Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Another death in the industry

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Another death in the industry

    Small bear closing shop
    nosaj
    When I die I want to go quietly in my sleep like my grandpa did. Not kicking and screaming like the passengers in his car.

  • #2
    Well, I feared the worst after reading your post. While it saddens me to see that they will no longer be in business, I'm glad to hear that they were able to close up shop and retire on their own terms (in that they were not be forced into bankruptcy or closure because of market conditions).
    I love what I do, but at some point, I'm sure we'll all be ready to stop fixing other people's problems. I hope we all get the opportunity to build and leave great careers on our own terms
    If I have a 50% chance of guessing the right answer, I guess wrong 80% of the time.

    Comment


    • #3
      Well damn. I will miss just knowing he was there.
      It's weird, because it WAS working fine.....

      Comment


      • #4
        They sure had an odd assortment of parts.

        This is a declining industry for sure.

        Comment


        • #5
          He was the guy I bought my very first kit from. A Dallas rangemaster clone. My first foray down this dark path I have chosen.
          nosaj
          When I die I want to go quietly in my sleep like my grandpa did. Not kicking and screaming like the passengers in his car.

          Comment


          • #6
            I guess that there has been quite a lot of businesses that have to shut down due to various reasons.....glad to see that they did it on their terms....and were not forced to do so....

            Comment


            • #7
              I would like you to see another independent business take advantage of the opening in the market. According to their site, the demand is still there.
              If I have a 50% chance of guessing the right answer, I guess wrong 80% of the time.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by SoulFetish View Post
                I would like you to see another independent business take advantage of the opening in the market. According to their site, the demand is still there.
                I was a little surprised they didn't sell the actual company. Maybe they tried? They had a lot of good will and reputation built up. I guess maybe they didn't want to take a chance on someone else ruining that either.
                "Everything is better with a tube. I have a customer with an all-tube pacemaker. His heartbeat is steady, reassuring and dependable, not like a modern heartbeat. And if it goes wrong he can fix it himself. You can't do that with SMD." - Mick Bailey

                Comment


                • #9
                  Steve called me a few weeks before he posted the announcement. Business has remained good, and shows no signs of dropping. However, a key longtime employee who tends to a lot of the day-to-day operations, while Steve tends to the financial and purchasing, has decided to move to another state with his partner, leaving Steve with all the day-to-day operations dumped in his lap, on top of all the financial and purchasing stuff. Steve has been of pensionable age for a while, and he'd like to have something like retirement. The search goes on to either find a buyer for the business, or else sell off the inventory. But at the end of it, Steve would like to be a free man, sometime early in 2022. He and Judy live in a nice part of town, in a terrific city with SOOO many dogs to stop and pet. They deserve to enjoy it.

                  The evolution of Small Bear Electronics has been a fantastic case study in "the new economy", and the role that internet communities can play in it. Steve was working another job, and intermittently posting on the DIYstompbox forum that he could get a great price on such-and-such a part, and was anyone interested in a group purchase. Bit by bit the spare bedroom in their 2-bedroom Brooklyn apartment started turning into a warehouse. It still is, to some extent. When my wife and I visited a few years ago and stayed with Steve and Judy, it was all my wife could do to tear me away from that bedroom to go sightseeing in NYC. It had everything a pedal tinkerer like me could want, and even an amp and guitar to try things out with. The forum, however, provided all the market research a new business could ever hope for. How many emerging businesses get to ask their customer base "Would you be interested in this if I could get it?", and find out, at no cost to them.

                  Steve kept finding deals that people kept wanting. Finally, it reached a point where Steve consulted his late father, who posed a few questions, that led to Steve realizing he could take the leap, quit his existing job (and the health insurance associated with it), and make this business a full time venture. I think a major turning point came when he realized he could afford to have a decent living with health insurance to boot. I visited the Small Bear facility. About 8 or 9 people were working there at the time, with a handful preparing orders for shipping, three guys fielding e-mail inquiries and testing parts, and an office manager. Several rooms, filled floor to ceiling with inventory, some in another part of the same old industrial building in the midst of assorted factories and auto repair garages.

                  The pandemic slowed down processing of orders, often because people who relied on public transit or who had children that needed tending to, simply couldn't come to work, but it didn't "hurt" business. He built it, and they came.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    a decent living AND health insurance? That does sound nice
                    If I have a 50% chance of guessing the right answer, I guess wrong 80% of the time.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm happy to live somewhere where health insurance does not have to go along with a decent living, or even a job.

                      Comment

                      Working...
                      X