Open Guitar Business Models
Why Open Guitars?
Fender and Gibson guitars dominate the industry. The Stratocaster and Les Paul electric guitar designs are 60 years old, but still dominate purchases--for a variety of reasons--but smaller companies are creating innovative designs with a different social consciousness.
Open/P2P Guitar Business Models
Open versions of existing guitar designs are already here. They even sell them as guitar kits on eBay . However things can go further that that.
Guitars (and instruments in general) can be designed, manufactured and funded, in an open/p2p way.
For instance, wood, can be sourced locally or regionally. And local or regional labor can be networked for production. Tool-sharing, open garage(s)/hackerspaces and Fab Labs can be used to as places to cheaply manufacture guitars. They provide an environment of tinkering, a space to share ideas and designs, and use manufacturing tools like Open Pin Routers and Open CNC machines.
P2P Funding, like [Kickstarter] is crucial for prototyping new instrument designs in the physical world. Online tinkerers already swap circuit mods and routing tips.
Assembled Kit Guitars
One model for a guitar microbusiness is to assemble quality kit guitars. The buyer gets a higher quality guitar, possibly an open design one. And the sellers gets the money at he expense of the large internationals.
Profits from that can potentially seed-fund a fulo luthier enterprise
Differences to Current Business Models
Guitars (and many instruments) are predominately made in alignment with a corporate state capitalist social conscience. Low wage foreign labor in Chinese, Korean and Mexican factories with harsh conditions, dominate.
Generally, higher quality instruments are produced in America, Europe, Japan and sometimes Korea but also predominantly under neoliberal values.
Smaller, more entreprenuerial capitalist companies often are significantly better; they use local labor and parts, for instance. But the designs are still closed. And profits are fundamentally made on too many artificial scarcities.
The Used Market
Also a significant second-hand market exists. On eBay, Craigslist, popular guitar forums and swap meets thousands of instruments are traded daily. There's an abundance used instrument and parts that can serve as material input to tinker with new designs.
Setting up a (P2P) Network
Setting up a network for luthiers, modders, parts manufacturers, and guitar buyers is an integral part of getting this syste to workm. The network would have to take the form of a centralized website for now.