Lots of money from a job you created yourself and love. Outright happiness born of elbow grease and ingenuity. Absolute fulfillment of big, ambitious goals. These have almost become dirty words and catchphrases in our current culture of global holiday mediocrity. Ryan Goldberg, the founder and visionary force behind Shadow Six Racing, ignored all of this without even paying attention, other than good-naturedly laughing at the inevitable TikTok trolls that will always appear when one lives actively.
Much more than Tom Brokaw’s thinking of the “greatest generation” that sees solutions where others see only a problem, Goldberg rightly gave the team helping him envision and create his newly patented water vehicles the motto “group of brilliant minds working together to redefine the impossible.” The reality is that Goldberg did much more than simply redefine what possibility could mean in high-performance motorsports; Shadow Six Racing completely obliterated previous ideas of limitations and innovation – and they’re just getting started.
Goldberg was originally inspired to envision the Typhoon, Shadow Six’s first watercraft prototype, by a day spent buggying over the dunes near Las Vegas with his young son. Looking for all the world like a floating Batmobile with a pair of twin jet rockets underneath, the Typhoon was shown for the first time in the elite, invite-only environment of the SEMA conference, where the biggest names in the automotive design industry lined up to speak with Goldberg about his innovative creation.
Elite buyers and enthralled peers weren’t the only ones queuing up with inquiries, either. Military personnel, the Coast Guard, and organizations specializing in extreme surf rescue all called to speak with Goldberg about the opportunities he had unwittingly opened up within their respective fields as he broke down barriers in one of his favorites just for fun.
While at first glance the luxury AUV market may appear to be aimed at big-name celebrities and other mega-yacht owners, Goldberg is quick to point out that the current price points are only related to the materials required to construct his creations and the skilled precision of minds that combine these materials effectively. “It’s important for people to understand that this vehicle is made entirely of titanium,” he shared. “Between the manufacturing process, the raw materials, the CAD work and the engineering, the price goes up very quickly.”
Based in decidedly tony Jupiter, Florida, Goldberg’s own values operate a galaxy apart from what many of the high-net-worth clients interested in his products might appreciate. When asked if money can buy happiness, his response is both philosophically insightful and tellingly focused on the larger currency of achievement: “I think you need so much, and if you’re not happy right now, money isn’t the problem , you are . There is a point of diminishing returns at a certain point with money, and I tell people all the time that they should spend their next dollar on a therapist if they pass that point and don’t recognize it. Knowing when you have enough is happiness. That is how it is achieved.”
Perhaps the most priceless thing money can buy is freedom, in Goldberg’s case that of creativity and time management. Completely self-funded, debt-free and cash-strapped, Shadow Six Racing enjoys the ability to set its own pace and can choose to partner with anyone or no one. A life-long car enthusiast and an engine gourmand himself, Goldberg is most proud of being able to contribute something fresh, new and fun to an area he has always admired. “The G-Force you can pull on this thing is way beyond what you can do in any car, and it’s really amazing to be at the forefront of the evolution of motorsports,” he says. “Typhoon can go from 0 to 85 mph in about 20 yards, so it doesn’t matter if you’re into Side-by-Sides, Baja trucks, Formula 1 cars, it’s a new driving experience like no other and it’s all about performance.”
Ryan Goldberg’s personal story and Shadow Six Racing’s development to date could easily bring to mind Theodore Roethke’s most famous statement: “What we need are more people who specialize in the impossible.” Now expanding the production of team to include large commissions on a monthly basis, Goldberg is still motivated most strongly by his inner desire to push the boundaries of his own design dreams. Happiest when he’s right in the sweet spot where balancing the joys of his family and his fabulous, frenetic fantasy vehicles intersect, he just wants to continue to expand cutting-edge technology in the AUV field and produce innovative products for the first way into the industry that blow the doors off of pre-set expectations.
Through it all, he leads with deep and unabashed gratitude combined with a sincere sense of personal responsibility. “You have to have that mindset where when things are going your way, you don’t forget to look out the window and see who helped make those things happen,” he muses. “When things go wrong, you have to remember to twirl your finger, point at yourself and look in the mirror to see where you were a part of what went wrong. People may say luck doesn’t exist, but really luck comes from the energy you put out there and your perspective on life. Good things happen when you keep the right mindset.”
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