Taking the Plunge

A diving-equipment manufacturer's success is a lesson in what can happen when vision and execution mesh with a refusal to compromise

For many aspiring business owners, the challenge of transforming a simple idea into a cash-generating reality remains a mystery as deep, dark, and dangerous as an underwater cave. That's an analogy fabled diver Jarrod Jablonski can appreciate, especially since the co-founder of Halcyon DIR Dive Systems in High Springs, Fla., holds a slew of underwater world records -- including one for venturing an astonishing 18,000 feet into an uncharted labyrinth that twisted and turned to depths of around 300 feet.

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