Fast Freddy speaks.

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Joao De Souza, Feb 14, 2004.

  1. This was just posted to the BROL discussion board
    (http://pub152.ezboard.com/fbentrideronlinefrm1.showMessage?topicID=3367.topic):

    <quote Freddy's message>

    STILETTO:Sharp pointy object or bicycle best used for stabbing people in the back.

    NEWS FLASH!!! Freddy Markham survives a career assasination attempt by Craig Calfee...Markham was
    stunned and disappointed but vows to fully recover and move forward.

    And now this by Fast Freddy: "Does anybody really believe that Craig designed the Stiletto? Oh yea,
    he made some suggestions, but thats it." "Does anybody really believe Craig designed the carbon
    fiber fairings? I don't think so. The man didn't know squat about recumbents and fairing before I
    showed up".

    So let me start by telling you that my deal with Calfee was I would work for less wages and no
    benefits what so ever at producing a prototype bike and getting it to production. Once we went to
    production I was to be paid approx $$$ per bike. That deal never changed until the day Craig decided
    it was to much money for me to make. In our early talks, we had hoped to bring a DA equipped
    Stiletto to the market at about $4000 . I told him at that price I would sell more than he could
    make....at that point Craig could have said $$$ was to much, but he never did. At some point it was
    clear that we would have to raise the price of the bike....and we did...up$1800! Partly so I could
    still recieve my commission. It was clear to me that at that price I was not going to sell near as
    many...my solution was to bring in a SWB bike and between the two I was certain I could do alright.
    So now Craig has my two SWB bike designs and I'm sure that by now he's told everybody that it was
    his ideas. Our last meeting had him present me with what was far less than promised or
    anticipated....I could have understood if my profit was not in the bike, but it was. So starting to
    smell a rat in the name of Craig Calfee I decided he could keep his profit sharing because I was
    losing faith in him... all I wanted was my original deal and I would be satisfied. But no...Craig
    would have me sell his bike with no guarentee, no safety net, no benefits, at a price I was no
    longer satisfied with, but put a cap on me in case I do real well. That's not who I want to work for
    and that's not what I call incentive....at this point in my life I won't let somebody screw me this
    bad. Craig is dishonest and deceitful and I don't want anything to do with him or his company. I
    have to address the fact that I took the Stiletto mold out of Calfee....a case can be made that it's
    really my mold, but my point was not so I could make Stiletto's but to keep Calfee from completing
    the total rip off and making them after I left. Not only does Craig want to rip me on the
    Stiletto's, but he's still in possesion of my fairing molds and he intends to make those also.

    If honesty and intergety are something you respect you don't want a Stiletto anyway....there are a
    number of issues that are suspect on the bike. I always felt that it was something I could sort out
    within time, but if I'm not with that company, don't count on it being addressed.

    I respect deeply most of the people on these newsgroups and I have faith that most of you can see
    through the crap that Craig Calfee laid down. I mean if you've read his response he basically says
    he ripped me off. Most of you know who I am. My record speaks for it's self. I have been the one
    defending recumbent rider 's rights since 1978. I've been in this sport a long time on all kinds of
    bikes...I'm not greedy, believe me, if Craigs offer was good I'd have taken it. He's a rip off and
    the Stilettos are not the bike I fully intended to make when I left Easy Racers to build my dream
    bike....I made enough design compromises that I'm less than thilled. So, for those of you who are on
    my side.... I'm building your bikes soon...you'll love them Freddy

    ps I'm actually quite touched by the support I've already recieved from a lot of you....I
    won't forget!

    <end quote
     
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  2. watsonglenn

    watsonglenn New Member

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    After comparing this letter to the one from Craig I have to say Craig comes off as more honest and believable. I don't know either one of these guys so its just my first impression but Freddy seems bittter and he all but admitted to stealing.

    From my experiance in the business world it comes down to this. The guy that puts up the money is the guy in charge. It does not matter if you have great ideas or you can ride a bike. The guy with the money is in charge. Period.

    Freddy should have signed a contract in the beginning.
     
  3. watsonglenn wrote:
    > After comparing this letter to the one from Craig I have to say Craig comes off as more honest and
    > believable.

    I don't think communications skills can be used as a measure of honesty. Freddy has always been know
    as a blunt, sometimes even rude, not good at typing, but always honest person. Calfee's message on
    the other hand mentions that he designed the Stiletto, while his own website used to mention that
    the bike was designed by Freddy. If you do a search, you'll also find tons of messages from Freddy
    mentioning why he designed certain aspects of the bike the way he did, back when the bike was still
    in the prototype phase.

    Here is an example -
    http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=9a5f0078.0306170718.6988fdc8%40posting.google.com
    - he wouldn't have posted something like on a public forum while working for Calfee if it
    wasn't true.

    Besides, Freddy isn't the first recumbent designer to have problems with Calfee's verbal agreements.
    See http://pub152.ezboard.com/fbentrideronlinefrm1.showMessage?topicID=3346.topic&index=22
    - Once its a misunderstanding. Two out of two is a trend.

    Cheers,
    --
    Joao "no communication-disabling Brazilian accent when I type" de Souza
     
  4. watsonglenn

    watsonglenn New Member

    Joined:
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    I don't think communications skills can be used as a measure of honesty. >>>

    I am less interested in his skills as I am what he said. He admitted he took something from the factory that did not belong to him and he tried to cover it by saying its ownershp was debatable. Yeah right.

    Freddy has always been know as a blunt, sometimes even rude, not good at typing, but always honest person. >>

    Then why did he he take this object from the factory? That was clearly not right.

    Calfee's message on the other hand mentions that he designed the Stiletto, while his own website used to mention that
    the bike was designed by Freddy. >>

    It appears to have been a colaborative effort. Who knows what percentage each man contributed.

    If you do a search, you'll also find tons of messages from Freddy
    mentioning why he designed certain aspects of the bike the way he did, back when the bike was still in the prototype phase.>>

    If I design something for Boeing while working for Boeing with Boeing equipment it belongs to Boeing.

    Besides, Freddy isn't the first recumbent designer to have problems with Calfee's verbal agreements.

    I will take a look.

    Once its a misunderstanding. Two out of two is a trend.>>

    Having trouble with two high strung riders is not uncommon.
     
  5. watsonglenn wrote:
    >
    > I am less interested in his skills as I am what he said. He admitted he took something from the
    > factory that did not belong to him and he tried to cover it by saying its ownershp was debatable.
    > Yeah right.

    He admitted he took it, and he returned it. Calfee on the other hand took his ideas, and endless
    hours of work, and claimed it was his, and have not given anything in return. Intellectual property
    can be just as valuable as physical one. As as far as ownership of the molds, it would clearly be
    Cafee's, *if there was no breach in contract*. The moment Cafee broke the agreement, the ownership
    becomes debatable.

    I used to work as a recording engineer. On one occasion, I was working with a local band, and we
    agreed that I would record and edit their demo, and they would pay me a certain amount. After
    several days, once the tape was ready, the band leader said that they would pay me a percentage of
    the sales instead. I tried to argue with him, but he clearly wasn't going to hand me what we had
    agreed on. So right in front of the guy I put the master tape and the cassette demo on the
    demagnetizer, flicked the switch, and handed him the now blank tapes. They tried to sue. I won.

    > If I design something for Boeing while working for Boeing with Boeing equipment it belongs
    > to Boeing.

    Not if Boeing breaks the contract. It is agreed that whatever you produce will belong to the company
    under the current terms of the contract. Once one side breaks it, the other is not obligated to it.
    Freddy designed the bike. There is no question about it. Even their website said so. Freddy did all
    the test riding. No question about that either. Also Freddy brought in the customers. He did his
    part. The moment Calfee changed the terms of the agreement without Freddy's consent, he was breached
    the contract.

    > Once its a misunderstanding. Two out of two is a trend.>>
    >
    > Having trouble with two high strung riders is not uncommon.

    Karl Swanson high strong? Where the heck did you get that idea? Freddy, yes. He is high strong. It
    takes a high strong personality to become a top athlete. But Karl Swanson? Everything I have ever
    read by or about him suggest a very laid back attitude, no pun intended. Do you know anything I
    don't about him?
     
  6. watsonglenn

    watsonglenn New Member

    Joined:
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    He admitted he took it, and he returned it. >>

    Right. He admitted taking something that did not belong to him. What does that tell you about his trustworythness?

    Calfee on the other hand took his ideas, and endless
    hours of work, and claimed it was his, and have not given anything in return. >>

    This is an unproven allegation.

    The moment Cafee broke the agreement, the ownership
    becomes debatable.>>

    Something tells me its not so debatable if he returned it.

    I put the master tape and the cassette demo on the demagnetizer, flicked the switch, and handed him the now blank tapes. They tried to sue. I won.>>

    This is something you did right out in the open in your own shop. See the differance?

    Not if Boeing breaks the contract. It is agreed that whatever you produce will belong to the company under the current terms of the contract. >>

    Ah, but in this case there was no contract.

    Once one side breaks it, the other is not obligated to it.
    Freddy designed the bike. There is no question about it. >>>

    Why is there no question about it? Clearly, there is a question about it.

    Karl Swanson high strong? Where the heck did you get that idea? Freddy, yes. He is high strong. It takes a high strong personality to become a top athlete. But Karl Swanson? Everything I have ever read by or about him suggest a very laid back attitude, no pun intended. Do you know anything I don't about him? >>

    It has been my experiance that elite athletes are high strung. Swanson if he is an eleite athlete might be the exception. I don't know. Still my point was a problem with two guys does not a pattern make.
     
  7. Craig Calfee

    Craig Calfee Guest

    There are too many "inaccuracies" to let this go unaddressed:

    > And now this by Fast Freddy: "Does anybody really believe that Craig designed the Stiletto? Oh
    > yea, he made some suggestions, but thats it."

    If "suggestions" is how you want to call them, that's fine with me. It's just that my "suggestions"
    were the design of every aspect of the bike. I would design something and Freddy would verify that
    it was good.

    > "Does anybody really believe Craig designed the carbon fiber fairings? I don't think so. The man
    > didn't know squat about recumbents and fairing before I showed up".

    The fairing shape was taken from Zzipper's shape. I designed the fiber laminate structure as well as
    the method of manufacturing. I designed the attachment points as well.

    > So let me start by telling you that my deal with Calfee was I would work for less wages and no
    > benefits what so ever at producing a prototype bike and getting it to production. Once we went to
    > production I was to be paid approx $$$ per bike.

    The deal was that Freddy would be paid at an agreed upon hourly rate. There were also some benefits.
    We had no idea what amount Freddy would get because we had no idea what the bikes would cost to
    make. Freddy had a figure in mind that I truly hoped we could achieve. I had also hoped that Freddy
    would have had more input into the design work.

    That deal never changed until the day Craig
    > decided it was to much money for me to make. In our early talks, we had hoped to bring a DA
    > equipped Stiletto to the market at about $4000 . I told him at that price I would sell more than
    > he could make....at that point Craig could have said $$$ was to much, but he never did. At some
    > point it was clear that we would have to raise the price of the bike....and we did...up$1800!
    > Partly so I could still recieve my commission.

    I did show Freddy that $$$ was too much. We both looked at the same spreadsheet that showed the cost
    of everything (except labor) It showed that we had to raise the price to bring it at least to the
    level of our least profitable frame. We tabled the discussion until we could get a solid estimate of
    what the labor cost was going to be.

    It was clear to me that at that price I was not going to
    > sell near as many...my solution was to bring in a SWB bike and between the two I was certain I
    > could do alright.

    I told Freddy that we would not be able to produce a SWB for at least a year (It's expensive to
    develop new designs) and we needed to recoup some investment from the Stilletto.

    So now Craig has my two SWB
    > bike designs and I'm sure that by now he's told everybody that it was his ideas.

    What designs? A copy of a Bacchetta is all I heard about. And that's been from a few sources. I've
    always said we should do an improved SWB or at least combine the best aspects of existing designs.
    Karl's SWB works fine, but I don't like the USS or his construction method. (more on that later)

    > Our last meeting had him present me with what was far less than promised or anticipated....

    And that's the crux of the problem. I made no promises to Freddy because I like to make sure I can
    keep my promises. I would never promise to pay anyone an amount I wasn't sure I could deliver on.
    The Stiletto is just too expensive to make to support the kind of fee that Freddy had his heart set
    on. I blame myself for allowing these high expectations to go unchecked.

    I could have understood if my profit was not in the
    > bike, but it was. So starting to smell a rat in the name of Craig Calfee I decided he could
    > keep his profit sharing because I was losing faith in him... all I wanted was my original deal
    > and I would be satisfied. But no...Craig would have me sell his bike with no guarentee, no
    > safety net, no benefits, at a price I was no longer satisfied with, but put a cap on me in case
    > I do real well.

    There was no cap suggested. Profit sharing is the opposite of a cap. It is the incentive to do well
    and be a part of a team. The team would not work very well if one person were making 3 to 4 times
    what everyone elso was making.

    > I have to address the fact that I took the Stiletto mold out of Calfee....a case can be made that
    > it's really my mold,

    Let's hear that case then!

    but my point was
    > not so I could make Stiletto's but to keep Calfee from completing the total rip off and making
    > them after I left.

    Why didn't you come back and suggest a more creative compensation package? As you were stealing the
    molds, I was trying to figure out some structure that allowed you to make more money once a certain
    threshold had been met. Something that allowed me to recoup some investment and didn't cause a
    problem with the rest of the team. Some structure that allowed you some real earnings based on
    performance.

    Not only does Craig want to
    > rip me on the Stiletto's, but he's still in possesion of my fairing molds and he intends to make
    > those also.

    We have nothing that wasn't bought and paid for by myself.

    > If honesty and intergety are something you respect you don't want a Stiletto anyway....there are a
    > number of issues that are suspect on the bike. I always felt that it was something I could sort
    > out within time, but if I'm not with that company, don't count on it being addressed.

    If that were the case, I wouldn't have been able to survive in this business for the past 15 years.
    I'm very proud of what we've accomplished with the Stiletto. I'm disappointed that we won't have
    Freddy to promote them. It would have been a lot easier if we did. I encourage him to get into the
    business. . . to appreciate my point of view. If he can make the kind of money he seems to need,
    then he's a far better businessman than I.

    Craig Calfee
     
  8. Al Kubeluis

    Al Kubeluis Guest

    Hi Craig and Freddy,

    I don't either of you personally, although Freddy is a recumbent legend with whom I've
    corresponded a little.

    Having read your posts, it seems that both of you are good men who made different implicit
    assumptions about your project. When you consider the complex human, technical, and financial
    aspects of joint efforts, it's amazing anything gets accomplished.

    I take a lesson from your problem: from the beginning, write down what each expects and sign off.
    Not necessarily a legal contract, but close to one. Written communications clarify matters, not only
    to the other party, but to ones self also.

    I hope that you two can come to an agreement, apologize to each other in public, and produce
    Stilletos.

    Al Kubeluis

    "Craig Calfee" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > There are too many "inaccuracies" to let this go unaddressed:
    >
    > > And now this by Fast Freddy: "Does anybody really believe that Craig designed the Stiletto? Oh
    > > yea, he made some suggestions, but thats it."
    >
    > If "suggestions" is how you want to call them, that's fine with me. It's just that my
    > "suggestions" were the design of every aspect of the bike. I would design something and Freddy
    > would verify that it was good.
    >
    > > "Does anybody really believe Craig designed the carbon fiber fairings? I don't think so. The man
    > > didn't know squat about recumbents and fairing before I showed up".
    >
    > The fairing shape was taken from Zzipper's shape. I designed the fiber laminate structure as well
    > as the method of manufacturing. I designed the attachment points as well.
    >
    >
    > > So let me start by telling you that my deal with Calfee was I would work for less wages and no
    > > benefits what so ever at producing a prototype bike and getting it to production. Once we went
    > > to production I was to be paid approx $$$ per bike.
    >
    > The deal was that Freddy would be paid at an agreed upon hourly rate. There were also some
    > benefits. We had no idea what amount Freddy would get because we had no idea what the bikes would
    > cost to make. Freddy had a figure in mind that I truly hoped we could achieve. I had also hoped
    > that Freddy would have had more input into the design work.
    >
    > That deal never changed until the day Craig
    > > decided it was to much money for me to make. In our early talks, we had hoped to bring a DA
    > > equipped Stiletto to the market at about $4000 . I told him at that price I would sell more than
    > > he could make....at that point Craig could have said $$$ was to much, but he never did. At some
    > > point it was clear that we would have to raise the price of the bike....and we did...up$1800!
    > > Partly so I could still recieve my commission.
    >
    > I did show Freddy that $$$ was too much. We both looked at the same spreadsheet that showed the
    > cost of everything (except labor) It showed that we had to raise the price to bring it at least to
    > the level of our least profitable frame. We tabled the discussion until we could get a solid
    > estimate of what the labor cost was going to be.
    >
    > It was clear to me that at that price I was not going to
    > > sell near as many...my solution was to bring in a SWB bike and between the two I was certain I
    > > could do alright.
    >
    > I told Freddy that we would not be able to produce a SWB for at least a year (It's expensive to
    > develop new designs) and we needed to recoup some investment from the Stilletto.
    >
    > So now Craig has my two SWB
    > > bike designs and I'm sure that by now he's told everybody that it was his ideas.
    >
    > What designs? A copy of a Bacchetta is all I heard about. And that's been from a few sources. I've
    > always said we should do an improved SWB or at least combine the best aspects of existing designs.
    > Karl's SWB works fine, but I don't like the USS or his construction method. (more on that later)
    >
    > > Our last meeting had him present me with what was far less than promised or anticipated....
    >
    > And that's the crux of the problem. I made no promises to Freddy because I like to make sure I can
    > keep my promises. I would never promise to pay anyone an amount I wasn't sure I could deliver on.
    > The Stiletto is just too expensive to make to support the kind of fee that Freddy had his heart
    > set on. I blame myself for allowing these high expectations to go unchecked.
    >
    > I could have understood if my profit was not in the
    > > bike, but it was. So starting to smell a rat in the name of Craig Calfee I decided he could
    > > keep his profit sharing because I was losing faith in him... all I wanted was my original deal
    > > and I would be satisfied. But no...Craig would have me sell his bike with no guarentee, no
    > > safety net, no benefits, at a price I was no longer satisfied with, but put a cap on me in case
    > > I do real well.
    >
    > There was no cap suggested. Profit sharing is the opposite of a cap. It is the incentive to do
    > well and be a part of a team. The team would not work very well if one person were making 3 to 4
    > times what everyone elso was making.
    >
    > > I have to address the fact that I took the Stiletto mold out of Calfee....a case can be made
    > > that it's really my mold,
    >
    > Let's hear that case then!
    >
    > but my point was
    > > not so I could make Stiletto's but to keep Calfee from completing the total rip off and making
    > > them after I left.
    >
    > Why didn't you come back and suggest a more creative compensation package? As you were stealing
    > the molds, I was trying to figure out some structure that allowed you to make more money once a
    > certain threshold had been met. Something that allowed me to recoup some investment and didn't
    > cause a problem with the rest of the team. Some structure that allowed you some real earnings
    > based on performance.
    >
    > Not only does Craig want to
    > > rip me on the Stiletto's, but he's still in possesion of my fairing molds and he intends to make
    > > those also.
    >
    > We have nothing that wasn't bought and paid for by myself.
    >
    > > If honesty and intergety are something you respect you don't want a Stiletto anyway....there are
    > > a number of issues that are suspect on the bike. I always felt that it was something I could
    > > sort out within time, but if I'm not with that company, don't count on it being addressed.
    >
    > If that were the case, I wouldn't have been able to survive in this business for the past 15
    > years. I'm very proud of what we've accomplished with the Stiletto. I'm disappointed that we won't
    > have Freddy to promote them. It would have been a lot easier if we did. I encourage him to get
    > into the business. . . to appreciate my point of view. If he can make the kind of money he seems
    > to need, then he's a far better businessman than I.
    >
    > Craig Calfee
     
  9. On Sun, 15 Feb 2004 12:10:48 -0500, Joao de Souza
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I used to work as a recording engineer. On one occasion, I was working with a local band, and we
    >agreed that I would record and edit their demo, and they would pay me a certain amount. After
    >several days, once the tape was ready, the band leader said that they would pay me a percentage of
    >the sales instead. I tried to argue with him, but he clearly wasn't going to hand me what we had
    >agreed on. So right in front of the guy I put the master tape and the cassette demo on the
    >demagnetizer, flicked the switch, and handed him the now blank tapes. They tried to sue. I won.
    >
    >> If I design something for Boeing while working for Boeing with Boeing equipment it belongs to
    >> Boeing.
    >
    >Not if Boeing breaks the contract. It is agreed that whatever you produce will belong to the
    >company under the current terms of the contract. Once one side breaks it, the other is not
    >obligated to it.

    Nice thought, but not true under any state law I am aware of. While the ultimate results of what you
    accomplished escape me in the first case, in the second case all product and design as long as the
    person worked for Boeing belongs to Boeing, within the contract terms (usually anything produced and
    developed on company time and/or with company assets, or can be reasonably shown to be derived from
    that effort). And if the person takes their ideas that were developed at Boeing and take it to
    another company, that company had better be damn careful that their work can't be shown to trace
    back to the prior work. (Amusing that Boeing is the example, as they are actually in a bit of
    difficulty from the other side right now).

    Curtis L. Russell Odenton, MD (USA) Just someone on two wheels...
     
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