I have been cleaning the shop this week, and I turned off the radio so I could do some serious thinking while I worked. I have come to some realizations, and I have made a few decisions that will definitely affect the future of TMD. I thought I might share a little of what I have discovered and decided with those of you who follow the TMD blog. This will not be on our Facebook or MeWe page, so you will only see it if you follow the blog page.
First, I realized I have been worrying about the rise of 3D printing for nothing. 3D printing will put me out of business, but it will not replace me. The truth is, it will also put itself out of business — at least, it will in the way that matters to me. I’m not going to explain this; I’ll let you figure it out for yourself. What is important now is to figure out how long I have left before that happens.
The reason I want to have an idea of how long I have left has nothing to do with money. If I were running TMD for money, I have been a fool for the past twenty years. I’d have been better off keeping my hobby and working in another field. No, the reason I want an idea of how long I have is because I still have a few things I want to accomplish before TMD fades away.
Unfortunately, I do not have a crystal ball, and I’m certainly not a prophet. This means I have no idea how long I still have — especially given the stupidity that is being forced on the world by arrogant, greedy and self-centered people (yeah, I know a bit of what is happening and why and it has me fighting mad — sorry). So, I have made some tough decisions that I hope will help me accomplish these goals before it is too late.
NARROW MY FOCUS
The first thing I have decided is that I am going to focus TMD only on 1/35 WW II and Korean War era modeling products. The only reason I included Korea is because, honestly, it was mostly fought with weapons designed before the close of WW II, so — in my mind, anyway — it is the last scene of WW II. Anyway, what this means is that I am going to purge the line of anything not directly related to WW II and Korean War era subject matter (maybe — maybe — through to Vietnam/end of the Cold War).
SELLING OFF DISTRACTIONS
The next thing I decided is that my change of focus means I need to narrow my own focus. I have a lot of models that have little to nothing to do with WW II or Korea. I bought them for myself. Well, if I allow myself to keep looking at models outside of my new focus, I will spend time outside of that focus. That is not productive. As a result, I have decided to sell off anything and everything I own that is not related to the WW II or Korean War. You might want to start watching my EBay listings. I do not like Ebay, but it is the best, fastest way to get rid of this stuff — especially since I will be pricing it to sell. Here is the link:
I will keep adding things until I have it all sold off, so check in regularly. This sell off is going to be a sustained campaign. I am not stopping until everything I do not need is gone!
START FILLING IN THE GAPS
The next step is to take the money I raise from my sell-off and put it toward the projects I still have that I want to do. One of the things I still want to do is close the gaps in our Sherman line. Karl, Dave and I have already started talking about interior kits for the Sherman line, as well as the T9 (E9???) suspension extensions, DD tanks and Calliopes. It is high time I finish all of these, and they will be a primary focus in 2022. But I also want to finish doing for the Tiger I and Panther what I have done for the Sherman. There is more, but these are the top items on my ‘still want to do’ list.
FINE-TUNE THE WEB STORE
Another item crucial to my plan for the next few years is to re-vamp the product line. This will include a massive clean-up of the web store. I am never moving this store again (unless GoDaddy folds), so I need to make it as easy for you to use as possible. I will start posting new pictures. I will establish a standard listing format and get every product updated. I will continue to refine the categories. I will get products cross-linked. And we will get to work on posting, then editing or adding to our instruction sheets. This will all take a lot of time and effort, and I will probably finish just as I go away, but — hey! — I need goals, and this is what I have set for myself.
ONE MORE THING — THIS BLOG PAGE
I have already started to take steps that — hopefully — will see this blog page turned into something more than just a support page for TMD. I am not happy with a lot of the current trends in our hobby, but most of it is driven by my personal tastes. This is one reason I do not say anything on Facebook pages or discussion groups: because it is just my opinion! That said, I still want to share and explain my positions, and the TMD blog page is the perfect place to do that. It is also a great place to start archiving references and research material that is related to TMD products. This way, you can find everything you need in one place and you won’t have to keep searching for things as much. I have always tried to serve my customers needs as best I can, and this blog page is going to become one more way I can do that.
The way I figure it — if the world holds together — I have between two and three more years before TMD starts to suffer from technological advancements. That may seem a long time to some, but to a manufacturer, it is not much time at all, and I plan to sprint to the finish line. I hope you’ll stay with me to the end.