View Full Version : If you want to be a builder...

Pete Howlett
11-15-2009, 07:46 AM
If you want to build pay attention to the first part of this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7O7bx49_aM0)....

11-15-2009, 08:31 AM
Great interview...

Like him or hate him, PRS has been through it all. His point about employees and owning a company introducing "a whole list of problems that have nothing to do with guitar making" was spot on. The curse of the small business person - especially when that business is art.

Thanks for posting this.

11-15-2009, 09:12 AM
That guy knows who he is, where he is, what he is doing, where he is going, and how to relate to others. I'm not surprised he is a success.

John Colter.

Pete Howlett
11-15-2009, 11:25 AM
Actually I find him to be very smug - I've watched quite a few of his interviews and his thoughts on Brazilian rosewood are contemptable.

11-15-2009, 01:12 PM
He seems to have a lot to be smug about.

John Colter.

11-15-2009, 04:58 PM
Very well done interview. I can identify with what Paul's saying, albeit on a smaller scale.

Not including our family, our company supports the lives of 9 people and their families. Although we're constantly striving for better results in a shorter amount of time, it's critical to keep the art of the build alive. There's a tricky balance between making a smart business decision and cutting corners. Not a lot of people notice or may even appreciate when you add value to a product, but everyone notices when you take something away. Even so, it's hard to compete when you remain stagnant.

Managing people is a lot harder than managing wood. I keep my crew streamlined and hand picked, but it still isn't easy. I don't even want to imagine a staff of 185. I would have no time to build and end up running a business, not doing what I love to do.

My brother and I grew up with our father, so it isn't hard for us to keep the spirit of his building style alive. While we're all different, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. It usually takes about 3-6 months for a new employee to retain a set of basic skills. The impartation of the unseen is what can take a while, or sometimes never happen. I mentioned earlier that there are only two people who help me on custom builds. Aside from their pure physical skill, they know my style. I rarely need to communicate in detail and they're able to execute orders with what I have in mind. Again, I can't imagine what that would be like with 20X the amount of staff.

Anyway, I could ramble on forever, so I'll stop there.