At the helm: Creating connections

By David Gee

We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.” American philosopher and psychologist William James wrote that in the early 1900’s. But it was British entrepreneur, philanthropist and philosopher Richard Branson who brought it to my attention in a blog post about the power of connections.

“Across all my years of life and over 50 years in business, I have made so many wonderful connections,” Branson writes. “These connections have made me who I am today, and driven the success I have experienced.”

Isn’t that true of all of us? We are all the sum total of our experiences, all the products of people we have met along the way, worked with, collaborated with. 

When I was an entertainment reporter I had the opportunity to interview Tom Hanks in L.A. on four different occasions. In one of those interviews I asked him the “secret” of his Hollywood success. His rather modest reply? “It’s all about who you put in with.” Indeed.  

When putting together this issue, I connected with CEOs at a number of boat building companies, as well as leaders at the National Marine Manufacturers Association and others in the marine industry.

It was a reminder to me that while the recreational boating business is far-flung and fragmented in some respects, in many other respects it is also quite a small, interconnected world. 

And speaking of connections, as I was speaking to these boating business leaders many of them were speaking about the connected boat. 

Our 2019 Mover & Shaker of the Year, Ron Huibers, President & CEO of Volvo Penta of the Americas, says the industry should be constantly looking at ways to make boating easier, and the connected boat is one of them.

“When I started sailing on Lake Huron back in the day we had a paper chart and a pencil for navigation, and we were offshore. Today we have a sophisticated suite of electronics on an intuitive, integrated boat that is so much safer, more reliable, easier and more fun to run.”

Daniel Harper’s Siren Marine connected boat technology allows boaters to monitor, track, and control their boat’s operating systems while at home, on the road, or on the water with a simple tap on a mobile app. They are really all about creating connections, literally!

If you are reading this magazine at IBEX, we trust you are making lots of great industry connections.

And we will provide a platform for connecting, along with some great content, curriculum and speakers at the Boating Industry Elevate summit November 22-24, in Orlando.   

Finally, if we haven’t yet had the chance to connect, please seek me out at IBEX, Elevate, an upcoming boat show, via email or on the phone. I am always all about creating connections.   

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