“You’re gonna need a bigger boat”. Those words, from the 1975 classic thriller “Jaws”, directed by Steven Spielberg have become one of the most well known and most often quoted movie lines of all time. The line is spoken by Police Chief Martin Brady (Roy Scheider) to Quint (Robert Shaw), the fishing boat’s irascible skipper, as he slowly backs into the tiny cabin of the “Orca” following his first close up sighting of the great white shark that has been wreaking havoc with Amity’s summer tourist trade.
There is a sudden realization that the boat that they have selected to engage this monstrous three-ton beast in Mortal Kombat, may not be adequate for the job in hand. And, as it so dramatically turns out, it isn’t! “Jaws” was a wonderful masterpiece that influenced so many different facets of movies and life. This particular phrase is just one of those that transcend the test of time.
The phrase has now become ubiquitous for all situations in which there has been a disastrous underestimation or miscalculation as to size. And it tends to happen so often. It is a widely used idiom to imply that a situation or task requires more resources, expertise, or effort than originally anticipated. It has also become a cultural reference in various contexts beyond the film industry, such as in business, politics, and everyday conversation.
For instance, in 2014, French train operator SNCF, was left somewhat red faced when they realized that a fleet of 2,000 new trains costing 15bn euros ($20.5 bn) were just too big for many regional platforms. Such an error is definitely incredibly costly.
The old platforms were simply not big enough to allow the new trains to pass through the stations. The company therefore had to spend many millions more euros building bigger platforms, literally thousands of them, all across the country. Such an error could have easily been avoided but that is not what happened.
As another example, when Belfast ship builder, Harland and Wolf, accepted the commission to build the Olympic Class luxury liner, RMS Titanic, and her two sister ships, the Britannic and the Olympic, the shipyard was just not big enough to accommodate the 271-meter-long vessels. They spent two whole years building bigger facilities in the Port of Belfast, in Northern Ireland, before they could even make a start on laying down the monster hulls. With a displacement of 53,210 tons, RMS Titanic was the largest ship afloat at the time she entered service.
Of course, not everyone is taken by surprise by things that turn out to be bigger in reality than they had originally imagined. Take for example the New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers in New Bremen, Ohio, USA. They thought big and they planned and prepared for big things. This is something that happens all the time.
On 25th September they set out with the intention of making the world’s biggest pumpkin pie and that is exactly what they did. Using 440 sheets of pastry dough, 1,212 lbs. of canned pumpkin, 2,796 eggs, 109 gallons of evaporated milk, 525 lbs. of sugar, 7 lbs. of salt and 14.5 lbs. of cinnamon spice, they managed to bake a pumpkin pie that measured 20 feet across and weighed a whopping 3,699 lbs. (1,678 kg). Now, that is a big pie!
Another man who thinks big, and plans big, is Ben Saperia, a sunshine immigrant from dull and cloudy Leeds in Yorkshire, UK, who moved to the sun kissed state of Florida in 2007 with a vision that was to become reality.
After starting his own company for sunglasses in 2012, with the aim of producing high quality, great looking sunglasses that were both affordable and durable, he quickly became aware of an issue faced by thousands of men and women with big heads. They simply could not find sunglasses big enough to fit their big heads comfortably, or show off their broad features to best effect. The glasses that were available on the market were in a vast majority not suitable. The answer was staring him right in the face. He needed to build bigger sunglasses, which was one thing nobody really considered until then. Or they did not think big enough to actually tackle the problem faced by people with bigger heads.
And that is exactly what he started to do. Think big. In 2019 he began to offer sunglasses in a range of sizes and styles, with frames ranging from 137 mm to 165 mm. Big enough to satisfy even the most demanding of big heads. And style was not sacrificed in the process.
He says, “Our main focus now, as an eyewear company, is to specialize in designing well-fitting and stylish eyewear for people with large heads. This means multiple ranges and multiple styles, offering people with large heads a selection when it comes to choosing eyewear.”