1. Yes we are a for profit company, and yes I am beholden to ownership (not shareholders, but private equity), and yes, I need to make money for my owners, my company, my team, and myself.
2. I agree the Cuban tent is ridiculously priced. I honestly don't know the margin on that particular tent, but I know there are several reasons: Expensive USA-made carbon poles sent to Asia, then shipped back. A small-run tent being produced on a mass production line, with huge set up surcharges for less than MOQ (minimum order quantity). Cuban fibre (though I seriously doubt we are paying significantly less than anyone else, but that may be true, I just don't know). But I also think the fabric goes from the US to Taiwan and back too, which is costly. I really don't think that our pricing is the issue for the huge cost of this tent. I just posted a response to Tim from enLIGHTened, and this is a perfect example of something that his company can do better than Sierra Designs. Our model and production is not optimized for short-run, uber-premium products, with USA-sourced materials. So this tent is dropped for 2014, along with anything else where SD cannot be both different and better than anyone else.
3. The bigger issue with this tent, and I hope you appreciate the honesty, is that it sucks, regardless of how light it is. Using uber-lightweight materials in a freestanding design is simply poor design, in my opinion. It's disingenuous, even dishonest. Plus, any tent that you can't get in and out of while it is raining is simply defective. From now on, everything SD makes is going to work, and be designed around our core philosophy of simplicity and honesty in design. No more bullshit. Not while I am in charge.
5. One area where SD CAN do things that the cottage industry cannot is make top-end, expertly fit apparel that actually works. That is EXTREMELY difficult to make in your living room. Our new creative director, Martin Flora, is a French educated designer and tailor, and while we were necessarily more conservative in our 2014 collection, when you see 2015 I think you will be blown away by what modern thinking, fearless bucking of status quo, and uncommon skill can produce. Even the BPL crowd, which is a bit beyond our core target, will have to take notice. Stay tuned.....