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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink Gibson reportedly facing bankruptcy

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Synchro, et al,
There's another "intangible" that Gibson hopefully falls back into. It's called the "platinum and gold standard" in conducting their business. That standard has been shelved and ignored by Gibson as well as corporate America in large part over the last 1/2 century or so.
Case in point:
When I graduated, I worked at a large well known insurance company in NYC that prided itself in its I.T. workforce. There was constant in house training, MANDATORY technical education at least 2-3 times per year. (or you got canned). You had to prove yourself worthy of consideration to even get the programming training they offered.
Flash forward to today..that same insurance company (I recently consulted for them) outsourced its I.T. department to some "we can do it cheaper" India national company. Bottom line - The gold/platinum standard became the "what's good enough" standard. And the "good enough" standard was often missed. When you aim low, you're quite liable to miss and hit lower.

I've heard many economic theories by those who have advanced degrees and have read the books. The theory of producing goods "cheaper" (like overseas production and service) may be ideal - on the hand calculator; but it doesn't often give the desired results as "so and so's school of economic thought so states" in the real world. In other words, you end up with cheap crap or cheap "(lack of) service". Economic theory and the real world have been out of sync on this for quite sometime now.

Yeah, Gibson should blow old Henry J. off. That would be a good start. He is the principle factor in this mess. I wonder what economic theory/business paradigm he was following; or if he ever did study any form of economics or business.
(If so, perhaps he missed a few important chapters)
J Mo'

As I understand it, Henry J is an Harvard MBA. Now, in my book, that has become a pejorative. The whiz kids of WW II, such as Robert McNamara, made the MBA into a popular degree, but their MBAs weren't what made them smart, and as we can all see, even a Whiz Kid like McNamara can make some horrible decisions. McNamara managed the Vietnam War like it was a business deal and we all know how well that turned out.

Harvard teaches management as a generic skill. Their theory is that a Harvard MBA can manage any and every-thing. A manufacturing company, an airline, an insurance company, a financial institution, all are supposedly able to be managed by an MBA. Of course it doesn't work.

The airlines are a perfect example. It used to be that presidents of airlines had worked their way up from the bottom washing planes, fixing planes, flying planes, etc, etc, until they became so experienced that they could manage any part of the business and do so with understanding and insight. That has gone the way of the radial engine and in many cases the "experts" running the airlines of today have no notion of anything beyond the financial aspect of the business. Many of these "experts" have gotten it wrong, over the years.

Henry had an affinity for guitars, but I don't think he truly understood the day to day operations of a company that actually built guitars. What I saw becoming more and more common was gimmickry, unique finishes, Robo Tuners, and crap that he consumer neither requested or wanted becoming more important than the original concept of Gibson, which was to build a guitar which would last a lifetime.

That was how Gibson was marketed back in the sixties. When I was 11 years old and first learning to play, the local Gibson dealer was explaining to my father that if he bought a Gibson for me, I could keep it for the rest of my life and that was not hype. A Gibson from that era would very likely be just fine today.

But the modern notions of promotion being as they are, Gibson wanted to sell you one guitar after another and were going for the visual impact which would cinch a sale instead of the quality which would make a Gibson into an heirloom product. The platinum and gold standards of yesteryear don't exist in many places these days, and that's a real shame.

There was a time when Sears Roebuck sold quality products, although their guitars were nothing to write home about. If you bought a Sears lawn mower and weren't satisfied they'd fix it or refund your money. The same held true for many companies, they stood behind their products and made certain that the customer was satisfied with their purchases. That has become quite rare. I used to want a Mercedes, because one would last nearly forever. Nowadays their quality is not nearly as good. Fickle consumers willing to live in perpetual debt, companies with only short-term goals and products of questionable quality make for an endless cycle of short-term consumption and no lasting equity.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.
My Guitar WebSite
Dead Thread

My guitarist has a Les Paul with robo tuners.

One day, it'll be in tune. One day.

Tqi wrote:

One day, it'll be in tune. One day.

I wouldn't hold my breath. Smile

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.
My Guitar WebSite
Dead Thread

synchro wrote:

Tqi wrote:

One day, it'll be in tune. One day.

I wouldn't hold my breath. Smile

Don't worry. Eventually the robot will break down. Wink

I pretty much only have time to play my strats into my vintage Fender amps these days. Surf requires dedication. I own these just for fun. They are beautiful to look at and play fantastically. Luckily I only have 1100.00 and a little elbow grease in all of them. Unfortunately they are copies. I enjoyed buying them because I hated the CEO!
image

The Kahuna Kings

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Kahuna-Kings/459752090818447

https://thekahunakings.bandcamp.com/releases

I wonder how a V would sound for Surf. Probably the full size humbuckers would not be optimal, but a V would look cool on stage.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.
My Guitar WebSite
Dead Thread

A Flying V for surf you say?

The only thing missing is a red ‘34 Ford coupe. Smile

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.
My Guitar WebSite
Dead Thread

Last edited: May 02, 2018 23:49:38

WoodyJ wrote:

So, I suppose "Pre-bankruptcy" will be to used Gibsons what be what "Pre-CBS" is to old Fenders someday.

Thinking about it, the current Gibson guitars compare more to the CBS-ers of Fender, when quality was poor and models were uninspired. Fender re-emerged after a management buyout to produce some excellent product, let's hope Gibson recover to do the same

www.thewaterboarders.net
http://thewaterboarders.bandcamp.com/

JohnnyMosrite wrote:

Synchro, et al,
There's another "intangible" that Gibson hopefully falls back into. It's called the "platinum and gold standard" in conducting their business. That standard has been shelved and ignored by Gibson as well as corporate America in large part over the last 1/2 century or so.

You’ve got some years on me but I completely agree with this. Something I’ve noticed just in the last 10 - 15 years is that almost nothing is made to be repairable, just replaceable. Car parts, power tools, electronic components (new motherboard because of a single diode no one knows how to find!), but thankfully not guitar or tube amps.

It’s scary, what happens when the last generation of repairmen dies? Everything will be disposable!

I don’t have any Gibson anything but reading this thread made me really appreciate that Fender is alive and well!

Dan

DeathTide wrote:

JohnnyMosrite wrote:

Synchro, et al,
There's another "intangible" that Gibson hopefully falls back into. It's called the "platinum and gold standard" in conducting their business. That standard has been shelved and ignored by Gibson as well as corporate America in large part over the last 1/2 century or so.

You’ve got some years on me but I completely agree with this. Something I’ve noticed just in the last 10 - 15 years is that almost nothing is made to be repairable, just replaceable. Car parts, power tools, electronic components (new motherboard because of a single diode no one knows how to find!), but thankfully not guitar or tube amps.

It’s scary, what happens when the last generation of repairmen dies? Everything will be disposable!

I don’t have any Gibson anything but reading this thread made me really appreciate that Fender is alive and well!

Dan

It's ultimately very wasteful. Stories have surfaced about finding broken Les Pauls in the dumpster behind a GC. Apparently Gibson didn't want to pony up for the expense of shipping and repairing a guitar so they just insisted that it be destroyed. I can't attest to the veracity of these rumors, but it is in keeping with what I've seen from Gibson's way of doing business.

At my office, there are all sorts of obsolete servers, PCs and related equipment just waiting to be taken to the recycler. They will be torn apart and some materials will be recycled while other materials apparently hit the landfill. Obsolete hard disk drives are everywhere and, if not properly scrubbed, are a security hazard as well. The problem is ubiquitous and musical equipment hasn't escaped the same fate.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.
My Guitar WebSite
Dead Thread

I think Fender have the extra security of making amps as well as guitars, which Gibson don't have. Although Gibson have a better acoustic line, Fender are renowned for their guitars and amps.

www.thewaterboarders.net
http://thewaterboarders.bandcamp.com/

Last edited: May 03, 2018 15:55:30

I've always believed that Gibson is potentially viable as a guitar maker. However, I don't believe that they are viable on the scale Henry J envisioned. The original Gibson company was fairly small. When Henry decided to expand operations he may have outgrown his "root system", so to speak, by placing the company in a position where unrealistic growth targets had to be met to stay afloat.

The Gibson line itself has a lot going for it and, with care, could be groomed into a vibrant business. It may not set the world on fire, but it could be a sustainable business and enjoy great customer loyalty if they return to the values which made the company strong in the beginning.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.
My Guitar WebSite
Dead Thread

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