Episode 2 - American Guitars
What can electric guitars teach us about the American economy?
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Big Box retail may have spurred some innovative manufacturing techniques. Automation, robotics, CNC carving; all of it means we can make guitars — or anything — to tighter tolerances and faster and cheaper than a human can. But automation and robotics at the big Guitar Makers mean fewer hands building guitars. Private Equity and financial manipulation are not sustainable substitutes for innovation.
On one level this is the story of two independent electric guitar builders; Seuf Electric Guitars and Swope Guitars. But it’s also a story of the American economy and how big box retail, structured finance, and some of the most iconic companies in America forgot about their customers, took a dump in their own tour bus, and broke up the band.