Justin again you put it better than I ever could.I think everyone had a pretty accurate understanding of Ken and his knives: a talented and successful knife maker and designer who's very good at designing / making knives for non-kitchen applications, folding / edc, utility / wackin' at stuff... but who really doesn't seem to understand (or at least design knifes that show an understanding of) the ultra-high performance kitchen applications. Time and time again we've seen very skilled and knowledgeable makers take a crack at kitchen knives and walk right into some of the pitfalls that I mentioned in an earlier post in this thread.
A common trait amongst the one's that eventually "get it" is that they choke down whatever pride and ego may get in the way of learning (or the realize that failing / learning from failure is not a shameful thing, but essential) and they made a transition from "pretty bad" to "very good" in a pretty short amount of time.
I think that part of the reason why Ken's kitchen knives got blasted was that (in addition the the earlier ones being pretty bad) it seemed like he wasn't paying attention to anyone that really understood high performance kitchen cutlery and was instead approaching the designs like he already had all the answers from designing completely different types of knives and using fans, not critics, to validate his assumptions.
His posts just reinforced a hunch that I think many already had about his arrogance and rejection of criticism.
It's really a shame because there were so many ways that this situation could have gone "right": Ken could have come in early as a vendor and said "hey guys here's the project I'm working on, what do you think?" The idea of a top quality, contemporary, all American kitchen knife is one that folks on here would have been all over. In Fact, just the mention of such a knife in this thread inspired some KKF vendors and members to design their own small run of knives with L & G.. and the related posts have generated over 80pages (and counting)... imagine what the response would have been had there been a similar thread started by Ken...
There would have been criticism, but the vast majority would have been constructive and respectful. Ken could have done pass-arounds, of the development and pre-production knives. He would have generated the kind of "viral" or social buzz that sells (more) knives, and the resulting product would have sold its self to a much broader audience. It really could have been "the" breakout American knife line on a national and international level. ...and this thread never would have started the way that it did.
However, even just acting in reaction, after the thread was already spun up, Ken still could have come in as a vendor and been welcomed with open arms. Just talking about his design decisions and hearing other people's options, and, even if he disagreed, comporting himself with some dignity and class would have earned him respect and probably even some support if not the blind adoration to which he's accustomed.
Even if he didn't want to fork over the cash to come into the community as a vendor with the ability to discuses his branded products in detail in his own sub-forum, it wouldn't have been difficult to post like a human deserving of some respect and avoid the ban. I thought that it was interesting that even after his first rather obnoxious post, quite a few people wrote him very polite and welcoming responses.
I've also criticized some of the censorship and rules on here, but agree with them or not, I do know that you have to work pretty darn hard at getting yourself banned. Regardless of what else anyone thinks of him, I think that there's no doubt Ken has work ethic.
In the end, I just feel disappointed and annoyed that great potential was wasted by foolishness.