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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/20/10

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Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: jimb1001]
      #5936576 - 06/23/13 03:06 PM

Quote:

As a head to head competitor to Celestron across all product lines, I don't see it happening any time soon.




No argument here. I have no dog in this fight. I can't help but recall though, back in the eighties, after receiving a humungous, very slick Meade catalog on heavy, glossy paper, that this company was just going to utterly destroy Celestron in the marketplace!

Strange how it all turned out.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

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Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: jimb1001]
      #5936715 - 06/23/13 04:37 PM

The number of people saying its pointless to try amazes me. What's even more, the only ones who say anything could be done say it would take far more than the company has left in it just to pare down and succeed at doing a fraction of what it has been attempting lately. If its really that dire, why are there any buyers?

-Rich


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rmollise
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #5936745 - 06/23/13 04:53 PM

Quote:

The number of people saying its pointless to try amazes me. What's even more, the only ones who say anything could be done say it would take far more than the company has left in it just to pare down and succeed at doing a fraction of what it has been attempting lately. If its really that dire, why are there any buyers?

-Rich




The company's name has value. So do their patents and designs. Beyond that? They are in debt and there is no money in it that can be used for anything.


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rcdk
super member


Reged: 11/13/10

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: rmollise]
      #5936779 - 06/23/13 05:25 PM

It is important to separate the management of the company from its products and the market.

I think the products are good, the market isn't what it was but the management of the company is probably the real problem. It looks like they simply could not bring themselves to stop spending money, always hoping the next product was going to be the home run that magically turned things around.


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
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Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5936817 - 06/23/13 05:47 PM

Quote:

Quote:

If I may make a suggestion, interested parties need to find a place that they can inject ideas that will comprise a business plan. Something like starting a blog spot or some such thing that is only visible to truly interested parties. Unless you find an investor(s) that are willing to put up long term capital, you're going to have to get a bank involved or some sort of venture capitalist. You're going to need a well thought out business plan that does one thing; tells the investor/bank how you're going to pay back the money. They don't care about plans with pretty pie charts and graphs, they want to see what kind of homework you did and if your plan to pay back the money is a sound plan. I know I wouldn't commit a penny until I saw some sort of well thought out plan.

David




Very true David.

With our business we typically write a business plan once year. Also, all our commercialization efforts involve a full up business plan. All our new projects/business adventures also have business plans. Our experience shows it is best to start with a 5 page executive summary, and then up to a 12 page plan. For more extensive operations we expand to whatever is required.

I suspect the two organizations bidding on Meade have done a full up business plan and have completed their due diligence. I would also suspect most of the vendors supporting this field of study - Meade, Celestron, Questar, iOptron, etc - complete a business plan at least once per year or two. If not, yikes!




You've got ducks in a row! This reminds me of a take off from the 6 Million Dollar Man; We've got the technology, now all we need is the money.

David


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
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Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #5936827 - 06/23/13 05:52 PM

The fact that this thread has gone ten pages and has not been taken to the wood shed speaks volumes. While it my be an exercise in futility, it shows that a lot of good thoughts can posted on the open forum and kept at a more or less even keel. I say, good form all 'round!

Now, I hope I didn't jinx it.

David


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: rmollise]
      #5936874 - 06/23/13 06:24 PM

Quote:

Quote:



Rod,

I'm surprised you are the first one to mention this. With so many posters talking (fantasizing) about chipping in to pool enough money to buy Meade, without a MASSIVE additional amount of capitol after the purchase, Meade fails anyway (not to mention the amateur investors all losing some to all of their money). Meade is losing money hand over fist every month, and even with a great management team, it would take at least a couple of years to turn the cash flow around. Also, no-one is going to extend a line of credit to a group of amateur astronomers who just purchased a failing company, so this idea probably has the highest probability of Meade going under permanently. It is a nice dream, but one that is not based on reality.




I think at least one person mentioned this before I did...but anyhoo. It's a lovely dream, Meade run by amateurs, but the reality is that it would take quite a lot to pull the company back. My assumption is that, as is usually the case with situations like this, the conditions at Meade are considerably worse than they appear, and that it would take a long-term commitment with cash to go with it to reset the Meade clock to say, "1995."




I think the time for the amateur community to vote on Meade has come and gone. We have voted with our pocketbooks...

Jon


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

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Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #5936898 - 06/23/13 06:33 PM

Quote:

The number of people saying its pointless to try amazes me. What's even more, the only ones who say anything could be done say it would take far more than the company has left in it just to pare down and succeed at doing a fraction of what it has been attempting lately. If its really that dire, why are there any buyers?

-Rich




Rich:

Celestron was in a very similar position a few years back. Purchase by Synta turned things around.

It maybe that part of Meade's problems are related to moneys owed Jinghua, a previous major supplier. Some have pointed out that Meade no longer uses Jinghua... maybe they had their credit line cut off.

I see value in Meade, as Rod says, in the name, in the designs, in the patents, probably in the manufacturing facilities and distribution networks. And I am not so pessimistic regarding a turnaround in the hands of the right people, I think it could happen faster than most think but it would require people who already know the company from the inside.

Jon


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5936927 - 06/23/13 06:47 PM

Does anyone know what patents Meade currently has, other than the North and Level patent we all know about?

Chris


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ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/07/07

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Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: dawziecat]
      #5936944 - 06/23/13 06:51 PM

Quote:

I can't help but recall though, back in the eighties, after receiving a humungous, very slick Meade catalog on heavy, glossy paper, that this company was just going to utterly destroy Celestron in the marketplace!

Strange how it all turned out.




I remember those big thick catalogs too. I'm inclined to believe, though, that if Meade had spent less on them and more on quality assurance, we wouldn't be having this discussion.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5936961 - 06/23/13 07:02 PM

This is what I have been thinking about. But somehow it seems like the consensus is Meade has gotten too close to the edge to pull back. Too much product in the field in need of TLC. Too much hardware in the distribution channel needing attention. Too much debt. Too much bad blood. It's like no one wants to consider the benefit of the doubt.

I even asked what would happen if we tried to stand up a clean sheet of paper company in a similar niche- none of the baggage, but working on SCTs with a modern modular design on updated forks with flexible mounting features. Even that immediately is getting shot down as an unfeasible investment. With that sort of response, nothing is possible. And that is what doesn't seem fair to me- that's the door slammed before word one.

-Rich

Quote:

Quote:

The number of people saying its pointless to try amazes me. What's even more, the only ones who say anything could be done say it would take far more than the company has left in it just to pare down and succeed at doing a fraction of what it has been attempting lately. If its really that dire, why are there any buyers?

-Rich




Rich:

Celestron was in a very similar position a few years back. Purchase by Synta turned things around.

It maybe that part of Meade's problems are related to moneys owed Jinghua, a previous major supplier. Some have pointed out that Meade no longer uses Jinghua... maybe they had their credit line cut off.

I see value in Meade, as Rod says, in the name, in the designs, in the patents, probably in the manufacturing facilities and distribution networks. And I am not so pessimistic regarding a turnaround in the hands of the right people, I think it could happen faster than most think but it would require people who already know the company from the inside.

Jon




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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

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Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: ColoHank]
      #5936963 - 06/23/13 07:03 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I can't help but recall though, back in the eighties, after receiving a humungous, very slick Meade catalog on heavy, glossy paper, that this company was just going to utterly destroy Celestron in the marketplace!

Strange how it all turned out.




I remember those big thick catalogs too. I'm inclined to believe, though, that if Meade had spent less on them and more on quality assurance, we wouldn't be having this discussion.




I think their catalogs had their place.

Lawsuits though... and the marketing department. I have to think their attempt to call their advanced SCT a Richey-Chretien was a major marketing blunder.

It was clearly not a Rickey-Chretien and their justification was that there was no strict definition of a R-C.. It put them up against the manufacturers of R-Cs but more importantly, the lawsuit and losing it was negative publicity, lost in the shuffle was the fact that the ACF design was a significant step forward.

Such errors happen when companies get too big and are in the hands of marketers rather than those with actual knowledge of the field.

I wonder what Astro-Physics is worth???

Jon


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Spacetravelerx
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5936982 - 06/23/13 07:23 PM

Quote:



I think the time for the amateur community to vote on Meade has come and gone. We have voted with our pocketbooks...

Jon




Jon

We have. I bought a 14" LX850. Wonderful telescope and system.


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gezak22
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 08/15/04

Loc: On far side of moon. Send help...
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5937011 - 06/23/13 07:43 PM

While I don't own a single Meade product, there is no doubt in my mind that in ~10-20 years I would be interested in a 11+" Cat/Cass, so saving Meade would be in my interest - count me in for $2k.

But if purchasing a 90mm scope results in clouds for one week, what will this CN-based takeover produce?

Edited by gezak22 (06/23/13 07:52 PM)


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greedyshark
professor emeritus
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Reged: 10/31/05

Loc: 3rd Rock
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: gezak22]
      #5937043 - 06/23/13 08:10 PM

Quote:

But if purchasing a 90mm scope results in clouds for one week, what will this CN-based takeover produce?




Nice!

Charles


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: greedyshark]
      #5937131 - 06/23/13 09:09 PM

I hadn't thought through the new scope curse implications...

-Rich


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5937140 - 06/23/13 09:13 PM

Quote:

Quote:



I think the time for the amateur community to vote on Meade has come and gone. We have voted with our pocketbooks...

Jon




Jon

We have. I bought a 14" LX850. Wonderful telescope and system.




I have also voted with my pocket book. I have three Meade telescopes, two refractors and a Newtonian. The Newtonian is over 30 years old, the refractors are close to it..

Jon


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #5937149 - 06/23/13 09:20 PM

Quote:

This is what I have been thinking about. But somehow it seems like the consensus is Meade has gotten too close to the edge to pull back. Too much product in the field in need of TLC. Too much hardware in the distribution channel needing attention. Too much debt. Too much bad blood. It's like no one wants to consider the benefit of the doubt.




I think the difference between your thinking and mine is that I believe a successful turnaround requires someone who really knows the amateur astronomy business and really knows the company from the inside.

I do like the analogy of the old beater car.. on the outside, to the uninitiated, it looks like a bargain. But you have to be a mechanic to have a chance.. and you better be good because there are reasons that the car is for sale...

Jon


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Starhawk
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Reged: 09/16/08

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Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5937180 - 06/23/13 09:46 PM

My only problem with what you are saying is it sounds like Deus Ex Machina to me. Who is this magic entity who already knows the company in and out, and knows the market perfectly, and why didn't they save it in the first place?

I agree if someone who knows the company in and out, has perfect knowledge of the business, and has perfect knowledge of the market combined with massive resources, they should do well. Then again, the company's remains offer nothing to such an entity.

Again, I went beyond asking what about Meade. And even the clean sheet is addressed that way.

My problem is folks going far beyond the beater car to if asked about putting together a kit, are also saying it's impossible to do that either.

And the point I've tried to make is the successful enterprises in this area did NOT start with a group of investors and a marketing plan. And that sort of situations is what seems most dangerous to primes. Instead, they started with some really good products, and they started small.

And in my mind, this is all about starting over.

-Rich

Edited by Starhawk (06/23/13 10:18 PM)


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greedyshark
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Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #5937225 - 06/23/13 10:13 PM

Quote:

And in my mind, this is all about starting over.





Yep...from scratch. If that's the game, I'm in.

Charles


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