“The Sweetest Boat This Side of Heaven” Owner: Guy Lombardo Builder: Les Staudcher Driver: Danny Foster Tempo VII won 6 first place races, and Guy Lombardo and the Royal Canadians sold hundreds of millions of records.Photo Credit: https://www.bearmountainboats.ca/blogs/bear-mountain-boats/90633990-the-sweetest-boat-this-side-of-heaven-restoring-guy-lombardos-tempo-vii
The Sweetest Boat This Side of Heaven,” was the tagline the media gave my Great-Uncle Guy Lombardo’s Tempo VII award-winning race boat. In 1955, the Tempo VII was an innovative, masterpiece in the world of boat racing, much like my family’s musical legacy. But what made Tempo VII extraordinary compared to its 6 predecessors, my Great-Uncle Guy drove and raced and how is Tempo VII’s story related to innovation in biotechnology and healthcare? The process of innovation, which led to success, is not so different. So let’s get inspired by Tempo VII and it’s innovation process, together.
Tempo VII & Innovation
Lombardo was passionate about boat racing as he and his family were about music. However, as his musical career grew, the record label had concerns about the safety of Lombardo continuing to drive and participate in boat racing. Faced with insurance restrictions, Lombardo faced a decision to give up boat racing or collaborate with the best in business to gain the success he dreamed of with his hobby. He choose to collaborate.
He hired his longtime competitor, Danny Foster, to drive the TempoVII and Les Staudcher to build Tempo VII. Interestingly, Staudcher specialized in woodworking, specifically, church pews. Lombardo, Staudcher and Foster applied technologies across unrelated industries to produce the Tempo VII pictured above. The notable innovations included:
· A 2400 horsepower Allison V1710 engine-the same that powered P38 Lougheed Lightning Bombers in World War II,
· First prop rider
· Refined carbureter for water versus air, and;
· Large holes cut in the sponsons.
These innovations are credited for the TempoVII’s for 6 first place races. To develop these innovations, Lombardo worked with a team that instilled creative problem-solving and unlocked knowledge from the woodworking industry and another award-winning race boat driver. In open innovation terms, Lombardo increased his level of openness due to the circumstance that he could not personally drive the race boats any longer. It was the increased level of openness that inspired the award-winning TempoVII, which may not have existed otherwise.
Biotechnology & Innovation
Biotechnology and healthcare leaders face a similar problem. They are tasked with solving complex scientific issues that improve the quality of life or cure patients. There is a limit on the exposure, knowledge sharing, and resources for one project internally. One of the successful companies in my research took the technology from a separate internal business line and applied it to biopharmaceuticals and won multiple awards to mitigate a medical condition. The scientists were inspired to implement different technology to biopharmaceutical technologies to innovate. The scientists increased their level of openness to consider a new method to apply the technology to innovate similar to my Great-Uncle Guy and the Tempo VII project.
What’s in a Name?
The very existence of Tempo VII in 1955 was founded in the concepts of open innovation. My family understood the importance of collaboration to reach new levels of success in boat racing and music. The top-rated biopharmaceutical companies leverage the concepts of open innovation to solve complex scientific problems which leads to blockbuster successes. Both of these examples value the importance of collaboration and knowledge sharing internally and externally to achieve success.
Tempo7, LLC is founded on the premises to guide its customer’s through making the tough decisions on their level of openness on a project, unlocking internal and external knowledge and determining the measurements of a project’s success to impact society positively. The very name of our organization is a symbol of open innovation and hopefully inspires the biotechnology and healthcare industry to think creatively in solving problems with the foundation of open innovation. So please, share in my inspiration from my family’s history and let’s innovate together.
To learn about Tempo VII and my family’s musical legacy, you can visit the following websites:
Guy Lombardo and the Royal Canadians: