You will hear me trumpet small, custom gear makers frequently here on JTT in large part because of the advantages of working with them. They can do things that larger makers can’t, like help bring your idea to life. However, the best ones also use their expertise to help hone your design into something truly useful.
Jon at PHLster recently released a thoughtful video that talks through the intricacies of the customer/maker relationship. He speaks to the moral dilemma that many makers find themselves in when approaching these types of custom jobs and the obligations of the maker to deliver a useable product. I know makers are approached with off the wall ideas all the time. It is interesting to see how at least one established craftsman approaches these situations.