thanks, p?te. you've hit the nail on the head. finally.
the focus, or preoccupation with the owner/operator
mentality is clearly an american one. and it really isn't
all pervasive. mr. minolta didn't make my camera.
mr. westinghouse doesn't make the oven. no one named
'levi' made the jeans i buy...
why is it so important with this bicycle stuff. alas, in a
4 star restaurant, the chef is the celebrity. does he cook
the meal? no f@^! way! in french, chef means 'chief', not
'cook'. and, as is the case in the fine kitchens, the most
senior member of a frame making concern is there to
administer the work to be carried out, more often than not,
in his image. in most places, there is no 'glory' in continuing
to toil with your hands if you have the resources and manpower
to pass on your skills to those on staff. otherwise, it wouldn't
be a commercial entity able to span generations.
and, yes, there will be good ones and bad ones. and some
'chefs' may choose to license their marques, adding further
to the confusion, (tho' providing the mothership with added
sources of income...).
i know-it's all very confusing if you expect this to conform to
your fantasy of how it was/should be done. the fact is that these
companys were never one-man shops, nor were they ever trying
to cling to the romantic notion that the guy who signs the checks
should also work at a bench rather than a desk.