In 2015, we we’re at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show (FLIBS) working with several boat builders, including Harris (formerly FloteBote), photographing boats on display and developing 360° virtual tours for boat builders to showcase new models that allowed sales people the ability to show the boats on tablets, handheld devices, and on the web, 24/7, from anywhere in the world. Not only did the 360° VR tool allow customers to see the boat in a whole new way, it gave them the ability to do it from the comfort of their own home.
At the time, Harris, owned by The Brunswick Boat Group (BBG), was producing thousands of pontoon boats. Growing up on the small lakes and rivers in Ohio and Michigan, and after traveling to every major boat show around the world, we realized pontoon boats were becoming highly popular in the midwest, inland lake regions, and around the coast.
At the same time, Facebook had created Groups, and we quickly discovered that Facebook Groups and the sharing community combined were about to revolutionize the world of boat brokerage. Access to inventory online, new social sharing opportunities, and social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram would provide the market with new opportunities to not only offset the costs of buying and selling a boat, but also provide the pontoon boating community with a way to share pontoon boats for sale with people who were actively looking to buy one.