Well, I think I see the root of the problem:
I've been on a number of volunteer efforts... being President of the largest community association... being President of the School board... had far more consequences then Amsat can even imagine.
I have a pretty good idea of what "volunterism" on a corporate level means. ... The AMSAT BOD has no real comprehension of that concept... ... except for getting myself ... elected most of the people who I vote for dont...
Well, from your excellent vantage point on the top of a huge pile of volunteers actually doing the work, I think you do not have any idea how satellites actually get built and launched by volunteers with no pay or compensation.
Further, nothing of what you say in your vast experience has anything to do with the 5 or 6 guys working 12 and 16 hour days for months and years to get the thing designed, built, integrated, tested, and launched.
Turn that pyramid that you like to sit on the top of upside down, with yourself on the BOTTOM with say a few thousand kibitzers sitting on your shoulders each one with his own expectations about what YOU should be doing. And maybe you will see how many of the amateur satellites get built.
I do not in any way want to underestimate or denigrate the huge amount of work that many hundreds of AMSAT volunteers do to make our missions work. EVERYONE of them finds a niche where he or she can help... And they do the bulk of the routine work, But when it gets down to designing the circuits, the spacecraft and then building it and testing it, it is usually that small handful of top-talent that actually gets the job done.
Again, AMSAT has dozens of such top-talent volunteers, but only a small handful are available for any one project. Each satellite campaign takes a HUGE PERSONAL toll in marriages, family, work, and sanity, and often burns out these individuals for a while... And there is nothing more burning, then self-appointed top-down kibitzers who waste everyone's time with incessant harping and won't get out of the way and won't support the few rare opportunities that we might get.
Thank heavens for the huge majority of AMSAT volunteers who contribute and support the organization and the particular individuals at any one time who may have found a launch opportunity and are giving their lives to develop something to meet that unique opportunity.
Its the extremley rare free LAUNCH that determines the mission, which determines what we build, and no amount of kibitzing and whinning by a few keyboard-jockys is going to change that.