It must be tough building a business whose core products were launched in the 1950s. Fender is best known for its solid-body guitars and electric basses: the Telecaster (1950), the Stratocaster (1954) and the Precision Bass (1951).
Among the insights are Fender’s lack of customer research when Mooney arrived – “I didn’t know who was buying or using the guitars.” – what the subsequent research showed, and how Fender responded.
First-time players were a much larger segment than expected (45% of guitars sold) and 90% abandoned playing within a year. The response? Fender Play is a new subscription service bringing online video lessons to learners with a goal of reducing the churn
If we could reduce the abandonment rate by only 10 per cent, we could double the size of the industry.
These last couple of weeks I’ve been having something of a Steely Dan wallow. I still can’t quite decide which is my favourite album, although 1974’s Pretzel Logic is high in the running, but then again…
And, in sharing these delights with my oldest, and vinyl-collecting, friend I find he had “just picked up an original US press of Katy Lied last Saturday – sensational stuff & the original sounds SOOO much better than the re-press I had.”
Baxter is one of those individuals who has forged hugely successful careers in wildly different fields. John Perry Barlow was another: cattle rancher, internet pioneer, lyricist with the Grateful Dead, cyber-libertarian and founding member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
A third is John Kao: entrepreneur, psychiatrist, a talented jazz pianist who played with Frank Zappa, and a theatre and film producer with the film Sex, Lies and Videotape to his credit.
Do they all qualify as sovereign professionals? I guess they do.
Life is a liar, yeah, life is a cheat
It’ll lead you on and pull the ground from underneath your feet
No use complaining, don’t you worry, don’t you whine
‘Cause if you get it wrong, you’ll get it right next time, next time
Life is about learning from your mistakes. You’re bound to get it wrong sometimes, just make sure you get it right next time.
Another great track from Gerry Rafferty.
Incidentally, I love the arrangement, the way that the song sort of wanders in, says it stuff, then wanders off down the street, again.
Also worth noting is Hugh Burns’ sublime, understated guitar work.
This is the official video. From 1979. Can you guess?
Today the Austrians are as relevant as ever. Autocracy is hardening in China. Democracy is in retreat in Turkey, the Philippines and elsewhere. Populists stalk the Americas and Europe: in Vienna a party with fascist roots is in the ruling coalition. All three would have been perturbed by the decay of the public sphere in the West. Instead of a contest of ideas, there is the tribal outrage of social media, leftwing zealotry on America’s campuses and fearmongering and misinformation on the right.