Monday, May 13, 2013

Haters Gonna Hate? JDMphasis responding to criticism...

I have recently been at the receiving end of some internet criticism. Any attention is good attention, right? I don't know about that, but I would  just like to take a few minutes to address a few things...

I came across a write-up about JDMphasis from another blogger. While I believe the pervading tone of the post is positive, as he praised me for having strong opinions, standing by them, and conducting myself with maturity and understanding, the blogger also referred to me as "haughty," "angry," and "elitist."

First, I have no horse in the authentic/replica debate. I do not benefit one way or the other if people choose to cut corners and fake the funk or, conversely, if they choose to represent the real. Personally, I gain nothing when people buy authentic parts. At the same time, I am not directly affected when people support the companies that steal designs (other than as a consumer and an enthusiast in the long run - negatively).

I started this blog, in large part, with the hope that my experience, opinions, and concerns about the state of the tuning industry would reach a few people and, if nothing else, strike a chord and, perhaps, influence a modifying decision or two. I know that I made mistakes when I was younger in regards to modifying my cars. I have purchased replica parts; not because I had a desire to cut corners or did not want to spend the money for the real thing, but because I actually did not know any better. Like many, I saw a nice car on a forum at the receiving end of much positive publicity and bought one of the parts that was on that car. I learned after the fact that it was a replica part. I was a new, impressionable enthusiast. Years later, I am not an expert, but I am far more knowledgable than I once was. I have met some great people and I have built some solid relationships with people who know far more about the in's and out's of the industry than I do. I have been involved in some great conversations and I have been presented with some great opportunities. For this, I am fortunate.

A friend of mine recently forwarded me a screenshot of a post in a G owner's group on Facebook in which some of the replica-supporting members posted a link to one of my blog posts (here is the post) and announced that I am "full of shit" and that if one does not purchase authentic, I will "rip [their] ass up." I understand that the anger of people who buy fake parts upon being called out is often a bitterness born from a reluctance to accept the reality that they have cut corners. Of course, that is not something anyone wants to hear. Thus, the attempts to justify their corner-cutting ensue and, of course, I am then labeled the bad guy. It is what it is. I deal. However, I do not consider myself any better than any other Japanese car-loving person out there. Despite what some choose to believe, my anti-replica opinions are not personal attacks on those individuals who choose to support replica companies. They are simply an effort to encourage people to support the true visionaries and innovators of the industry. Purchasing replica parts does, ultimately, hurt the real talent, the industry as a whole, and, in the end, the consumer.

I went back and re-read what I wrote in that post and I do not quite know what is manure-ridden or even questionable. Ideally, I would love for these parasitic replica companies to actually contribute to the industry by designing their own parts and adding variety to the aftermarket by supplying more choices, as opposed to riding the coattails of the industry pioneers, but I am not naive. I know that replica and knock-off companies are not going anywhere. I know they will continue to steal designs and reap the benefits of someone else's hard work and ingenuity. I also know that the alleged tuning enthusiast publications will continue to feature, showcase, and praise cars that have cut corners by sporting replica and knock-off parts. The least I can do, via JDMphasis, is encourage people to support the real companies that take the real risks by bringing new products and innovation to the modifying community.

Clearly, this is a topic about which I am passionate. 

I will close by saying that it is encouraging to know that there are enthusiasts out there who see things the same way we, at JDMphasis, do and refuse to fake the funk or cut corners with their builds. Along those lines, I have sent out Innovation over Imitation decals to enthusiasts in 36 States, as well as England, Canada, Australia, and Japan. I have never accepted a dime, despite people asking if they could pay to support JDMphasis. I take pride in the fact that people want to sport our pro-authenticity decals. I do not do this because I benefit in any way. I do not do this to stir the pot or because I enjoy making enemies. I do this because I want to. I do it because I care about the state of the tuning industry. And I truly appreciate the support and encouragement, whether it be an e-mail, a comment, or a LIKE.

I am always interested to hear feedback from readers and followers of the blog. Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts and opinions with us.

JDMphasis... Innovation over Imitation

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