I think it was humorist and co-founder of the Algonquin Round Table, Robert Benchley (not to mention forbearer of author Peter “Jaws” Benchley) who quipped, “There are two kinds of people in this world…those who put people into two groups, and those who don’t.” I’m definitely in the first group. And for the purposes of this essay, the two groups into which I’m dividing people can be thought of as “Makers” versus “Customers.” To put it another way, when something needs fixing, or you can’t find exactly what you want, “makers” do it themselves, while “customers” hire it done. Nothing wrong with that. Depends on the task, I suppose. If it’s something I can do myself, I’ll do it. If it’s something I can’t (major surgery springs to mind) I’ll hire it done. But some people delegate a lot more than I. For instance, when I couldn’t find an iPhone 6 Plus belt holster to my liking, I made one. No big. Not hard to do. And I enjoy working with my hands. But I’ve gotten lots of questions about the case. It usually goes something like this: [Read more…] about Blessed are the Makers…
Recently, I’ve gotten restless, and I’ve decided to begin playing music professionally again. Trouble is, I don’t have a lot of contacts here in Amarillo. So I’ve decided to apply the same techniques I recommend to my marketing clients to my own situation. That means I’ve got to find ways to get myself noticed around town. What you see at the left here is a poster I whipped up in an hour or so this evening. I’ve secured a one-night gig – kind of a “let’s see if this works” kind of thing. Obviously, I’d like this to turn into a regular gig. So I’m doing everything I know how to do to make that happen. First, we’ll start with promotions. I’m going to print several of these posters and give them to Pizza Hut. I figure that the combination of a nice-looking poster along with taking the initiative to promote my appearance there will go a long way towards helping them see the possibilities. It won’t cost me much to do it, and it will help serve my larger goal of getting my name out there as a musician in Amarillo. With only two days before the gig, I don’t have much time to self-promote, but I figure that anything I can do is better than sitting around and waiting for something good to happen. [Read more…] about A little experiment in musicial (self-)marketing.
As I’ve mentioned here before, I’m working on something that I’m pretty excited about. I still can’t say too much about it (I’m in the midst of submitting patent and trademark applications) but I can tease you a little bit with the name of the company. What I’d like to get is some feedback, particularly if you’re a musician (especially a fretted instrument player). In particular, I’m looking for information from individuals suffering from G.A.S. – Guitar Acquisition Syndrome.
The name of the company is GuitarFurniture, and you can visit our “coming soon” website at guitarfurniture.com. Without giving away too much, we’re going to be building fine furniture for your guitar. Our theory is that if you’re gonna spend $3,000 and up on a guitar, you’d be inclined to spend a little more to get a really great guitar stand for your instrument, instead of one of the typically cheap stands sold at most music stores. [Read more…] about A Musical Question.
And I thought I’d let you know about it.
Here’s the deal…I’m always thinking about ways to make the things I use better. I’m also good with my hands, and notoriously cheap, when it comes to buying something I could make myself – especially when I can make something that’s better than what I can buy.
The other day, I was looking for a guitar stand, one that would hold several instruments at once. I didn’t like anything I found at GuitarCenter – too expensive, and cheaply made. I figured I could make something that would cost less and work better. And I was right. Turns out, a bunch of people agreed with me, and want to get me to make them a stand like the one I made for myself. What a novel idea. [Read more…] about I’m working on something cool…
I get to be creative for a living. In fact, my livlihood depends on me coming up with creative solutions to problems, and creative ideas in marketing, advertising and design. I’ve given a lot of thought to how ideas come into being, largely because the more ideas I get, the better off I am (within reason). There’s an old saying I like, “necessity is the mother of invention.” You could argue that it’s also the mother of creativity, or at the very least, the spark that lights the match of imagination. Case in point… [Read more…] about How ideas happen.
For those of you in the Greater Amarillo/Texas Panhandle area (Centrally Located Between Two Oceans!™), I will be playing at Joe Taco’s restaurant on Friday, from 6:30 to 9 PM, and at Randy’s of Wilderado (on Polk St.) on Saturday, from 6 to 9 PM, and again on Wednesday, as a part of the Noon on the Square series, downtown. I’ll be playing guitar, bass, mandolin, some percussion, and singing. If you’re into acoustic guitars and an eclectic mix of music, we’d love to see you there.
Okay, here’s the deal. I’ve just returned from a music store today, where I had an experience that I can only describe as unreal. I saw a brand commit suicide, right before my very eyes. Allow me to explain.
In addition to being a marketing guy, I’m also a professional musician. One of the instruments I play is the acoustic guitar. My brand of choice is C.F. Martin. Now, understand, I grew up in the music business. I took up guitar in my early 20s – well after I turned pro, as a drummer. I quickly grew to love the guitar, and went from a pretty nice “starter” instrument (a Yairi) to a Guild (which turned out to be a complete piece of crap) to what became my “ultimate” guitar – a C.F. Martin. I’ve owned several Martins, in the time I’ve been playing. My current instrument is a beautiful HD-35, with herringbone trim, and a three-piece, bookmatched rosewood back. It is a truly wonderful instrument. In those days, Martin made guitars so well, that they used a fixed truss rod in the neck. It couldn’t be adjusted, because you never needed to adjust it. It just worked. Years later, Martin bowed to pressure from those that valued user control over craftsmanship, and began selling instruments with adjustable truss rods. I was sad to hear it, because it took away the edge that made Martin a brand apart. [Read more…] about Un-branding.