publicized. most importantly, we wanted the city to unlock the gates covering the power. then we could have DJs down at the park play music for us too.I told the hippies about this, and they said, yeah let's do it! set it up! that's the last i heard from them.last year, they passed a bylaw, that nobody was allowed in the park after 11pm, without a permit. so, i went and applied for a permit.unfortunately they needed an insurance policy for this permit. nobody will insure us, the word fire is a scary thing to insurance agents. if they would, the cost would be prohibitive. so.. i racked my brain for a way to raise this money.all this time, i referred people to them, to get a staff, or poi, or lessons, or herbal tea. even going so far as to buy stuff from them for other people, only to get the money back later.all this time, people kept showing up at the park every week, asking where to get a staff, and borrowing mine, abusing it in fact. i didn't care, i just liked to see people learn to spin.i decided i would build staffs and sell them. in anycase, i didn't want the money, i am doing it only to get people spinning. note that this whole time, the hippies had staffs at $100 in a shop in town, nobody was buying them. they had first decided to teach lessons. nobody wanted them, so they changed their minds.I got a course organized with the city. taught by me and a female friend.now.. this part is key. i INVITED the hippies to help. i wanted them to build poi, and teach poi, since i suck at it. I was completely upfront about everything with them. i told them i would sell them my wick at the cost i bought it for. they declined. they want nothing to do with me. they confronted me in front of a group of my friends, and accused me of stealing their buisness. called me and my friend "little walmarts"they are packing up, and not doing the farmers market, or selling or building staffs or poi anymore.now, if someone in my town wants one, they HAVE to come to me(or build their own)that is never what i wanted!i wanted to include them. they declined. they wanted it so that nobody in town could have a staff unless it was bought from them. they were secretive of their methods, and hard to reach.if i had not made staffs, or sold them, or taught lessons, nobody in this town would even have one now.now. i came here to get some opinions from fellow spinners. 90% of the people i ask say that i was not out of line. 10% say i was.I don't feel guilty, but i do feel sad i lost some friends.------------------~whoosh whoosh whoosh~

~whoosh whoosh whoosh~

Delete

Posted:I really think that the product should sell itself (with appropriate marketing). I think people who appreciate quality will pay for it. The Reason that a large range of prices for similar goods exists is because people are prepared to pay for the perception of quality/status. I don't believe that because Kmart sells $20 tennis rackets, nobody is going to buy a $300 racket. Is anyone disputing this?Does anyone here really think that by RL selling a few home made staves to his friends the hippies will/could be put out of business (even tho I don't believe they are really in business - since their marketing appears to be non-existent). In fact I think Jaeden has a good point - if the people whobuy the $50 product would not buy the $100 product under any circumstance, then the maker of the $100 product is not even in the same market as the maker of the $50 product - and has no place really even having an opinion on the $50 product maker's market. Unless the two products are in the same market there is no competition. Now I know that this case is more complex than that - but that is the essense of it...yes?Aside from this, I think that this whole artificial price fixing thing (people putting on shows cheap do everyone a disservice) is a crock. If buyers in your market are not prepared to pay for your product because they perceive they are getting better value for money by going with a cheaper product, its your problem, not theirs, and definitely not the cheaperproduct vendor's. Its your job to sell your services, and to justify their price, people will pay for you only if they think your product is value for money (or return on investment) - they shouldnt have to pay a premium because you have bullied the competition out of the market. I Do understand that a pro performer has higher costs associated with being a pro, eg insurance, time, travel, expenses rent etc etc, but if you can't justify this to your buyers, then you arent in a good market position, and simply squashing 'newcomers' with bullyboy tactics isnt fair. If theconsumer doesnt know why they should pay $300 for a 1/2 hour performance instead of $30 - then who is at fault?After all, the newbie is going to learn very quickly about the costs involved, and or there will be mistakes made. There *are* obvious differences between pros and hobbiests, a couple of obvious selling points - audience awareness, costume, insurance - it is not the newbies or theconsumers fault if you cant justify your own expense *to the customer*.Now arguements can stream on for days about the dangers to the market of having newbies putting on performances, but really I've been there and done that. As a webdeveloper stuck in the post dot.com crash era, I *know* all about being undercut by Bobby down the street selling an inferior productand no idea how to even spell professionalism. However, I'm not going downthere and telling him not to practice or try to make a buck, I have confidence in my product, and I know that consumers who value *their* time,money and business will pay what I ask - because I can easily justify mybottom line. Part of my job is showing potential customers the reasons why they should pay me more than Bobby.As for betrayal - I think RL would have been betraying his two friends by forcing them to pay a higher price when he had the skills and the know how to help them out - I'd certainly do the same in his position (as stated so far). I see it as a lesser of two evils situation. Sure he felt he was doingsomething wrong which might potentially hurt his Hippy friends, but would it have been worse to hurt his two other friends directly? I think so. After all in directly RL is saying that *he* couldnt get in contact with the Hippies, they certainly cant be very good friends (let alone businesspeople) if he couldnt get in contact with them.<disclaimer>I feel that there is more to this, however if/until it comes to light, I can't take anymore than what I have into account.</disclaimer>woo deJaVu!
Non-Https Image Link
JoshPS - Been around Nomad - just been quiet, nice to 'see' you again too mate!
Non-Https Image Link
--------------------The thinking-person's firedancer - Jude, 2001


Delete

Posted:---follow up in light of new info---RL, like it or not, your product and marketing was better than theirs. Sounds like they couldnt organise their way out of a paper bag, and should have jumped at the chance of going into business (the Course) with someone who can Make Things Happen (you). That way they would finally have gotten paid for what they were good at - spinning and fire tool making without being penalised for being terrible business persons...but they were too proud for that, and so they did their best to attack you personally talk about unfair and insecure!Sometimes you come to a point in your life where you realise that this person you always used to think of as a friend really isnt.Its a tough spot - but hey - who said life was going to be easy?Are you putting the $15 profit ($35 materials cost vs. $50 sale price) for each staff towards the insurance? Is that why you mentioned this;"... i decided i would build staffs and sell them. in anycase, i didn't want the money..."cuz it sounds like you are planning more than just a few 'at cost for my mates' gigs...Josh--------------------The thinking-person's firedancer - Jude, 2001

Delete

RavingLunatic
member

Member Since: 30th Jul 2001
Total posts: 286
Posted:thanks josh..

*looks around*

nice new forum. the grey and black and blue is still ugly though. i'd like to see it black backround, orange text, that would be more appropriate..

*anyway*

to clarify josh:

my marketing was non existent. I sat in my house. I played with fire in a public place once a week. people ASKED me for staffs.

Their marketing was pretty good actually, they had buisness cards, booths at canada day, stands at the famers market..

their prices were simply PERCEIVED as being too high. i didn't think that they were too high. I bought 2 staffs from them.

My product was not better than their's either. in fact, i miss their staffs, the leather handle was nice.

as for selling future staffs.. well, that is the point i come to NOW. they have told me they are out of the buisness. NOW i plan on selling more, both to raise money for insurance, and because i am the ONLY place someone can get one now.


~whoosh whoosh whoosh~

Delete

[Nx?]
[Nx?]

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Europe,Scotland,Both
Member Since: 5th Nov 2001
Total posts: 3749
Posted:1: all sticks are diffrent

2: all sticks will spin


This is a post by tom, all spelling is deleberate
-><- Kallisti

Delete

DJ Dantana
veteran
Location: Stillwater, Ok. USA
Member Since: 15th Aug 2001
Total posts: 1495
Posted:good points [Josh], very well said. It sounds like RL didn't realy do anything BAD, after further review of the situation, I think I would have done the same thing. Actually it seem RL was helping the hippies by getting more people to spin, therefor more people who might latter on buy the hippie staves... who is going to by a $100 saff if they can't even spin yet? and them getting mad at you for selling a couple of cheap staves TO SOME FRIENDS is bullsh#t. that is what friends do for eachother....favors. would they have got mad at your friends for making staves for themselves? and since you were help friends out, as apposed to undercutting and monopolizing for profit, it is the hippies who are out of line...me thinks...

we eat and we drink and we smoke and we try!

Delete