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I'm surprised so many audio companies exist

When I worked in Silicon Valley we were surrounded by "serial entrepreneurs," people who would start a company, start another company, start another company, on and on. There is a similar pattern with contractors who work under one company name, fold, create a new company, fold, create a new company...
This leads me to ask whether there is a similar pattern in audio. Sure, there may be thousands of companies, but how many are borne of the same people starting multiple brands?
From the simplest point of view there are two segments to the audio market, the consumer and the collector. Consumers can buy what they want at a big box store. Collectors get pleasure from intensive research and always hope to find a unique device.
All the turntable you would ever need. Rock solid and accurate.
Look, I know this is a mundane observation, but I genuinely struggle to get my head around it.

I say this as someone who has an interest in audio but isn't in the "scene", so I don't personally know anyone who buys serious audio gear.

There are hundreds of audio companies[citation needed] when you include the small players.
Dozens of products that cost six figures, countless that cost five.
Weird, expensive, esoteric handmade stuff, like step-up transformers from Germany or tube amps from Japan, etc.

I don't really keep up with most of the stuff being sold these days, so I had a quick look through a Stereophile show report from this year to confirm if this is still the case.
There's still all the power conditioners and cables, of course. There's still those weird half-million dollar MBL speakers. Room diffusers to put on your floor that look like something my toddler would enjoy climbing. $50k planar speakers from some company I've never heard of. How many sales do the manufacturers and distributors need to break even?

I'm aware that there are wealthy customers who decide they want a nice sound system, but I'd have to imagine many of them just get a home theatre installed. Or if it's a stereo, something big and expensive but somewhat traditional like Focal, B&W or even Wilson.

With all of this in mind, it's a niche hobby. basically invisible - the average layman has no idea that most of this stuff exists. and they'd laugh if they heard how much people spend on it. It's just hard for me to fathom that the pie be so big that all of these people are getting a piece.
It is like high fashion. It is fad-driven and meant for wealthy dillletantes who entertain themselves by buying things and then showing them off. The cost of entry for a cable manufacturer is real low. For more expensive items, the gimmick is to price at what you need to make money, not to provide good value. You don't have to sell a lot of ultra-expensive stuff to make a living. Think of yacht salesmen.
When your profit margins can be 10000% how many $5000 cables do you need to sell to make money? And all you need to know is lying, er marketing.
Agree that it doesn't totally make sense in my mind either.

Like Magico... really high production cost, really high production quality, 5 figures for the most part. Quality or no, how many units can they possibly sell per year? 100 or 200? There aren't that many 0.01%ers are there?

Magico basically makes sense though since it's respectable. But what about all those oddball brands? It's wild to me that Zu exists for example, and the even more obscure high-end brands...
100 or 200 hundred probably works in their business model
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