Plentiful money from a self-created job you love. Overt happiness derived from elbow grease and ingenuity. Unapologetic fulfillment of big, ambitious goals. These have almost become dirty words and sneery phrases in our current culture of global celebratory mediocrity. Ryan Goldberg, founder, and visionary force behind Shadow Six Racing, has ignored all of that without even really paying attention to any of it beyond good-naturedly laughing at the inevitable TikTok trolls that will always emerge whenever someone is actively living.
Much more of the Tom Brokaw ‘greatest generation’ mindset that sees solutions where others only see a problem, Goldberg has rightly given the team that helps him imagine and create his newly patented water vehicles the tagline “a group of brilliant minds working together to redefine impossible.” The reality is, Goldberg, has done much more than simply redefine what possibility can mean in high-performance motorsports; Shadow Six Racing has utterly obliterated previous ideas of limitation and innovation–and they are only just getting started.
Goldberg was initially inspired to imagine the Typhoon, Shadow Six’s first aquatic recreational vehicle prototype, by a day spent buggying over the dunes outside Las Vegas with his young son. Looking for all the world like an over-water Batmobile with a pair of twin jet-ski rockets beneath it, the Typhoon was first showcased in the elite environs of the invitation-onlySEMA conference, wherein the biggest names in the automotive design industry was lining up to speak to Goldberg about his groundbreaking creation.
Elite buyers and fascinated peers were not the only ones queuing up with queries either. Military personnel, the Coast Guard, and organizations specializing in extreme surf rescues have all clamored to speak to Goldberg about the possibilities he has inadvertently opened up within their respective fields whilst he was breaking down barriers within a favorite of his own just for fun.
While the luxury AUV market may at first glance seem to be one relegated to big-name celebrities and other mega-yacht owners, Goldberg is quick to point out that the current price points are all relative only to the materials needed to construct his creations and the skilled precision of the minds that put those materials together effectively. “It is important for people to understand that this vehicle is made entirely from titanium,” he shares. “Between the manufacturing process, the raw materials, the CAD work, and the engineering, the price point climbs really quickly.”
Based out of the admittedly tony Jupiter, Florida, Goldberg’s own values work a galaxy apart from what many of the high net worth clients interested in his products might value. When asked if money could buy happiness, his reply is both philosophically insightful and tellingly focused on the greater currency of accomplishment: “I think you only need so much and if you are not happy at that point, money is not the issue, you are. There is a point of diminishing returns at a certain point with money, and I tell people all the time that they need to spend their next dollar on a therapist if they pass that point and do not recognize it. Knowing when you have enough is happiness. That’s how you achieve.”
Perhaps the most priceless thing money undeniably buys is freedom, in Goldeberg’s case that of the creative and time management varieties. Fully self-funded, debt-free, and run on cash, Shadow Six Racing enjoys the ability to set its own pace and can elect to collaborate with whomever or no one at all. A lifetime automotive enthusiast and engine-minded gear-glutton himself, Goldberg is proudest that he has been able to contribute something fresh, new, and fun to a field he has always admired. “The G-Force that you can pull on this thing is well beyond what you can do in any car and it is truly amazing to be at the forefront of the evolution of motorsports,” he says. “The Typhoon can go from 0 to 85 mph in about 20 yards, so it doesn’t matter whether you’re into Side-by-Sides, Baja trucks, Formula One cars, this is a new driving experience that is unlike anything else and it is all about the performance.”
Ryan Goldberg’s personal story and the development of Shadow Six Racing thus far could easily put in mind Theodore Roethke’s most famous assertion: “What we need is more people who specialize in the impossible.” Now expanding his team’s manufacturing to include large-scale orders on a monthly basis, Goldberg is still motivated most powerfully by his intrinsic desire to push the boundaries of his own design dreams. Happiest when situated right in the sweet spot where balancing the joys of his family and his fabulous, frenetic fantasy vehicles intersect, he simply wants to keep expanding cutting-edge technology in the AUV field and churning out inventive industry firsts that blow the doors off preset expectations.
Throughout all of this, he leads with a deep and guileless gratitude coupled with a sincere sense of personal accountability. “You have to have that mindset where when things go right, you remember to look out the window and see who helped make those things happen,” he reflects. “When things go wrong, you’ve got to remember to turn your finger, point at yourself, and look in the mirror to recognize where you were part of whatever it was that 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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