John Edson’s Smooth-Sailing Career

People often develop their interests as children. The places, activities, and people they were exposed to at a young age influence some of their major decisions in life, like their choice of career. Such is the history of entrepreneur John Edson.

Edson got his sea legs when he was still a young boy growing up near Lake Washington. He loved the water and particularly loved boats; he even built his first boat when he was still a child. He never lost interest in the hobby, even when he attended college at the University of Washington, got married and had two children. During his spare time, he built a lot of sailboats in his garage. With so many boats completed, he decided to turn his hobby into a business.

bayliner logoAn ordinary guy, Edson decided to build boats that any other guy like him can afford. He made many men’s dreams of owning a sailboat come true with Advanced Outboard Marine, established in 1955. The company initially sold common engines, hardware, and other gears for boaters. Ten years later, he decided to expand his business by building bigger and better things. With two new moulds, Edson built bigger boats. He also changed the name of the company to Bayliner Marine Corporation.

From then on, Edson was known for selling all kinds of boats in different sizes and amenities. He catered to the wants of his market by building simple boats as well as luxury boats. The company’s revenue doubled every three years and his customer base expanded as well.

After almost thirty years in the boating business, Edson decided to sell his company to Brunswick for $425 million. He entered a new industry and invested in stocks and real estate for the remainder of his career as an entrepreneur.

As one of the world’s billionaires according to Forbes, Edson now spends his days enjoying the rewards of his lucrative career.


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