I don't understand why Ciamillo can't just test the product, pay for advertising like any other company and sell a finished product when there is a finished product to sell.
It would save everyone a lot of time, energy and typing.
Well, the reply is easy, it has not the critical size to afford it !
When you have the critical size, you can make your staff working on your everyday tasks and focus on R&D.
When you only have workers and no permanent sales manager, it's just very complicated !
So, there is another solution: fire your team during the R&D process and borrow money to the banks.
As of today and after the crisis I no longer want to borrow money to the banks and Ted probably does not want too... or maybe cannot because it's hard to see a bank that would be expert in crank design to evaluate the chances of success.
But what is more clever, is to make your address book a kind of shareholder sit a reward that is to save a few hundreds of dollars and getting sure to receive the first cranks.
The last solution is simply no crank, no more new products, and so a business that is dying slowly.
I would personally hate having only Sram, Campy, Shimano on the groupset market because they would manage their own prices and not invest in new products. Small business are showing that it's possible to make something different and they are making products with better ratios (quality/weight).
But, yes, you're true, the real line to follow for a such project is testing/advertising/selling, and Ted agreed that he did not invest his money for the right projects at the good time. But Ted is first of all a machinist.