Regions have both legacies and destinies. In East Central Florida, Brevard enjoys an exclusive identity among the seven counties that make up the area. All the others were shaped by the dream Walt Disney had for a theme park on the eastern seaboard, which did not have the land constraints of Disneyland in Anaheim, Cal. Brevard, on the other hand, was shaped by the vision of sending men and machines into the unexplored environment of space.
In a real sense, Orlando is all about attraction, whereas launching is in Brevard’s DNA. The Space Coast has shaped the world and continues to shape the future, not only by the payloads being carried into space, but by a community with a business environment launching people, products and ideas around the world. Even one of Brevard’s most lucrative tourist attractors, Port Canaveral, is about moving people to other places.
From small startups to Fortune 500 companies like Harris, Northrop Grumman and Rockwell Collins, along with emerging aerospace firms like OneWeb, Blue Origin, SpaceX and Embraer, this vision to “go beyond” is primal in this county.
Catching the Wave
When we launched SpaceCoast Business 12 years ago, we realized we were catching an amazingly diverse wave that started building over a half-century ago. It has grown to include the companies mentioned earlier, as well as countless others such as AuthenTec, which developed the fingerprint identification technology now available on most smartphones. And then there is Makoto’s, which started as a Japanese steakhouse and expanded to include a line of salad dressings and sauces sold across the country. How about Nature’s Table, which started at the Melbourne Square Mall and now boasts more than 70 locations across the United States?
Our company experienced the same restless desire to grow and expand, which this area is famous for doing. “We began with the acquisition of what has become not only the most widely read lifestyle journal but also the most widely read magazine in the county … SpaceCoast Living,” explained Jeff Piersall, SCB Marketing co-owner. “We also saw the demand for a periodical devoted to sharing positive business stories, as well as the experiences and life lessons of business leaders in Central Florida, so we launched i4Business magazine. It has grown to a monthly readership of more than 40,000 across the region.”
Another important decision the company made was launching Florida Trep magazine, a voice for emerging entrepreneurial and scaling businesses around the state. As we began partnering with organizations like GrowFL and Enterprise Florida, we realized that as important as the efforts were to recruit companies wanting to enjoy the talent pipeline, lifestyle and general business climate of Florida, the greatest long-term job creators were scaling second-stage companies. This platform has provided an opportunity to celebrate amazing companies on the Space Coast with the rest of Florida and to highlight the impact second-stage businesses have in communities across the state.
The Space Coast has shaped the world and continues to shape the future, not only by the payloads being carried into space, but by a community with a business environment launching people, products and ideas around the world.
The Next Step
Our first publication, SpaceCoast Business, was launched as a vehicle to train and inspire entrepreneurs and business leaders. The desire to educate and motivate is at the core of everything we do and plan to do in the future. The company’s owners, Jeff Piersall, Joseph Duda and myself, began to clarify a far-reaching vision that also captured a trend we saw emerging worldwide. It came down to a simple mission: Exalting freedom through ethical capitalism.
Though simple, it contains far-reaching sentiments at the core of what the company stands for. Freedom is one of the aspirations that the United States holds out to the world; it is what drew Joseph’s grandfather from Slovakia to pursue his dream of working land that he owned. The freedom to create, believe, change, build and move from one place to another, and to also enjoy the fruits of our efforts is a value that resonates within every person, everywhere.
But how is freedom best achieved for the greatest number of people? Winston Churchill once said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” The same could be said for capitalism when compared to other economic systems.
Regrettably, few philosophies get worse press than capitalism. It is the scapegoat for almost every ill and is synonymous in the minds of many with greed and exploitation. Meanwhile, the disastrous impacts of socialist and communist systems micromanaging economies or penalizing success are excused, no matter how many times the systems fail to deliver or morph into totalitarianism, all because the systems were well-intended.
India, China, South Korea, not to mention the post-World War II recovery of Western Europe and Japan, all testify to the transformative power of free enterprise. These countries experienced a “wealth for all” type of growth where educational opportunities, healthcare, housing and general welfare increased dramatically because free-market policies have been embraced at varying levels. This is the power and potential of capitalism.
“When freedom and market opportunity link to an ethical and value-based paradigm, the outcomes are astonishing,” observed Joseph Duda, SCB Marketing co-owner. “Not only are jobs created and tax bases increased using entrepreneurial principles and resources, the market generates to address societal problems, provides benefits and brings a level of focus, efficiency and effectiveness often outshining government-based solutions.”
Our goal, as our company moves forward, is to spread the message of ethical capitalism and the freedom it brings to aspiring individuals around the world.
We have released our first book, Dogs Don’t Bark At Parked Cars, and are working on a second book and video curriculum, which can be accessed by anyone, anywhere with an Internet connection. This platform will provide practical knowledge and vital wisdom to the next wave of entrepreneurs who are hungry to understand the dynamics of turning a great idea into a great company.
There is an entrepreneurial revolution taking place that rivals the technological revolution that impacts us every day. Our goal is to help those who possess the entrepreneurial spirit learn how to turn their dreams into a profitable enterprise.