CLEANING UP THE WORLD BY CONVERGING TECHNOLOGY
Ken Breau is making
the world a cleaner place to swim, one pool at a time. Breau, a true entrepreneur
and visionary, is President and Founder of Brantford, Ontario based
Crystal Clear Pool and Spa.
On the back of his revolutionary Eclipse3 product line, Ken
has driven his company to success in Canada, and is now looking to
expand its reach even further, and he owes it all to
That’s right, unhappy
with the convergence of thousands of cars to the road during his
daily commute to Toronto, Breau quit his job in Toronto, and began
exploring his technical background that would ultimately lead him to
the formation of Eclipse3.
In 1989, after he
quit the position in Toronto, Breau began an electrical
apprenticeship and pursued his technical education. By 1993, he had completed
his apprenticeship and was a certified Master Electrician in the
Province of Ontario.
Breau began working with Witco Chemical as an Automation System
spending a couple of years at Witco, Breau’s entrepreneurial spirit
surfaced however, and he left Witco to begin the first of his
entrepreneurial ventures, creating a small Engineering Consulting
company that he still operates successfully today.
In the mid
90’s Breau moved into a new house to accommodate his growing
family. One of the
features that drew him to this particular house was the inviting 18’
x 36’ pool. He quickly
found, however, that maintaining the pool took more work and cost
more money than he ever could have imagined.
almost $400 that year alone trying to keep the pool clean and
balanced,” Breau says.
“I was very unhappy with the amount of time it was taking me
to keep the pool chemicals balanced and free of algae. I figured there had to be a
better way.” And there
was. Breau called upon
his chemical experience with Witco in search of a solution, and
after lots of testing and experimentation, Eclipse3 was born.
Eclipse3 saved Breau so much time and
money while cleaning his pool that he knew had discovered a product
that could revolutionize the pool cleaning industry. Once again Breau’s
entrepreneurial spirit and vision could not be contained, and he
began to market Eclipse3.
“First we had to develop the product, then have the lab work
done, graphic work done, get approval from the EPA, get individual
state registrations, start advertising, plan for trade shows around
the US and Canada, set up a manufacturing facility, contract sales
agents across the US and develop a distribution network,” Breau
says. “It’s really hard
to believe what we’ve done.”
One of the
largest obstacles Breau faced was obtaining EPA approval for
Eclipse3 in California.
Known for being one of the hardest places in the world to
have a product registered, having this registration gives Breau’s
company much more credibility around the world.
Breau is not
wallowing in his success however, and has a huge vision for his
envisions the development of a completely new product line for the
swimming pool industry.
“We are looking for investors to set up a new corporation
that would handle the Eclipse3 product line,” Breau says. “We believe we have a
product that can compete against the big boys in this market. The question for me is
whether or not I want to wait five years for this to happen, or am I
willing to sacrifice some profit margin to grow faster and
larger. We have decided
to grow faster and I hope to develop our company into a
multinational enterprise within the next year.”
He is also
very interested in international market expansion, “I am interested
in hearing from any person or company that is interested in working
together to bring our product to their market place.” He is currently working on
International joint ventures for Europe, Mexico, South Africa and
It is hard to
measure just how high Breau’s vision reaches, and when asked where
he wants the marketplace for Eclipse3 to be, he smiles and says,
currently lives, and works, in Brantford,
Ontario, Canada with his two daughters Avery (4), Taylor (9) and his
wife Kimberlee, who also serves as his Director of Marketing.
from Loyalist College in 1986, with a Technical degree in Television
Q & A
The new economy
is bringing humans and machines closer together in a multitude of
ways. What do you predict will be the most beneficial merger of man
and machine in your field of enterprise?
Communication Communication! The most beneficial merger affecting
business will be a totally integrated communication information
system. Anyone who has the drive and desire to launch a new business
and be successful in their field must be able to completely immerse
themselves in their business until they are able to bring on
complementary personnel to assist them. In the electronic medium
this can only be done by expressing your thoughts via e-mail, fax,
voice mail or a Website. To project a vision of your future and
steer the general population to your vision, all of these tools must
be used effectively.
The space between
work and family is converging as telecommuting and home-based
business becomes more popular. What do you see as the pros and cons
of this melding?
I would have
to answer this question from the perspective of a workaholic.
The pros of a home-based business are:
business growth because of these tools
in your own work environment
your own work hours
your time for efficiency
The cons of a
home-based business are:
Loss of a
social environment at the office
computer seems to call for your every available moment (there is
always something that needs to be done)
family time because the business becomes your life
merges money and machine, where do you see our money systems ending
First, I see
the convergence of many different types of bank accounts into one
account that will fulfill all your financial needs. I see our
paper/plastic monitory system ending and being replaced by a retina
or DNA scan for personal identity to complete financial
transactions; be it buying a piece of gum or getting a loan for a
home. Picture this.... You go to a store, pick-up what you need, and
walk through a scanner that electronically scans your DNA, instantly
identifying who you are and the funds subsequently being transferred
from your bank to the store's bank.
How will the convergence of computers and health
come together in the future?
What can you
imagine? Whatever your wildest visions are...multiply them by 1000.
The days of going under the knife are limited. Micro robots are also
on the horizon. Internal medicine will be the only type required
(excluding physical injury). A more efficient health care system
will evolve as scanners are developed and connected to you home PC.
The days of Star Trek "Tricorder" are not far away. "Live long and
What do you feel
was the most important corporate convergence that made global
that brings forms of media, telecommunications and software together
has the power to enter our lives. This type of merger is like
creating a golden pipeline to any household that has a computer,
television or radio. Look at it this way. All three players have
valuable items to bring to the table. The telecommunications company
has the conduit to the customer. The media company has the marketing
experience to sell a product or service. The software company has the
programs to bring it all together, as well as provide the marketing
company with the necessary feedback to enhance their strategies for
becoming a more effective marketer.
What will be the most "dangerous" convergence
of the new era?
I believe the
most dangerous convergence will be medicine and military. As
medicine develops in leaps and bounds, there will always be someone
who will exploit achievements and use them to hold the rest of
society hostage. I truly believe the military one of the worst
offenders (are they the untouchables?).
How do you see your enterprise converging the old
economy with the new economy?
I see our
company using information collected from software to determine
changes in customer needs and desires. I also see our company using
research collected over the years to create new products that are
welcomed by our customers. Time passes by an idle company. We plan to capture time and
market it to our customers by saving them time while maintaining
their leisure products. I see our company offering consumers a
healthy, cost-effective, time sensitive approach to caring for their
pools, spa's and hot tubs.
How will society
be affected by the continued collision of communications and
will become fierce as companies struggle for their share of the
consumer's time. New and innovative marketing approaches will be
pushed to the forefront. Companies will need to bring together a
marketing department comprised of producers, copywriters,
programmers, communication experts, visionaries and psychologists.
Companies may also have to take a long-term approach to selling
their product. They may need to develop a new form of media to
acquire the customer's time and attention span.
How will the convergence of the arts, scientific
research and education affect the human race?
I do see a
link between arts, scientific research and education. The link
(convergence) I see, may have already taken place. I believe it is
the artists who see the future and project a concept of the future
onto society through their dreams sketched on paper, then cast into
models. Artists do not see the boundaries or limitations of the
human race; they dare to dream outside the box.
On the other
hand, scientific researchers (engineering) are the people who
continuously expand the parameters of that box as the artists demand
more. It is the engineers who can develop the structural integrity
of the box to support the innovative designs artists can
supports both of these communities as well. There are many different
teachers, all possessing beneficial qualities for the system. There
are teachers who instruct the hard facts of life, such as the laws
of physics that cannot be changed only understood, which is very
useful to the engineer. Then there are teachers who teach through
self/societal examination, this is the type of thinking that drives
a person to examine life outside any boundaries. Therefore, I
believe the convergence has already taken place; now the key is
trying to find a stable balance between all three.