You Might Want to Listen to your Critics

Les Paul

Today is the Birthday of Les Paul, the inventor of the solid body electric guitar, and he has a few things to teach us about business. Can you even guess what inspired this invention? A critic. When he was about 13 Les began entertaining customers at Beekman’s BBQ for tips. He sang, played his guitar, and his harmonica (using a neck worn harmonica holder that he also invented). The customers who were closest to him and could hear him well would pay him tips. He was a smart kid and knew he could get MORE tips if everyone could hear him.  So he figured out how to amplify his voice using a telephone mouthpiece attached to the top of a broom handle and ran it through a radio speaker.  That worked fine until someone in back sent a note that said, “Your voice and harmonica are fine, but your guitar’s not loud enough.” Les borrowed the needle arm from his Dad’s radio-phono player and jammed it into the guitar’s bridge and taped it in place. The rest is history. Les is the only musician to be included in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame AND the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
So you might want to listen to your critics. They might just give you some really great ideas. That’s this week’s Imagination Hat.

Read the full story at The Les Paul Foundation website:

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