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04-15-2018, 02:01 PM   #61
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QuoteOriginally posted by SSGGeezer Quote
And Subaru is the most popular brand of car sold in several states here in the US. I would love to see Pentax as most popular in several countries!
Only those states where their product fills a particular market niche though (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire . . ..)

04-15-2018, 02:04 PM - 1 Like   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Only those states where their product fills a particular market niche though (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire . . ..)
Lots of women in comfortable shoes? Militant conservation loving yuppies? Wood Boogers? Check!
04-15-2018, 02:23 PM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Which market place are you talking about?

I am really uncertain about Europe in general, but in the United States, the Internet really has become the way that electronic devices are sold. Brick and mortar stores are farther and farther apart and even when they exist, the tendency is for people to go into them, try gear out and then order it off the internet for a slightly cheaper price and in many situations, avoid sales tax. This is not just for cameras, it is for a lot of other things as well and it really hurts local stores.

As far as "niches" goes, from Ricoh's standpoint, the idea is to release a very nice product that isn't exactly what your competitors has -- one that stands out in one way or another. In Pentax's situation, they have tried to leverage SR to stand out versus some of the other companies -- adding features like astro tracer and pixel shift and relatively aggressive pricing are all things that make Pentax's K-1 stand out versus the Canon/Nikon offerings at a similar price. As monochrome says, the fact that they aren't spending a bunch on marketing, etc means that they can sell significantly less units and still turn a profit.

As far as your examples, the biography by Napoleon is by definition a "niche" book, isn't it, but that doesn't mean it won't sell. I just read a book about Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson. Certainly a niche biography, but one that has apparently sold a lot of copies based on buzz about the book and the author.

In the same way, releasing high quality cameras will tend to build a clientele, even if you aren't spending a bundle on marketing.
Likely not true in the UK to the same extent, I think. Distances are vastly smaller and tax is nationally imposed. So while internet shopping has made a very big difference of course, there are still B&Ms. And department stores can act as shop windows. You can handle the goods which they’ll sell you at the online price and deliver to your home. Not a bad compromise. I’m lucky but I have a good small camera store in town (part of a national chain) and at least three seriously good other ones within 60 miles. And my regular store always offers deals. Some money off there, a free polarizer in the the bag there. You don’t get that from Amazon.

With cameras, the big question here is whether adding lots of small features and foregoing marketing is more attractive to customers than focusing on the major things, such as good AF, choice of modern lenses and a strong brand image.

Napoleon is a very popular subject. If you want to sell lots of copies of a biog, then I would reckon best make it a mainstream life albeit with a new angle. Every generation brings its own angles so the supply is almost inexhaustible. If you want to go niche, then write a life based mainly around, say, Napoleon’s choice of hats (it was rather limited) and the finer points of hosiery. Just do it hold your breath on the sales figures.

Last edited by mecrox; 04-15-2018 at 02:48 PM.
04-15-2018, 03:05 PM   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
My comments are not at all about Pentax per se but the general market, and I agree about Pentax being a Japanese brand, mainly anyway. Are you saying that if someone speaking for say 68 per cent of stockholders' capital rang up the CEO and said "Let's talk about more X" (or "Let's talk about no more X"), he would be politely told to bog off? I doubt it somehow.
That's an interesting idea. But, so far, I'm seeing Ricoh communicating their plans to their investors - and not the other way around. Shareholders aren't the best to make such decisions, nor should they care to - and to the level of adjusting production volumes?

This being said, shareholders don't always act with the best interests of the company in mind; at times they'd destroy a company for short-term profit. Like SPARX with Pentax.

04-15-2018, 06:29 PM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
Napoleon is a very popular subject. If you want to sell lots of copies of a biog, then I would reckon best make it a mainstream life albeit with a new angle. Every generation brings its own angles so the supply is almost inexhaustible. If you want to go niche, then write a life based mainly around, say, Napoleonís choice of hats (it was rather limited) and the finer points of hosiery. Just do it hold your breath on the sales figures.
?

Military biographies are certainly niche. And I've read enough Napoleon biographies (although not the Andrew Roberts one) to know.

And I'm afraid I don't share your rating of how important bricks and mortar stores are to modern markets. People today even buy clothing from the Internet without handling first!
04-15-2018, 06:39 PM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
?

Military biographies are certainly niche. And I've read enough Napoleon biographies (although not the Andrew Roberts one) to know.

And I'm afraid I don't share your rating of how important bricks and mortar stores are to modern markets. People today even buy clothing from the Internet without handling first!
If I could buy a car on the internet Iíd do it just to avoid the awful B&M Dealer experience.
04-16-2018, 02:07 AM   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
If I could buy a car on the internet I’d do it just to avoid the awful B&M Dealer experience.
I'd guess these are cultural differences. Round here the auto dealer experience can be fine and will include bonuses you'd never see online. I even like the local car guy here. I would not want to live anywhere without shops of some kind. In remoter places they are community hubs, apart from anything else. Online is holding oneself hostage to banks, CC outfits, telecoms behemoths, etc., apart from being soulless. By all means use it but never come to depend on it. You can be dumped in an instant. I've been using the same B&M camera store 40-50 miles away for more than a decade. They are really good and since I first visited they have become known as one of the best outfits in the country. My impression is that they are doing well too. Nothing beats a quality product and, where possible, local sourcing. We don't need Amazon for a lot of our fruit and veg. We get it from a farm a couple of miles up the road. We could do the same for bread, meat and fish, wihtout ever going near a superstore. A lot may change when/if anti-trust regulators in the US and perhaps the EU start taking a very serious interest in the new comms/electronics empires and their often exploitative practices..

Last edited by mecrox; 04-16-2018 at 02:12 AM.
04-16-2018, 06:29 AM - 2 Likes   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
A corporate board is there to serve its investors. Believe me, if Ricoh or another outfit decided consumer cameras were out, they would be out in short orde
I already addressed this, pointing out my friends who just sit in an office, making money by moving money. Until you are able to wrap your head around this fact, if you have money, you don't have to go into manufacturing to make money. In fact you may make more money if you don't.

Corporate investors have ruined as many companies as they have built. Investors ruined Sears Canada recently by taking out more money than the company made. SO yes, investors can ruin any company. And in an awful lot of cases they do. Smart investors don't. Let's not pretend there is some monolithic pool of money lenders called "investors" who are all powerful and all seeing. Many investors are little better than legalized pirates. SO, ya, if they get control of your favourite brand, your life is going to suck. That doesn't mean they run the show.

MY pension fund, the Ontario Teachers Pension fund, is going to pass 200 billion in value within the next two years. Their investment strategy is invest in the most profitable companies, buy up to 49% of the shares. Don't interfere with the running of the companies. Let the team that was successful building the companies do their jobs. DOn't be thinking just because you have money you know something about how the company can be managed.

Your view of investors" is pretty warped. Any company that makes no money obviously won't get their support. But Pentax obviously is earning enough money to earn the support of their investors, so your whole point is moot and will only be relevant if Pentax can't make enough money to keep Ricoh happy. So far they seem to be doing just fine and there is no reason to suspect it's going to change.

04-16-2018, 07:32 AM   #69
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I already addressed this, pointing out my friends who just sit in an office, making money by moving money. Until you are able to wrap your head around this fact, if you have money, you don't have to go into manufacturing to make money. In fact you may make more money if you don't.

Corporate investors have ruined as many companies as they have built. Investors ruined Sears Canada recently by taking out more money than the company made. SO yes, investors can ruin any company. And in an awful lot of cases they do. Smart investors don't. Let's not pretend there is some monolithic pool of money lenders called "investors" who are all powerful and all seeing. Many investors are little better than legalized pirates. SO, ya, if they get control of your favourite brand, your life is going to suck. That doesn't mean they run the show.

MY pension fund, the Ontario Teachers Pension fund, is going to pass 200 billion in value within the next two years. Their investment strategy is invest in the most profitable companies, buy up to 49% of the shares. Don't interfere with the running of the companies. Let the team that was successful building the companies do their jobs. DOn't be thinking just because you have money you know something about how the company can be managed.

Your view of investors" is pretty warped. Any company that makes no money obviously won't get their support. But Pentax obviously is earning enough money to earn the support of their investors, so your whole point is moot and will only be relevant if Pentax can't make enough money to keep Ricoh happy. So far they seem to be doing just fine and there is no reason to suspect it's going to change.
Pentax isn't the issue at all. It's something like 1 per cent of Ricoh. Pentax may well cost Ricoh very little to keep going. The issue, were it ever to arise, would be with Ricoh (or Canon or Nikon or ...), their sustainability and their goals. Or something simpler, like a change of personnel at the top and suddenly they want to do x instead of y. Happens all the time. Nothing is ever fixed, just temporary.

Greedy people ripping outfits to pieces is fairly common, like it or not. Look at the gutting of Pentax leading up their acquisition by Ricoh. Another good one is SuSE Linux, once the cream of European computing, sold out by venture capitalists to some complete numpties in Utah. Closer to home, Ricoh suffered fraudsters at work in India and a few years ago Olympus seemed to have a flirt with at best serious fraud and possibly organized crime.

As I said, enjoy it all while you can. We live in a very, very uncertain world. All the camera companies are probably fine, today. Come back in two or three years and that might not be so (very unfortunately of course). Nothing personal. Just business.

Last edited by mecrox; 04-16-2018 at 12:06 PM.
04-16-2018, 07:42 AM - 1 Like   #70
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Pentax already survived Hoya, they have a track record. Your speculation that investor strategies could derail Pentax are completely unsupported by anything real. I guess the real world doesn't interest you much.

You're doing the "chicken little" here. I could slip in the shower and die tomorrow. Am I going to live the rest of my life as if that is going to happen? Is it worth contemplating?
Why do you want to people to have this idea that Pentax is on some kind of brink and could fall off at any minute?
How is it possible, with two camera models in the last 5 years, the 645z and K-1, that completely exceeded Pentax's expectations, and their expectations were that they would make money, could anyone assume Pentax is costing Ricoh money? Where is this magic metric that makes this assumption of Pentax costing Ricoh money even possible, except in the mind of a complete pessimist?

We all know any company can fail at any time. We also know, most of them don't. What do you get out of this myopic position?

QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
Pentax may well cost Ricoh very little to keep going.
You don't know Pentax has cost Ricoh even 10 cents. I'm befuddled by why you don't understand how negative your posts are. Where's your proof that Ricoh isn't in fact have Pentax contributing to their bottom line? You stated it as if it were an assumed fact. Your attitude is nonsense.

QuoteQuote:
As I said, enjoy it all while you can. We live in a very, very uncertain world.
Ya, I've been enjoying Pentax for 50 years now, and you say "enjoy it while you can." With the passage of time you'll come to understand what a ridiculous statement that is.

Chicken little. "The sky is falling."
QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
Come back in two or three years and that might not be so (very unfortunately of course). Nothing personal. Just business.
You don't see the similarity?

As I asked before "what is the point of your inaccurate predictions of doom?"

You think you're trying to save us? Save yourself instead. We don't need your pessimism.

The simple fact is, if Pentax dies today, I will have at least 5 years where my Pentax gear serves me well to save up my pennies for something else. There is just no doom scenario where whatever happens is more than something that happens. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of photography, Pentax or Nikon or canon dying wouldn't be the end of anything, just a relatively minor inconvenience. So why all the negativity based on nothing?

I gotta ask, if 10 years from now all the major camera companies are all in play, are you going to be man enough to come back here and apologize for all this nonsense?

It's not just you, there are some that believe pessimism is the correct position, there are some that believe optimism is the best position, my position is talking about what you know to be true and refusing to take a position on what you don't know to be true is the best position. Being right, trumps both optimism and pessimism. Being overly pessimistic is just as invalid a position as being overly optimistic. Both base their conclusions on the person's mood, not the facts in front of them.

An intelligent person will not commit to the position that Pentax is likely to be around in 10 years or not likely to be around in 10 years, specific cases always rule, generalizations mean nothing. Please, stick to what you know.

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me Apple computer is going our of business I'd be rich. How are your posts any different than those? We're all those people who held that position wise? Or intelligent? They were fools who thought they knew more than they did, and it has to be half the population.

Last edited by normhead; 04-16-2018 at 11:35 AM.
04-16-2018, 11:41 AM - 2 Likes   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
Pentax isn't the issue at all. It's something like 1 per cent of Ricoh. (...)
Even less than that. It's Smart Vision that is one per cent. of Ricoh. Smart Vision includes Pentax but is not limited to it: it also includes the Theta ecosystem, the Ricoh branded compact cameras, the professional, rugged compact cameras and may be more.
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