Wow, what an interesting read.
Wow, what an interesting read.
I honestly can't remember how I stumbled on this thread at this point, but WOW how interesting. The only thing missing is TH comments from his website. I wonder if any of the real senior members might have copied the text from his comments and could post them. All we really see of TH on this thread is the one email response that directs us to his real comments, which are no longer available.
NOT TRYING TO FIRE UP THE ISSUE AGAIN, so let's please keep any responses polite! I was just curious about the rest of the story from the TH perspective. This is a significant bit of hammocking history and I would like to see the rest of the story.
I personally own 4 HH hammocks and flys and like them, in addition to my DIY stuff.
The road to success is always under construction.
I've been looking at the discussion here re: the patent issue with ridgelines. I'm not an expert here but it seems quite unlikely a piece of line added to an item is novel enough to be patentable. If it is the adjustable threading of the ridgeline on the HH (I don't see how you could argue this is a selling feature as it is such a hassle to adjust it most people just leave it alone) then I have a simple solution, have Warbonnet and other such hammocks come with a fixed ridgeline. Oh right, they do. Maybe I'm mistaken, but one of the reasons people come to these forums is to find out how to personally modify after-sales items (a la Whoopie Slings, lighter less bulky straps, underquilts, tarp flys,...).
So if it is the unique way the HH ridgeline can be adjusted, I agree it is unfair to copy without permission. But if it is the fact it has a "ridgeline" (some string tied to it) I say that's a mighty big stretch and can be assumed to not be patentable. Anyone that wants to argue that the Blackbird and the HH are the same hammock is on some other planet. The footbox, the shelf system, double layering, removable bug netting, even the suspension system make the WBBB a superior product. The Hennessey context reminds me a lot of Blackberry. Something that works, user friendly, but remaining disconnected from the changes in the industry will eventually leave the product irrelevant.
It's too bad. I liked the new top entry hammock effort (though arguably that was modeled after the WBBB) and the move to offering UL gear. Had I been advising Tom I would have recommended a couple new models (a large netless, a bridge, a DL), maybe a partnership with the folks at Whoopie Slings or AHE, some self tensioning lines, or maybe bringing Dutch into the fold with some of his brilliant innovations.
I hope nobody wishes Tom ill. He was a pioneer and his HH got me interested in hammocking, but nobody has a market on improvement and innovation. And if indeed Tom is threatening any of the products mentioned on the forums, I never once thought, "Wow that's just like a Hennessey."
I do have an idea to help maintain the originality of the HH. Let's all start going to brighter colors than green, camo, and dark brown. Yeah, I know the Cabelas crowd will scream bloody murder, but not all of us hunt. And I can't tell you how many times I almost left a camo tree strap behind. I say let the teenage campers see my hammock five miles away in a fog. Brighter colors will make storage and packing easier, and I don't doubt animals will be less interested in the reds, yellows, and bright colors that in nature identify poisonous animals. I know there are those that prefer stealth (don't want to pollute the image of nature). But if there are people around, I want to know. It might just protect me from some trigger jumpy hunter who thinks my brown WBBB looks a lot like a moose in colour. Especially with me in in it.
"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do in the country when you happen upon two trees spaced 15 feet apart." (John F. Kennedy's neighbor Jim)