Garrett’s ambitions to take over the world started at age 11 when he opportunistically saw his neighbors build a 25 square foot tree house. Plagiarizing their building methods (he had none himself), he embarked on a building project that would last 5 years and result in the construction of a tree “house” that spanned 350 feet in length, was four stories high and had 27 distinct platforms. Sourcing materials from the garbage of his father’s site work business (with some occasional begging for nails), the entire project hard cost remained under $200. Surviving cruel lake effect snows and 70mph wind storms, the monolith was a testament to architecture – with only one construction failure and one injury to a volunteer day laborer (not a bad workers comp rating for a 13 year old with no budget or safety equipment).
In the process of building his recreational shrine, Garrett realized that the idea of getting a “real job” when he got older was a really, really bad plan. So, at age 14, he started a web site design business. Within a few months, the need to share his obsession with the weather resulted in the creation of what became a gigantic weather information site. After having battled with the bank and telephone company over his age, he was up and running with a business and telephone line in the 90s (in his parents’ names). Over a period of 3 years, he developed his weather site on evenings in his parents basement after finishing homework (first at 9600 baud and maxing at 28800 – silly rural copper). The site averaged 5,000 hits a day with spikes to 54,000 during hurricane season. At age 16, he was making as much money on a daily basis during the peak of the summer season as a small family made in a week. In 1999, he hand-coded a massive project that looked and did what www.weather.gov did 10 years later – graphically representing all watches and warnings by zone for the entire country. Lacking a fleet of lawyers, the server overhead resulted in legal disputes with two hosting companies. Retirement became highly appealing, so the site was sold in early 2000 – absent the revolutionary development.
The natural question is – what did he do with all of the money? Starting the day after turning 16, Mr. Fisher started flying lessons in a 1947 Piper PA-11. Within 3 months, he had his first solo flight and his Private Pilot certificate 18 months after starting lessons. Since the [somewhat eccentric] family had its own airport, he regularly terrorized his mother and disobeyed his father with the airplane – flying at parentally fear-inspiring altitudes and blasting the vegetable garden with high speed low passes (of questionable sensibility, in retrospect).
After selling the website business at age 18, Garrett decided that the United States was inadequate for continued adventure-seeking. So he went and lived in Ecuador for 3 months – on a complete whim. Had he bothered to look at a picture of the place or read up on armed gangs of thugs, malaria outbreaks, currency instability and revolutions, he might have picked another destination. Nonetheless, early retirement requires frugal behavior (beer served on the beach was 16 cents a bottle ) and so sacrifices had to be made. Upon returning to the US, plans were immediately in the works for a permanent monastic life of religious seclusion in the remote Andean regions of Ecuador. Unfortunately, “La Revolucion” (rather, “Las Revoluciones” – they seem to get off changing government in violent ways) caused prices to triple (along with civil unrest and all that, but that really didn’t matter), so early retirement was off. Fiddlesticks.
In 2001, Garrett attempted career suicide by going to college and later getting a “real job.” Over the course of the next ten years, he would flee incompetence and inept management by going from larger companies to small and from stagnant to startup & high growth. He has worked in scientific research, medical devices, railroad, construction, warehousing, printing, hedge fund, legal, tax, photography, agriculture, petroleum, broadcasting, debt collection, real estate, healthcare, supply chain, logistics, consulting, venture capital, software, manufacturing, metals, packaging, aerospace, aviation and hospitality industries. Garrett’s career has taken him into a variety of executive roles. He has worked on one hand for internationally acclaimed scientists and business leaders that hail from the finest business schools in North America. On the other hand, he has worked for an individual that read Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”, agreed with it, and implemented his management methods and another who looked at porn for 87.5% of the work day (Hitler and porn Directors were only disclosed after he left the company). He had a stint working for Indians from New Delhi. Garrett referred to it as an “employment relationship” – the VP of HR made it clear the company approach was that of “acquiring wage slaves.”
In 2010, aviation reared its head again. With the bequeathment of the 1947 Piper PA-11, a host of silly and odd adventures began – flying an airplane without a radio, lights or an electrical system all over the East Coast and out to the Rockies – at a pace slower than a car – and more often in not in some form of bad weather. As if that wasn’t enough, Garrett decided to purchase a 1941 Piper J-3 that had been damaged in a thunderstorm and fix it in his garage. With test flights in 2012 and final sale in 2013, the project was a success – in that the airplane flew. However, the project confirmed the old adage “It takes two things to get an airplane off the ground: airspeed and money.”
In 2011, the perennial malaise of employment reached physiologically dangerous levels and Mr. Fisher launched FinanceSolutions LLC – a turnaround, CFO services and hedge fund firm. In 2012, he finally decided to listen to the array of his English teachers and professors that said he should be a writer and started work on The Human Theory of Everything. In 2013, he fled the parochial confines of the East Coast and secluded himself in an enclave of intellectual achievement in the Colorado Rockies (that monastic mountain thing resurfaces). There, he is working on a number of projects – including the Institute for Economic Innovation, formation of two hedge funds, another book, and serving as CFO and shareholder of a handful of highly interesting startup ventures. As for what he future holds, its a toss up between moving higher up the valley (where it snows so much he couldn’t leave), moving into…..er….purchasing real estate in the elitist/condescending neighborhood he lives in, or moving into his truck and becoming a bum. If he had his way, he would purchase a high mountain valley in (the German-speaking section of) Switzerland, build a wall, deny entry to all but the intellectuals, and write books all day.