Wounds. Licked.

When checking with a gifted designer on status of a pending product already teased on FaceBook a year ago, I learnt this: "It's effectively ready for me as a proto and ready for pre-production. However the business caused other priorities. First of all, the scarcity of parts which no doubt hit everyone made some parts sometimes 2 x or 4 x more expensive. So the last months were more determined by restarting production and accepting what now seems to be a fact. Fortunately many people had faith in our products and were willing to wait. What we also saw is that some appreciated the xxx but did not buy it because aluminum and glass were not present. As a result, we have decided to go to an even higher model that we hope will be ready before next spring. Although I personally like the product you inquired about very much because I see the advantages of it, it is now in second place purely because we have to lick our wounds due to the period that's just behind us."

Wounds. Licked? If yours is on the forehead, that's hard to do; unless you've got a dog doing it for ya. It's a feeble joke considering the economic repercussions for all involved. Without a bit of humor, it's simply harder to take. But as the man said, today much is about accepting these changes as clear and present fact unlikely to reset. We best adapt to the new normal. That said, designers still get bit on the ass when laboring hard to make a high-value product that performs without being overweight and overpriced. In our high-end sector, some things clearly haven't changed. Teeth. Kicked in. In certain quarters, posters love to rail on audio's rising prices. Little do they appreciate that quite apart from current global events, a well-off contingent of buyers representing important sales force many brands to make bigger, heavier costlier stuff. Because that they will and do buy; which keeps doors open and employees paid. Hence demand for trophy hifi—here defined as being more than it needs to be to do the same job—is being filled for the simple reason that if you can't beat that mentality with clear proof of upscale performance, you join it with glossier packaging and approved boutique parts. Preach to the choir. Who can beat city hall, death or taxes?

In the end, it's always the customer who is right. If you don't agree, someone else will and reap those profits. And it's not swearing to say that business must be about profits to keep the lights on. Anything less is simply bad business!