Re: Foobies

Richard Hendrickson

On May 13, 2011, at 12:37 PM, Tim O'Connor wrote:

Richard Hendrickson wrote

if it had not been for Gould's obsession with secrecy ...
Based on stories I have heard, an "obsession" with secrecy may
be the key to survival for small businesses making large investments.
Keeping projects quiet is one thing; an obsession with secrecy is
another. If the project is going to succeed, the small business
needs trustworthy prototype consultants. A number of us on this list
have acted as consultants to numerous manufacturers and have provided
essential information, drawings, and photos (Ed Hawkins, Ted Culotta,
Tony Thompson, and Jerry Stewart come immediately to mind, as well as
myself) and none of us have ever, to my knowledge, spoken out of turn
or spilled the beans prematurely. It's never been hard to find out
who can be trusted to provide accurate information without talking
out of turn. Gould's fascination with detailed drawings, combined
with his ignorance of prototype history, were his undoing. Notice
that he followed the non-existent USRA tank car with a model of an
AC&F flat car - again, because the Cyc drawings were superb - which
had exactly three owners: NC&StL, SP&S, and FEC. Hello? Another
fine model, but how many of us need even one, let alone several of them.

The classic example is the R-40-23 tooled by Jerry Porter, who made
no secret of his work, so Intermountain rushed in with the exact
same model (instead of reducing their O-scale R-40-10 to HO scale)
simply to run a torpedo into his side... and IMWX's boat sank very
IMWX's boat was already sinking. Jerry Porter was a meticulous
researcher and talented designer who certainly moved the hobby ahead
a whole lot, but he was also an inept businessman who was trying to
do it with smoke and mirrors and almost no capital. Some of us who
knew him well foretold the end almost from the beginning.

Richard Hendrickson

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