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Thread: New Ken Onion line/ vendor complaints about reviews

  1. #131
    Senior Member Crothcipt's Avatar
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    Jan 2012
    wyoming, closer to nowhere than somewhere.
    Quote Originally Posted by Justin0505 View Post
    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.
    Justin again you put it better than I ever could.
    Chewie's the man.

  2. #132
    Quote Originally Posted by mkmk View Post
    Then maybe the terms of use could use some revision. For someone to have to pay a high price (presumably something considerably higher than the $250 hobbyist rate) to respond to a criticism is the very definition of an exclusive, pay-to-play system. This guy isn't looking to sell here, and likely never would; he was responding to comments.

    And before someone says I'm a shill, I'll repeat that I don't know Ken Onion, and have no interest in the knives. I simply don't like to see things like this degrade the credibility of the forum. And to be sure: they do.

    Why the hell should Ken Onion be afforded any special treatment here? He designs knives that people here don't like and they say so and for that he deserves the right to "respond to criticism"? Yeah I'm not agreeing with that at all.

  3. #133

    ecchef's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    In the Village.
    Quote Originally Posted by Noodle Soup View Post
    And to enter you need to pay for a booth.
    Just like here...rules are rules.

    I agree that it would be great if more kitchen knife makers would compete. Beats me why they aren't doing so already.

    I don't understand why my '"royalties" comment would raise your blood pressure so much. Is it wrong to think that he's profiting from sales? It sounds like you may have some insider information about Mr. Onion. Anything constructive to share with the community?
    Though I could not caution all I still might warn a few; Don't raise your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools. - Robert Hunter

  4. #134
    Quote Originally Posted by mkmk View Post
    What do you charge a vendor to participate? $500? $1000? Whatever the price, your scenario that leaves no space between non-participation and full investment means that you literally have a pay-to-play environment. You shouldn't be surprised that as a result, people will see this forum as insular and exclusive with regard to brands and vendors. It's written into the DNA.

    Now, maybe that's fine, and maybe you believe it's the only way you can avoid slippery slopes. What's unmistakeable, though, is that it erodes the credibility of those who DO participate as sponsors. What possible harm is inflicted on Jon or Dave by allowing Ken Onion to respond to criticisms (some legit, some obnoxious)? Conversely, how much damage is done to those same sponsors by a system that treats their products and services as so fragile that they have to be supported by censorship?

    You're missing the point here completely. The idea is that Ken doesn't have the right to badger members offering an honest review. The idea that he can't comment on his products is a secondary issue. Also note, and this is important, that we wouldn't allow a paying vendor (that's a full paid up full fledge supporting vendor) to badger a member over a negative review either.

    And yes this is a pay to play forum with regards to commercial entities. All others are welcome for free though, yourself included.

  5. #135
    Senior Member
    mr drinky's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    St. Paul, MN
    F**k. I missed all of this drama and didn't even get to see Ken's response. Maybe there is something cached out in the inter webs. But reading all the responses and not having the basic information to understand anything, I sort of find myself agreeing with everyone.

    "There's only one thing I hate more than lying…skim milk, which is water that's lying about being milk." -- Ron Swanson

  6. #136
    My blood pressure is not up but from years in the business I know way too many people think they can doodle something on a piece of paper resembling a knife and then "kick back" living the easy life off the royalties. My name is on two different knives, neither kitchen knives, and my royalties last year totaled $700. Real life changer right? I've been asked many times to design knives for one company or another, usually the payment ends up being a free knife at the end. If Ken is doing better than that I'm all for him.

  7. #137
    Senior Member
    SpikeC's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    I get really annoyed by people who come waltzing in here thinking that the forum should conform to their ideas of how things should be run. The terms of use are very carefully worked out from a lot of experience with what works and what doesn't. People who come here and make trouble seem to have ulterior motives that are not apparent to the casual observer. Either that or they are just ignorant of how the real world works.
    Spike C
    "The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."

  8. #138
    Weird Wood Pusher Burl Source's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
    Kerby, OR
    Me......I'm kind of embarrassed.
    Unless Mr. Onion's post was edited or removed I think he showed remarkable restraint to what I see as abusive comments.
    It is one thing to say "I don't like it because....". That is a personal opinion.
    But I think a number of the posts went well beyond that.

    I am not sure how it is working in restaurants these days. Maybe verbal abuse is ok.
    But around here if you tell someone to take the abuse and man up, that is the same thing as saying "take that you pussy".
    When that happens you have to knock them on their butt.
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  9. #139
    Quote Originally Posted by mr drinky View Post
    F**k. I missed all of this drama and didn't even get to see Ken's response. Maybe there is something cached out in the inter webs. But reading all the responses and not having the basic information to understand anything, I sort of find myself agreeing with everyone.
    Ken's response - well, there were 2 of them - are in the thread, and from what I can see no post of his was deleted. I read through the whole thing and found I couldn't agree with everything here. Hope no one minds me saying so as a new member, but I think the response to Ken has been quite harsh. Not the knife criticism (don't know; never tried one) but to his involvement here. He first wrote:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Onion View Post
    I'll just leave this thread alone. Thanks for the feedback. Have a wonderful day.
    And then his 2nd and final comment was:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Onion View Post
    Man Up ? Maybe you should school me on how to design and manufacture a decent kitchen knife based on your extensive background. I'll be sure to check back tomorrow for some insight from you.
    For this he has been criticised, it seems, because it was a negative and defensive comment. It implies he would know more than other members on knife design, but this is the only 'defense' of his knives he made - barely anything at all, as he did 'just leave this thread alone' for some time. Moreover, in the end I think the 2nd comment wasn't addressed to people in general. Rather, it was a response to the preceding comment which I thought sounded more severe:

    Quote Originally Posted by EdipisReks View Post
    lovely, a martyr. man up. you might produce a decent kitchen knife, if you do.
    It seems the rules are what they are, but he should at least have been allowed to respond to a personal attack as he did. And I wouldn't say it was necessarily 'ungentlemanly' either.

    Note: I have zero connection to this guy and no interest, aside from the discussion here. Yes, the knives do look like junk.

  10. #140
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    People pile on here pretty readily, and he deserves an opportunity to respond.
    i am with you on this.

    Even though I don't like his knives, I too think it would be fair to find some kind of way to let him respond to the criticism. Maybe somewhere else outside of the forum?
    somewhere neutral would be a good idea.

    It seems the rules are what they are, but he should at least have been allowed to respond to a personal attack as he did. And I wouldn't say it was necessarily 'ungentlemanly' either.
    i would have loved to hear what he wanted to say also.

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