Maybe it was?
Let's say it was - and not count the facepainting, generic wheelsets with "Hawk Racing Technology" (which itself has been highly criticized over the past few years), or other things that were brought along with the act.
Towards the end of InterBike there are show specials, or companies willing to offload stuff right there on the spot for a set price - usually 2012 stuff, rarely 2013 items, and usually things that have been sitting on the display for the past week (or year, if it went to EuroBike and other shows). Could he have sold 150 bikes/frames? Certainly a possibility, but it isn't a mark of success. At the cost that he originally wanted? Mmmmaybe, maybe not. I'm sure Josh will come back on here and do some more yelling otherwise, so we'll just wait for his thoughtful reply where he states that people were paying more than he was asking for, there was a mad rush of people clamoring to get their faces painted like the Insane Clown Possee, and that he won the award for best display ever (!!!!!!1!!!) at InterBike. For most companies it is easier to sell off the display products than take them back (saves on shipping/fuel economy/storage/hassle, and makes a few people happy with their takeaway from InterBike)
So let's assume he sold 150 bikes/frames at the cost he wanted. Success? Better than selling zero.
Success would be landing major distribution deals with stores of significance in large markets.
Success isn't offered team-sales for a few small teams on the amateur circuit. That's just getting by and accommodating small teams that can't land sponsorship from the bigger, more capable companies (and by more capable we are referring to delivery, customization of product, service, club pricing, warranties).
Does 150 bikes/frames guarantee success? Nope. Rock Racing probably sold more than 150 in their first run - and those weren't even open mould frames. I'll look up their website now... *cough*
Does 2,500 Facebook "fans" guarantee success? Nope. Ask any analyst on social media and they would laugh, then ask for some more money.
Now, moving on to more 'industry' news:
I can say for certain though more people were interested in the actual open mould frames than in previous years. Friday afternoon looked like all of the display frames were in people's hands. For example, HongFu sold almost all of their display models (the exception being their new TT frame which was built up as a full bike and has not made public delivery yet). Everytime I walked past either the China zone or the Taiwan zone (let's put aside political issues there), I always saw at least one group of persons sitting at a table and discussing large orders. Probably for their own-shop-brand or their local team. I believe this indicates more people are having trust in the open mould frames. Simultaneously I believe that the market of people who are gullible enough to buy a 'branded' open mould frame is diminishing, and eventually people will just buy their one-offs directly from the mfgs or even develop their own local brands based off of the open mould frames.
This is entirely fine: companies will always exist and do well with their own designs, be it smaller companies like Boardman or Neil Pryde or larger brands such as BMC, Look and Specialized (and everyone in between of course). Ritte will probably have continued success if they can nail down their own designs for larger production, such as their steel frames, as the open-mould phenomena passes up the brands that have claimed it as their own. Ritte would be best off moving this way as quickly as possible, as I did hear some frustration on how "the guys across the street" (*ahem*Franco*ahem*) "stole" the mould they were looking at and released it to market first (along with PedalForce following suit, etc:.).
Increased competition for the exact same design? People will just end up going to the source directly, and the sources are becoming more and more open to selling directly to the consumer.
Heck, even my own non profit may have branded fixies by the middle of next year, with brakes of course.
|| Other projects in the works.