Chapter 10: It's all happening for a reason


Demos Demetriou

Chapter 10: It's all happening for a reason

We just don’t know the reason sometimes…actually, forget that, most of the time we don’t know the reason. Is this just ‘pie in the sky’ stuff or really the way things work?

I recently watched a documentary about one of the best restaurants in the world Osteria Francescana. Yes, I do watch TV rarely. I even get away from my laptop sometimes and interact with other humans as long as their names are Steph and Nargis! Remember what I have always said, building a start-up is all consuming and I wouldn’t change one bit of it.

Anyway, back to the documentary... Massimo Bottura, a chef in Italy who was by all accounts fantastic, was running a restaurant in a small town in Modena, Italy. The food he was creating was exceptional but seen by many locals as a bad restaurant because Massimo was taking traditional recipes and changing them, I mean really changing them. Maybe it is because of my short stint in the restaurant industry that made me relate to his situation, or my love for creating something from nothing and changing the status quo. I’m not sure, but in any case this guy’s food was exceptional and he seemed like a really humble chap which is always a good thing.

That is not what the local restaurant critics thought or his customers. The restaurant was empty most nights and on the brink of going bankrupt. His wife convinced him to stay open for just a bit longer to see if things would improve. What happened next is unreal… One night a guy came in for a meal. He was diverted through Modena as the motorway he was on was closed because of a serious car accident. He happened to stop in this small town and went in for a bite to eat. He thoroughly enjoyed his meal and went on to write a glowing review the following day in a respectable publication. Turns out he was one of the most well-known food critics in Italy!! After that, guests travelled from all over to experience the food and it is now one of the best restaurants in the world. If that isn’t meant to be, what is?

Obviously there is a bit of luck and a lot of hard work to this story, but ultimately it was destined to be, right?

Our Fate

If we had not had a call from a client in late November 2017 asking for a large number of housekeepers, would we have ever developed the App? Looking back, I am sure we would have done because we have always looked at trying to improve things. My team are innovators, but the App may not have happened until much later on. I am a great believer in everything happening for a reason. Call it fate, God, luck or whatever you like. There is a grand plan for us all, and we don’t even know it. This is all part of the journey and although at times the road can be a challenging one, it really is all worth it. The good, bad and even ugly.

When we started to develop the Marlin App in 2018 it was originally designed to streamline how we got candidates to register and a way for us to communicate with them quickly about opportunities and to see their current availability. It was only when we saw it working so well and the crazy idea of ours in May 2018 to start offering direct access to Employers that it really got interesting.

When I look back, it’s amazing. How it’s all come together has been like watching a puzzle take shape. There are still a few pieces that we are looking for, quite a few actually and I do worry sometimes that some may be lost, but I am confident they will present themselves when the time is right. All the meetings that take place, all the conversations we have all seem to happen for a reason and we only see this when the situation has drawn to a close. Is this a naïve way of thinking, a way to convince myself to carry on even when things get tough? Who knows, only time will tell but it makes for a topic to talk about openly in this blog and reflect on the things that have happened in recent times.

The Meeting

Through Chris Metalle, our Board Advisor, I recently met with Garth Carstens. He was visiting from South Africa, where he is the founder of Vantage Land and Sea. He has extensive knowledge in the yachting industry, and I found him to be a really nice guy (which is always refreshing). Garth really likes the Marlin App, but then he’s a huge fan of disruptors. His own company are looking to disrupt the yacht chartering industry and I’ve no doubt it will be a huge success.

His company are in the same boat as us and currently fundraising at the moment and seem to be getting some good traction. I think Garth has a great business idea backed with excellent experience and knowledge of the industry, so if you are into yacht-related investments do get in touch with him. As I said in our meeting, Garth, if we chat with any investors who could be interested in your company, I will certainly send them your way.

Finishing Up

So, most of you may have seen the first video I released last week. I have to say a huge thank you to all of you who commented and sent me personal messages. It really does mean a lot, and I was very surprised to discover just how many people are reading this blog and looking forward to seeing more videos from us.

Everything really does happen for a reason just like this business, our team and the decisions we make after certain situations present themselves.

As always thanks for reading and I am happy to hear from you with any comments, suggestions and to find out what challenges you are facing in your own start-up.