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Well that doesn't sound good at all..... for the CEO that is. The last line of the article is a bit more encouraging, albeit just a tiny bit!


“The core business is a very stable business, and a sustainable one. But you have a balance sheet problem and an operational problem.”

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I think this is where they went wrong..


Posted June 2015



Gibson Guitars' $40 Million, 11 Year Tech Gamble

Sometimes a brand has so much history on their side it can begin to hurt them. While nobody wants to let go of a legacy, clutching too tightly could quickly give the appearance of being outdated, and that’s the easiest way to turn the up-and-coming millennial demographic off.


Gibson guitars, the legendary crafters of some of the finest instruments to ever create rock and roll (including the iconic Les Paul), is having just such a problem. An aficionado might tell you that plenty has changed over the years in the world of guitars, but much of it is cosmetic. The company’s CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz, was very open about how little his company’s core product has evolved, especially when compared to music itself, which seems to go in a million new directions every day.


“The industry hasn’t changed in 50 years. That’s a lifetime!”


In order to move forward, innovations had to be made, and $40 million and 11 years later, a “major” change is here.


From 2015 onwards, all Gibson guitars will come equipped with what is perhaps the smartest tuning meter (what most people would call a tuner) ever created. Positioned on the outside of the instrument near the head, the new device only needs a few seconds to perfectly tune the strings on the guitar, which makes it something of a small revolution.



While they were originally planning on altering the inside of their instruments, adding all kinds of tech into the interiors of guitars, their research showed them that true fans simply would not have it. Not only could it slightly alter the music, but people were worried it would become outdated (as tech seems to at a rapidly increasing rate), thus making their expensive purchases equally as outdated. The company settled, placing the new feature on the exterior, which plenty in the industry (and what seems like guitar enthusiasts everywhere) still think of as sacrilegious.


So, why did it cost so much? Well, there was the years of research and development that went into creating what may very well be the world’s most sophisticated tuning meter. In fact, even after the meter had been created, the company had to spend time working on an entirely new manufacturing process, as the system they were using could not produce enough of these smart tuners in a timely manner. The production is more precise and unlike anything Gibson has done before, but then again this entire step is unlike the brand best known for maintaining their place in history.

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