Speaking as someone who actually has sent in a couple of product suggestions to Leatherman, they are very courteous but not overly 'wowed' by every new idea which comes across their desks.
...which is probably exactly how Case, Gerber, Kershaw, and the rest felt when Leatherman contacted them all those years back.
Interesting to read these. However, I don't think that any of them were especially "stupid" in their rejections. Without any way of proving it, I'd expect that the Leatherman doesn't do nearly as well without the following: - The name - Focus upon the single product--imagine Stanley looking at the sales of screwdrivers and pliers and seeing the PST doing nothing. Marketing and Strategy will kill it. - A splashHow many multitools came before the Leatherman? The only one that anyone knows anything about is the SAK. The others died. It had to be its own brand to create the market. Lets remember that brands branching into new things often just doesn't work, no matter how good the product is. For examples of this see Colgate making TV dinners, or McDonalds making pizza. The products were "fine", but nobody knew them for that. I'd contend that the only two then-existing brands that could have made the Leatherman work would have been Wenger or Victorinox.