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September 24 , 2007 - Trust & Reason

Editor's Note: Our readership needs to be forgiving right now ... we are writing reviews as fast as our little fingers will let us. We apologize for the delay in this entry.

As some people know, and others do not, I received my education in economics both at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  While this seemingly has nothing to do with the fitness industry it does has something to do with the way that I perceive the world in which I deal.  I was reading the new book by Alan Greenspan this weekend, The Age of Turbulence, and was struck by a very keep-it-simple-stupid concept included in the book – trust.  Greenspan, probably the greatest central banker since the unofficial tenure of J.P. Morgan, noted how important trust is as a lubricant to economic transactions.  We trust that when we buy groceries at the store that the groceries will not kill us.  We trust that when we purchase a lawn service that they will essentially do the services they promise to perform.  In turn these companies trust that we will pay according to the terms that we agree upon when we enter into the relationship.  It is the central ingredient to all transactions.  As Greenspan also noted, if we had to adjudicate even 10% of transactions our courts would be quickly swamped, and all economic activity would grind to a halt.

You now may be asking yourself why I am talking about trust.  The internet is a great place.  We have created a business that has grown and prospered due to the internet.  It is a business that frankly would not be possible without it.  There is a dark side to the Internet, however, in that it is a place with unlimited free speech.  Some of our readers would attribute the dark side of the Internet to Treadmill Doctor.  It is true that we are usually sarcastic, we bite, we push and bully manufacturers and consumers to be more responsible, but we are nothing if not reasonable.  We are, at the end of the day, reasonable.  It is because of our being reasonable that we have earned the trust of consumers.  You may not agree with us.  But in the vast majority of cases people can see that we have reasonable arguments that are based on facts or reasonable opinions.  We don’t make things up out of thin air, and when we are wrong or have mistaken research we are happy to correct ourselves. 

The reason that I am writing this entry, about this subject, is that we will be launching the reviews for the 2008 season very soon.  We have, unwittingly, been thrust into a position of some authority with regards to our reviews, and authority begets responsibility.  To that end I want all people to understand that we have a single test for our reviews when they are written before we post them to the website.  Are they reasonable?  Will others be able to see where we are coming from when they read the reviews?  Yes we are sarcastic, and yes we serve a fair amount of ridicule as well, but frankly much of the ridicule is well deserved.  So if you don’t like what we are saying … too bad.  We have never had to fabricate to criticize manufacturers.  Manufacturers give us plenty of material to work with.  You may not like the reviews, but they are reasonable.  And by the way, that’s why so many people read our reviews … at last count many times more than all other reviewers put together.