Well, Hirsch Guitar finally came to an end. It was fun, it was educational, it was an experience. But ultimately it wasn’t sustainable. I couldn’t make the numbers work – the guitars were just too expensive and the market for them too small.
But I’m very glad I did it. I got it out there and proved the design, if not the economics. I got to meet one of my heroes, David Gilmour (yes, he of Pink Floyd – that David Gilmour), and he borrowed a prototype and invited me round to his house. Ultimately it wasn’t for him, but he was good enough to say nice things about it.
I met many other professional musicians, some famous, some less so but perhaps on their way. I got great feedback and encouragement, and had a lot of fun hanging out with them.
But above all, I got a sense of accomplishment, of “doing something”. And one thing the project really showed me is: if you’re out there doing something, making the effort, being original, trying to contribute something to the world, people will talk to you. They’ll give you their time. Shame they didn’t also give me their money, but hey, can’t have everything 😉 I did sell one though, and I’m really grateful to that customer, who I won’t name, out of respect for their privacy.
Overall, I certainly lost some money funding the whole project. But not a huge amount in the grand scheme of things. And what I got in return was an amazing experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life – worth every penny! Plus of course I still have a few SB-1 Radius guitars left, that I can enjoy playing in the years to come, or perhaps sell as and when. So do get in touch if you’d like to buy one!
Would I do it again? Probably. Would I do things differently? Perhaps. Slightly. I probably wouldn’t go down the patenting route, as that was my biggest single expense and probably accounted for half of the money invested in the venture, without really delivering any value. But that’s a double-edged sword. If the business had turned out to be successful, those patents would very likely have proved invaluable and perhaps been the difference between getting ripped off and getting royalties from a licensing deal. Actually next time, I’d probably put more energy into licensing the design rather than trying to manufacture it myself. I may yet come back to it one day and do exactly that – so interested parties, apply within! 😉
But for now, my interest is back with playing guitars rather than trying to sell them…