Harris And Eric Glaser Of “Midnight Express” Talk Life As Young Entrepreneurs

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Midnight Express

Not all of us are fortunate enough for our careers and passions to align, but for young South Florida entrepreneurs Harris and Eric Glaser, Midnight Express Powerboats offers just that. Since taking charge of Midnight Express a little over a decade ago, the brothers have proven they aren’t afraid to rock the boat, so to speak, overhauling the company, and in turn, doubling both sales, model offering and production by their early thirties. We sat down and asked the Glaser brothers about their business and advice they have on becoming a successful entrepreneur:

How did you guys feel when your dad mentioned buying a business together?

We’ve always been a close knit family. Eric and I grew up on the water boating, fishing, waterskiing etc. so it truly was a family interest and a joint family decision to purchase Midnight Express. We were very excited and eager to have a brand we could cultivate, grow and make our own.

What were some ways your father kept his spirit high after the motorcycle accident?

My father’s accident was a very trying time for our family. He had years of recovery and setbacks, and throughout it all he was confined to a wheelchair. My father loved cars, boats and family. He was able to transfer himself into his Porsche from the wheel chair and put the wheel chair in the car, all by himself. He loved to go out and drive. Also, anytime that we could talk boats, or share ideas about new projects, or new boats coming out, it was always a passion of his. We eventually built him a fully custom wheelchair accessible Midnight Express 39S Open that he was able to wheel onto, transfer into the captains chair and raise to height. While he always needed a mate for ropes, he could handle and dock the boat all by himself. The smile on his face when he was out on his boat was ear to ear.

What was the main focus when you all were trying to design a boat that he’d be able to still enjoy?

There were many factors, but we needed to be able to get him on the boat without assistance of people picking him up physically. We needed to design mechanisms to do the work. So creating an electric ramp that came out of the floor to bridge the gap from the boat to the dock was a challenge. Then we created a custom captains chair that moved forward and backward, as well as up and down. We also needed to move the controls so he could easily reach them while he was in his seated position. Given the nature of his injury, we had to think about bracing him while still going 75 mph, so we created a suspension chair that could absorb the sea. All in all, it was challenging, but I believe we did what we always do, which is find the solution to the problem. Our father always taught us to never give up, and that nothing is ever easy. So embrace the challenge, think outside the box, and you will succeed.

How did you feel about taking over the company at such a young age?

To be honest, we weren’t very nervous to take over the company at our ages. We both went to excellent grade schools and excellent colleges. Our parents were amazing mentors and teachers, and instilled in us the confidence to run the company.

What was something you changed about Midnight Express that made it improve and stand out from other boating businesses?

We’re constantly looking for improvements in manufacturing, design and model offerings. We listen to the customers. We let them customize options and colors. We let their imaginations go to work. If you want a seat a certain way, no problem, we can accommodate. If you want your boat to have five engines, great, let’s make it happen. I think our willingness to be different and customize the boats makes us unique.

How is the 60’ Pied-A-Mer different from your previous boats?

The sheer size of the 60’ makes it a whole different ballgame. Not only is it 60’ long, but it has a 15’ beam. The cabin has two staterooms. Our aim is to make the boat luxurious, but still harness the Midnight Express performance mantra. We don’t need to make another 60’ boat that cruises along. We need to make a boat that defies expectations—a boat that moves at speeds unheard of for its size, and handles the water with ease.

What is next for Midnight Express? Anything new you are trying to attain in the coming year?

Our goal for 2018 is to continue to deliver the best product we can to our group of loyal and discerning clients.  We’re debuting the 60’ and will start the development of the next boat (can’t say what it is yet).

What advice do you have for people who feel they are too young or too old to become entrepreneurs at their current stage in life?

There is no such thing as too young or too old.  Entrepreneurship is a way of life. It’s about living, breathing and being your business. It’s the first thing you think about when you wake up and the last thing you think about when you go to sleep. But it’s yours, you have the power to control your own destiny. Entrepreneurship is a controlled chaos, always changing, but always in the direction you choose.

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