The piano world has lost one of the great proponents and innovators with the passing of Joe Ross. Joe has had a profound impact on countless people around the world by creating PianoMart.
Ross was a piano technician who had a vision way back in the 1990s when the internet was in its infancy, he thought, wouldn’t it be great if people could buy pianos from private parties, just the way they do cars and books and things like that. And he started PianoMart.
You think about back then most homes didn’t even have internet!
And if they did, it was probably dial up. A lot of people thought what he was doing would be impossible, but he built this into an amazing empire. And I think about the countless people and families who grew up with piano as a direct result of Joe’s vision and determination and perseverance and creating this resource for people to buy pianos. After all:
Joe wasn’t a computer programmer. He was a piano technician.
But he found allies in his venture and persevered over many, many years. He came up with an innovative escrow system because you think about the challenges of people doing commerce on the internet back in the nineties. This was really cutting edge. And that way, people could put the money into an escrow account held by PianoMart to make sure the pianos were safely delivered.
Back then, the only way people in rural communities could get a piano from a private party was through local classified advertisements, or maybe a bulletin board at a local supermarket.
Many people living in outlying areas didn’t even have piano stores!
Joe’s vision also created the opportunity for people to find some relative value of their pianos. So if somebody for example, had a Steinway model M for sale, they could look and see all the Steinway M’s all around the country and yes, around the world, and get some idea of what the value was.
So I thank Joe for bringing piano to countless families all over the world. People who maybe would not have had pianos ever if he hadn’t had the vision and the determination, and worked so hard to help bring pianos to people. Joe is going to be missed by a lot of people. Everyone who knew him, loved him and loved his dedication. And we’ve all been touched by Joe. So this is for Joe Ross. Thank you. Thanks for joining me. Robert Estrin at LivingPianos.com.