Visionary vs Engineer

My friend Mark Levinson, the man not the company, is a visionary not an engineer. In fact, I doubt Mark knows how to design anything electronic yet his namesake adorns some of the best loved products in our industry’s history.

I find this fascinating because many people I run into seem to believe every nerd running a high-end audio company is something of an engineer – else how could that person lead the charge to create cool products we all want to own?

An engineering mentality isn’t required – in fact many time it’s a hindrance. Knowing too much sets up walls and rules that keep people locked inside boxes that are unimaginative.
The best visionaries I have ever met are simply frustrated power users. They know what they want, how it should feel and look when it’s done, what purpose it should fulfill and why it needs to exist. In many cases it’s the frustrated user that simply gets fed up not being able to do something so they go do it themselves.

Satisfying an itch to make something that perfectly fills a need no one else is thinking about is the essence of a visionary – the term seeming like such a lofty title when in fact, they are nothing more than a frustrated user.

We all benefit from the frustrated user that goes out and builds something that scratches their itch.

Paul McGowan – PS Audio Intl.

Give Me a Good Reason

There are plenty of products worth owning but only a very few worth buying and even fewer worth switching.

If you have something in your home that works you don’t have an itch to replace it – in fact, you probably never think about it because it works. When the opposite is true you’re on the hunt for a replacement solution.

So a product that is so extraordinary that it jumps out at you and makes you replace what you have that is working is rare indeed – and rarer still in an industry like ours that sees little true change in products and methods of reproducing music.
Most of what we see and get the itch to buy happens because what we have is getting tired or has been replaced with a newer technology.
This whole thought process just came to me while speaking to a group of Audiophiles on a recent road trip: the question was asked if we had anything extraordinary coming down the line I could share with the group. Of course I think everything we make is extraordinary but what the person was really asking was “is there anything that is worth me selling what I have and replacing it with what you have?”

That, my friends, is a much tougher proposition for any company.

Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

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