Factory "Test Pilot" Program

Nov 22, 1999
Do any of the Knife Companies have a “Test Pilot” program? Sending out knives for evaluation? I have seen from time to time that some of the forumites have seen or handled one of the new knives before they reach the general public. If there are no such programs why not? If there are, who has them and how do I get in on the act?
The big software companies have “Beta Programs” where they release their products to people who have signed up for these programs and they find the bugs and evaluate the product in the field. Why not something like this for knives?
The companies could set up some requirements such a well-written review and filling out a detailed questionnaire. You could determine who to send the knives to through a lottery system and maybe have an “A” list of people who have submitted well done reviews or have jobs that provide unique insights and or testing opportunities for knives such as Military, Law Enforcement, Raft Guides, Computer Techs, Carpenters, etc. This way everyone would have a chance to have input into knife design and function as well as get free knives.
The program could work something like this:
The company would release a certain small number of knives for testing say thirty. Twenty could go to the “A” list guys on a lottery system and the other ten would go to everyone else on a lottery system. People who make the “A” list requirements could get moved up in status. People who just get the knives and don’t contribute (just get the knives and use them) could be dropped from the program.
I’m sure there would be no shortage of people who would sign up for this program and if enough of the knife companies signed on for this, almost everyone would get a chance to participate at least once.
I know that most of the companies that have their own forums here monitor them and interact with members and answer their questions directly, sometimes the owners/presidents themselves such as Jerry Busse and Sal Glesser get in on the act. This would be an extension of that. There could even be a separate forum for this program like a “Test Pilot Program”.
This is probably not an original idea but I thought I would mention it anyway. I’m sure there will be a response or two on this concept as well as some improvements and criticisms.
Just my thoughts.

Arguing with a GRUNT is like wrestling with a pig. Everyone gets dirty and the little pig loves it.
Originally posted by nick681:
Do any of the Knife Companies have a “Test Pilot” program?
Not that I know of and what would the advantage to the company be? If you do it to as many as you suggest, then it's not really "prototypes" anymore, so they'd practically already be in production. Makes more economic sense to put a model in production and drop it if it doesn't sell well. A testing programme such as yours would hardly give better data than than in-house testing and proofing.
It's more interesting trying to figure out which kind of knife would sell well, but for that you can do market research without making prototypes.

Urban Fredriksson www.canit.se/%7Egriffon/
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