The humble cassette tape, a happy memory for many music fans of a certain age, has staged a comeback for one Canadian company.
The first order came in 1989: 10 cassettes. With that began Analogue Media Technologies, a company created to help bands market their music.
Musicians would bring finished master recordings and graphic design templates, and Analogue, now also called Duplication.ca, would turn those materials into slickly produced albums, complete with labels, cover art and liner notes, ready for sale or distribution.It isn't just one Canadian company cashing in, as several in the United States offer the same services too. But what would entrepreneurs do without academics to study them;
"Small businesses are in a unique position to take advantage of trends because they can move quickly," says Helena Yli-Renko, associate professor of clinical entrepreneurship at the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Southern California.
They are also better placed to serve a niche market, she says. Small companies such as Analogue can see big profits from filling a niche - profits that might be negligible to a huge conglomerate working with more mainstream customers.'Profits' are what make the world a happy place. Even for artists.