Business Week has a story about our very own King of Gadgets, Bob Crane of C. Crane, the Fortuna-based company. You may remember Hank Sims' curious tale involving C. Crane a few years ago.
Anyway, the Biz Week thing's a candid Q and A, and if you didn't already like the guy, you just might after reading it. He says things like:
I think the American garage is a very powerful place to innovate products, a source of ideas, and the foundation for America.
My wife and I started C. Crane at the kitchen table in 1983 with $300.
We truly have a vision to save the world energy. We have a sense of loyalty to this country and to humans in general, so we feel this is something we must do.
We've done a couple jobs for the government, but in general we don't like to take handouts.
Crane tells the interviewer about the company's new GeoBulb -- it uses half the energy of a compact fluorescent.
But, dangit, it still costs $99.95, notes the interviewer. To which Crane replies, "Our customers now are early adopters. They are under 40, they're heavy environmentalists, and they recycle every scrap of cardboard. The others are commercial users in places where they have to pay someone to change a bulb. When you add in the security clearances and labor costs at places like government installations or large hotels, it's cost-efficient for them to use our bulbs."
Well, read it yourself.