Message to the Barcalounger company: if Whitney Lynn's idea of retirement catches on, be very, very concerned. Unlike most workshop-noodling, yard-puttering 58-year-olds who've kissed the workaday world goodbye, Whitney prefers to spend his days swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112, and then, just for grins, running a full 26.2-mile marathon.
Yep, at a time when many of his contemporaries are eyeing a beach chair in Florida, Whitney has become an avid contestant in Ironman competitions, maybe the most grueling test of athleticism in all sports. His interest in these intense races was piqued after he and his partners sold their company, Incat Systems, to Adaptec four years ago. Leafing through a magazine, the prospect of an extended vacation before him, he spied an ad for a triathlon training camp. "I signed up, and was instantly hooked," he says. He started "slow", with so-called sprint triathlons, then worked his way up through Olympic distance Ironmans and half-Ironmans, until he was able to make a strong showing at Ironman Canada, a full Ironman competition.
And just to make sure he doesn't get bored, Whitney has also purchased B&L Bikes ( blbikes.com), a shop in Kona that's long been a supplier for Ironman athletes, including some of the sport's biggest names. B&L had fallen on hard times following the tragic biking death of its original owner. Whitney says he's applying lessons from the software industry to make a go of his new venture. "It's just like a Silicon Valley turnaround - different parts, but the same interests," he laughs. And this isn't the only parallel he draws between his former passion and his new one. "I've always been a competitor. Whether you're running a software company or running an Ironman, the basics are the same. You still need discipline and to be consistently sharp."
One of the things that really gave me a lot of confidence, as Corum took us through the process, was that ultimately, a deal is about the people. It’s about chemistry, the fit, the synergy between the people involved.