When Chris Boyle first saw videos of surfing, the entrepreneur from Queens knew he had to get away. To the beach. Fast.
Some years later, after finding his way to the beach, Boyle serves as the CEO of Soloshot, a robotic camera that allows extreme athletes—and whoever else—to film themselves, singlehandedly.
But when he was building Soloshot's team, Boyle didn't want just anyone to join him—he wanted his employees to have the same insatiable appetite for adventure that drew him to the sport.
"Most of our team comes from guys and girls that I met living on a beach in the Dominican Republic, and it turned out that that type of adventurous spirit attracts the same skill set that you need to be an entrepreneur," Boyle says. "You need to be able to jump first, and kind of figure out what you're going to do before you hit the ground sometimes."
Another interesting aspect of the Soloshot, according to Boyle, is the company's choice to manufacture in house. Soloshot would scale out as the market embraced the product, rather than spend extravagantly on a large inventory.
"You can solve any problem with either money or creativity and the more you have of one the less you need of the other," Boyle says. "I think looking back, one of the things that really helped us was not having a lot of money because it limited the cost of our mistakes."
"I'd say the connection between action sports and entrepreneurialism and this kind of revolution in filmmaking is either an inability to calculate risk or kind of an appetite for risk."