I respectfully disagree. It's all in how it's managed here way before Viberg is even involved. If we were given a set of strict parameters to work within (i.e. - types of leather available, types of soles, minimum number of eyelets, etc.), then 98 percent of the issues that occurred last time would evaporate. I was as confused as the next guy as to what we could and couldn't do and I know this stuff! There was some turmoil over cat's paw heels and soles for example, because no one knew precisely what was and wasn't possible. Turns out the heels were available but the soles weren't. Who knew?? I can tell you that there was some misunderstanding and upset before this came to light though.
What I loved about the last GMTO was that Fok listed some or all of the new leathers. That was great because it gave us something to work with! The end result was that ALL of the final builds used one of the leathers he listed despite the fact that there were certainly many other options not listed. Obviously he probably couldn't list every leather Viberg has in stock (or maybe he could, I don't know), but the point is...if you know what you have to work with, then you can build on that and most of the debate over it becomes a non-issue. 7 eyelets minimum folks...that's what you have to work with...end of debate!
As far as personal attacks on Brett...I don't think most of us even know him, but I'm guessing he has a thicker skin than to get upset over some random comments. I certainly can't imagine he would condemn the entire group here over a few errant opinions. I don't care how great the company, you will ALWAYS have criticisms of various sorts to bear. It's unreasonable to think that only nice things will ever be said about you or your brand. You are right though...SF is a tiny client. But it's a core group of extreme enthusiasts who at the grassroots level can offer valuable feedback for the brand. I work in a business where you have to pay a high price tag for the kind of feedback they get for free here. You garner what you want from it and discard the rest, what's so difficult about that?
I don't know guys, I just feel like we can manage this to everyone's advantage. Comments like, "this thread has gone full Toj x Alden" is just negative and promotes more negativity. How about...this thread is great because SF is the one place we can all share our passion for the brand! That means there will be opinions voiced, so be prepared for passionate opinions that may be in support of a Viberg decision and some that may not be. But the common denominator is that we all fucking love Viberg and that's why we are here!!!
Man your comments are spot on.
We may be a small client in terms of SF sales but we are a large group of the full market (especially if you count lurkers). There are times when Viberg drops a shell boot with 24 pairs and you can count 18 of their owners right here on this thread. I myself get most of the leads on new boots from this thread. Could I look elsewhere? Probably, but this is a easy virtual Mecca of information.