The Michael Schumacher Effect

I reposted Chris Schwarz post about the SawStop as I agree with a lot of his sentiments, particularly around the politics behind the brand. No, this isn’t designed to start an arguement here either- we’ve had the SawStop discussion already.

What I wanted to comment on is how a brand can be really tarnished, despite its obvious quality.

Take Michael Schumacher- you either love him or hate him (or really past tense these days), but he was undeniably a phenomenal driver, but sometimes you were left bewildered about why he did some of the things he did. As an avid fan, you either had to doubt the credibility of the reports, despite the evidence, or accept that someone you were a huge fan of occasionally did things that shook the foundations of the pedestal you otherwise placed him on.

Same with Sea Shepherd – with a general principle you agree with, and support sometimes come out with the most blatent falsehoods and bogus interpretation of events, and again you are placed in a position to question why you should continue to support the organisation.

And I see the same issue with SawStop. On the one hand a remarkable product, superb build quality and phenomenal safety feature, yet a reputation damaging arrogance to try to use the legal system to force their product onto others.

Why do these companies or individuals feel the need to competely undermine the incredible job or product with stupidity, arrogance or both?

That’s all I wanted to say on the topic. I’d love a SawStop, but like Chris, have to ignore the background noise. Unlike Chris who can afford to buy one outright, I can’t afford the luxury of some phenomenal technology. Never mind the pricing down under.

6 Responses

  1. Pricing down under….. Wow, understatement of the year.

    I too would have loved one, but then received the quote, I was stunned. I double checked to make sure I wasn’t quoted for two…or three!

    The Australia Tax bit hard on this product (plus the fact taxpayers will end up paying the bill as every school and facility will default to OH&S “requirements”). It sends me into a rage. At 7.30am. 😦

  2. What I don’t like is blog authors that post a position on a topic and then don’t allow their readers to comment. Especially with the word “pollute” in a closing sentence. It gives me a feeling of self-righteousness which I can’t stand.

    • Well you can here – I think there are a total of about 3 posts on here that I have ever disabled comments, and that was because they were about heath issues and I wasn’t looking for sympathy (and well-wishes were assumed 🙂 )

      I can also understand Chris’ perspective though a. because the SawStop is a very polarising concept which because of what they have tried to do politically brings a huge amount of opinions out. b. because the machine itself raises questions about safety and that you can in fact make machines safer (for a price), and c., Chris himself is regularly subjected to a lot of hate mail I gather, and him buying a machine already surrounded by controversy will fill his inbox.

      • Stuart,
        I appreciate you allowing replies that are relevant to the topic. I agree that personnel hate mail, off topic subjects and such shouldn’t be posted.. I’m sure someone would also cry foul when their reply is not posted, but that comes with the territory it would think. I would be asking the following on Chris’ post if it allowed me.

        If an author of a blog doesn’t want a reply or discussion, why post topics that are polarizing? He could have kept his point of view to himself and just bought it without making an announcement. Even simple hand saws reviews can generate opinions that are contrary to the author’s opinion.

        I also have to reiterate that using the word “pollute”, as a description of other people’s opinion, is a very poor choice. Most people’s opinions are not pollution. Everyone you meet is an opportunity to learn something new.

        Thanks again. Hope the shed exceeds expectations. ‘ll let this topic rest now.

  3. I dont know too much about the whole SawStop saga, but I guess it all depends on whether they are trying to legislate their patented system be the baseline requirement or if they are just trying to legislate products must include safety features. Hard to argue against safety requirements….

    What is a safe table saw – not a table saw! And therefore it doesn’t really matter what you do, they will always have an element of danger.

    Here in the UK for example we don’t have access to Dado Blade sets except as an import, the reason being that the spliters and guards don’t cater for their installation and therefore are effectively banned for being unsafe and promoting unsafe working practice – but you can happily put your hand down on a table router!

    I can understand the competition fighting SawStop to stop them forcing their technology on your products, especially if it does up the unit cost of the base unit – but this will come down due to volume licensing deals and as time moves on and other competitive products come to market.

    I therefore assume the fight against is purely a delaying tactic until their R&D boys have come up with an alternative patented device. Sorry if this sounds cynical but i work in procurement and this fits right in with the tactics I have seen over the years.

    From a personal point of view – Sawstop need to revisit their business model to make their product more accessible to the end user in terms of price and to other manufacturers as a cheap licence add on (personally I would give it away for free on new machines, and like printer cartridges recoup on cartridge sales – which is a long term stratagem)

    Just my two pennyworth.

  4. Having seen one, I would get one if I was interested in that “American” style table saw that so many drool over – they really are well made. The safety aspect however really doesn’t appeal to me, I’m too much of a libertarian. As mentioned above, the final nail in the coffin is the astronomical price in Aus. I’d rather buy a Felder (and did).

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