By Rob Miller | Portfolio Manager at NAOS Asset Management
Podcast by Wondery
Business Wars is a podcast that looks at some of the great company rivalries in modern history. Featured battles on this podcast series include Ferrari v Lamborghini, Hasbro v Mattel and McDonalds v Burger King. The Gibson v Fender group of episodes explore the war between the two most iconic guitar companies of all time, both of which remain mainstays of the music world today.
Gibson starts out as a mandolin and violin maker in the 19th century, whilst Leo Fender, before he incorporates Fender Guitars, is an engineer who does radio repairs. Both companies turn their hand to creating the first electric guitar in the late 1940s/1950s. An arms race develops between Gibson and Fender which involves some of the biggest musicians on the planet. Starting out as garage operations, both companies undergo significant change as they scale up and modernise. Ownership changes occur, the impact of financial cycles is severe, licensing negotiations are important, all the while, the companies battle against each other for supremacy of the guitar world.