65 million years ago ...
As a child dinosaurs always intrigued me. And even today, I can't but help think what must have gone through their big heads and small brains, seeing that comet rushing towards earth, minutes, maybe seconds prior to impact.
Why bring this up now? Well, it is applicable to the whole ADI Affair we dug up and where we outed them for being a profit-oriented franchise, favoring sponsors over distillers. Not really the behavior or construction you'd imagine to survive into these modern, more transparent times.
Contemplating the ADI Affair, and trying to make sense of them favoring traditional copper still manufacturers, while discriminating against iStill and its customers, I wonder: can it be that they perceived us as competitors instead of contributors? Did they perceive us as a threat early on? Did they look up into the skies, and thought: "Uh-oh, hope that's NOT heading in our direction?"
It took me some time to figure it out, so please stay with me, as we dive in deeper. How? By dissecting what they and what we do, one income stream at a time.
We educate distillers and ADI educates distillers. Having established that ADI is a company, just like us, this potentially makes us a competitor in their perception. A competitor and not a contributor.
Our educational facilities are growing, students rate our courses higher, and we are more affordable than what ADI has to offer (2k vs 3k). If, in one year, we educate 100 American distillers, they stand to loose 300k in revenue. This makes us a threat.
We share information and ADI sells information. Having established that ADI is a profit-oriented company, this makes us a competitor in their perception. Whenever we contribute, they feel the hurt.
If we guesstimate that ADI asks 100 dollars for an event, that 100 people attend such a session, and that they organize 10 events per year, that adds up to 100k per year. Add a 1m turnover tradeshow to that and iStill sharing information for free makes them perceive us as a competitor, each and every time we make a contribution.
I have to apologize. I have to sincerely apologize to all our readers, followers, supporters, and customers for being naive to the point of being stupid. I always based my cooperation with ADI on the assumption that we'd both be contributing to the industry. But that's not how they must have perceived it. I never understood why we got treated so badly, given that we shared so much, but I finally get it. I finally, totally get it.
We sell distillation equipment and ADI sells distillation equipment. We get to sell the advanced and amazing stuff. They favor the manufacturers and importers of traditional and more romantic set-ups. Manufacturers and importers, mind you, that leave education and consultancy and tradeshow privileges with ADI!
Having established that ADI is a profit-oriented company, each and every still that we sell hurts them. Is that why our access to ADI Forums got restricted? Is this why we were denied to set-up our booth in ADI's tradeshow hall? If it walks like a dinosaur, if it talks like a dinosaur, then it probably ...
In 2012, when iStill entered the market, we started with zero percent market share. In 2019, our market share has grown to around 18%. In the first half of 2020, iStill grows with double digits, while the market for new still purchases tanks due to Covid-19. Is it safe to say this makes us a threat to ADI and to the traditional manufacturers that support them?
In 2012, when iStill entered the market, traditional copper still manufacturers could charge around 200k for a 500 liter system. In 2019, their average sales price had dropped to 120k. Currently their 500 liter systems sell for 110k. iStill, providing the market with modern technology at a fair price-point, has driven down their prices and decimated their margins. Threat, anyone?
We came to the market well-prepared with amazing tech and high dreams. We came to the market naive and ill-prepared to deal with an old-boys-network that called the shots. An old-boys-network that still desperately clings on, choking the industry's progress. We managed to become successful anyhow, and we have you to thank for it. Thank you to our followers, supporters, customers, and partners for sticking with us. For going the extra mile with us. For having to deal with a weird, obnoxious inventor that thought his technological break-throughs are the stuff craft distillers' dreams are made off. You are the ones that turned our dreams into realities. And no one is going to take that away from us. It is time for the dinosaurs to move over. Dead in the water, they are wiggling their tails in a desperate final push to find dry land, where none is left for them.
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