What’s Your View?

Have you ever noticed that the colors in the rear view mirror of your boat, truck or car always look so much more vibrant and brighter than the colors in front of you?
I know that sounds like a strange thought, but check it out next time you’re traveling. Glance in the mirror at the things you’ve just passed, and you’ll see that the sky looks bluer, the water looks brighter, the trees look greener and everything just looks so much better in that reflected image than it does when you’re staring straight ahead.
Heck, the reflected image I see when I’m shaving every morning certainly looks a lot better than the image everybody else sees in real life … but that’s another story!
I know a lot of people who look at life that way — everything they’ve passed seems so much better than what’s ahead of them. You know the type — the “good old days” crowd.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a strong believer in studying and knowing your history as you find your future, but I’m not completely convinced that true “good old days” ever existed. There have always been challenges. Some people will choose to reflect upon the good memories (“I remember when bread only cost a nickel a loaf.”) while others remember the bad (“We used to work all day and only make $2 for our time. A guy couldn’t afford all of the luxuries of these young whipper-snappers today!”).
And so it goes with the marine market. Certainly the market has seen years of better sales, and we could all use a turnaround in the economy to help our businesses grow.
But the products being sold in the marine industry right now are by far the best ever produced, and the level of professionalism in the market is impressive. Boat builders, product manufacturers, distributors, marina operators, vendors and dealers are coming up with new and innovative products — and new and innovative ways to market those products to consumers.
The market is not without its issues, of course, whether they are economic, regulatory or environmental. Our staff looks at some of the latter in our cover story on boating and the environment starting on page 44. Sales figures have also seen better days, as we examine in Boating Industry’s annual Marine Market Annual Review starting on page 25.
But the market has always had challenges, and in many ways the industry is better prepared to meet those challenges today than it has been in the past. So let’s leave the Henny Penny “sky is falling” mentality to others.
We should always enjoy and learn from that bright view in the rear view mirror, but remember to include a realistic hindsight when you combine it with the view in front of you.

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