Chances are if you are a musician you have heard of the company Fishman Electronics. Fishman Electronics is the largest acoustic guitar pickup supplier in the world. They also produce several other items ranging from pedals and amplifiers all the way to bridges and tuners. Around the world and night after night, you can see and hear Fishman products played by musicians on stages both big and small.
Larry Fishman founded the company in 1981. Not a planned affair, the business was actually almost accidental. There were no investors and no business plan. Larry was an engineering graduate who moved to
Boston to study and play music. After attending Berkeley he went on the road playing double bass in most jazz groups. At the time most clubs stopped maintaining and tuning their pianos due to musicians bringing in their own equipment, like a Rhodes piano. Music got progressively louder, which was making it difficult to hear the double bass. This led Larry to create what would be the first Fishman pickups in his basement machine shop. It took him about a year to create the final product.
Shortly after, Larry broke his finger and was unable to play bass for several months. A local repairman was blown away by the pickup and told Larry he could sell them. He started making electric violin pickups among other things. This kick-started the reputation of Larry’s pickup production. Guild later contracted him to make an acoustic guitar pickup for them. The first 500 were produced by Larry and a friend in his basement. This then led to him producing a pickup for Martin guitars after he took his pickup to a trade show. He got a call from Martin and they needed 10K of them by the next year. He rented out 5000 square foot workspace and things just naturally progressed from there.
No matter the instrument you play, you should know Fishman Electronics. They are a company that started on accident and eventually progressed into a massive company that supplies musicians and brands globally with what they need. Fishman is truly a fairy tale story that has a happy ending.