Journal: You Can’t Deliver Ornament

October 18, 2012

in Journal Notes

Perfect preparation for a night ride. | Photo: Rob Vandermark

Thursday location:  Seven  |  Studio     8:15 am – 4:50 pm + home work

  • Reality check:  A visitor to Seven Cycles asked me about titanium supply today.  I mentioned, sort of distractedly, that lead-time for titanium – order to delivery – is about 18-months.  The person didn’t think I understood the question.  He didn’t think that 18-months was possible; he expected an answer along the lines of, “a few weeks.”  And it’d be equally impossible to run a business that way, particularly when every frame Seven builds is custom so material planning is really challenging.  But, if you want to use titanium made in the U.S. only two mills make the material.  And therefore, lead-time is often a year and a half.  Long-range planning it is.  nearly impossible and yet Jennifer M. does it flawlessly.
  • Product Design:  Cyclocross fork design.  Worked on a fender mount system today.  Different from what I’ve seen before.  I have high hopes.  Integrated.  Hidden.  Simple.
  • Management:  I’ve been working on Seven Cycles’ new round of five year plan.  Which includes our 2013 plan.  It’s such an interesting time in the industry.   The next five years show a lot more change than the last five years – and these past five have been quite the change.  It’s fun to plan for an unclear future.  That’s one of the reasons a clear and consistent mission is so helpful.  Strategy, too, is a slowly moving target – a lot slower than many in the industry seem to employ.

Journal entry title:  “When you’re forced to be simple, you’re forced to face the real problem. When you can’t deliver ornament, you have to deliver substance.”  –  Paul Graham

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