Firewire Founder's New, Altrusitc Business Venture Has Come Under Scrutiny - Stab Mag
265 Views

Firewire Founder’s New, Altrusitc Business Venture Has Come Under Scrutiny

Nev House is great on paper, but struggles to reach its goals.

elsewhere // Feb 1, 2021
Words by Jack Mutschler
Reading Time: 2 minutes

What If I told you there was a way to save the earth, provide homes for the less fortunate, and make a profit all in the same move? That’s the sales pitch Neville Hyman proposed years ago while starting his company Nev House. The goal of Nev house was to manufacture structures from recycled plastic materials. These structures would be used as homes and schools for countries in need.

Nev was an Australian surfboard shaper with a keen eye for marketing. Eventually, he ditched his board brand “Nev Future Shapes” and established Firewire Surfboards alongside Bert Burger. Firewire took off, and Kelly Slater ended up purchasing a majority stake in the company.

Hyman’s next move was Nev House. 

According to the Australian Financial Review:

In September 2014, Nev House claimed that within five years, the company could be valued at $US11.6 billion, generating $US1.2 billion of profit after tax and spitting out dividends of $US700 million. To put that in context, that valuation would have made Nev House bigger than all but the top 30 companies listed on the ASX, and worth more at today’s levels than Santos, Scentre Group and Ramsay Health Care.

A Nev House.

Investors like Sally Fitzgibbons, Layne Beachley, and Kirk Pengilly put their money down but never saw a profit. Nev House is a good idea on paper but it faced many obstacles coming to life. They were unable to produce a functional plastic product, and the lack of financial reporting worried investors. Nev’s business partner Anthony Morris was accused of fraud before and seemed to be heading down similar paths.

The company was paying employees full salaries without any sales, many of whom were family members and friends. After years of hiring, firing, and collecting funds, Nev House only completed one of its contracts: 15 cyclone-proof houses on Tana Island, Vanuatu.

Hyman admits that lack of leadership and communication has hurt the company in the past, but after Nev House’s Annual General Meeting in 2017, things have supposedly improved. Today, Nev House has a newly appointed board and a fresh list of investors.

Many of the original investor are still skeptical, however, claiming that the company has never delivered on any of its promises.

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

Be Yourself and Have Fun

An Interview with Jaleesa Vincent on her new film, 'Macaroni in the Pot'

Oct 6, 2022

Can Proper Surf Instruction Mitigate Chaos In The Water?

Here's why you need certification to earn the title "surf instructor" in 80 different countries.

Oct 6, 2022

24:30

No Contest Off Tour Heads To Thumping Fiji

Inside: Julian describes the mongo Cloudbreak milieu and AG does a Kava cooking course.

Oct 6, 2022

How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 3 

Nike has entered the chat.

Oct 5, 2022

“I Always Had A Mega Chip On My Shoulder”

UnSound Surf's Mike Nelson and Dave Juan have been the backbone of New York surfing…

Oct 5, 2022

Unlocked: Leonardo Fioravanti’s Stab Edit Of The Year Entry 

Watch 'The Cut' now, and baffle at the quality of both the waves and the…

Oct 4, 2022

The Pro Surfer Who Filmed A War Documentary In Ukraine

Damien Castera's got a story to tell.

Oct 4, 2022

Honest Review(s): O’Neill Hyperfreak Fire

Pushing the Limits of Wetsuit Tech for Men & Women

Oct 3, 2022

How Much Would You Pay For A Session Like This?

A cost-per-vision breakdown of Kian Martin and Tai Buddha's latest strike mission.

Oct 2, 2022

Ongoing Dialogue: Jack Freestone And Album’s Matt Parker On How They Get Sparks To Fly

"Nowadays, a standard thruster feels pretty alt to me." -Jack

Oct 2, 2022

Davo’s Death Strikes At Surfing’s Core

The underground icon battled demons til the end. His untimely demise is yet another cautionary…

Oct 1, 2022

Macaroni in the Pot

Jaleesa Vincent and 200 Lefts in the Mentawais

Oct 1, 2022

Introducing A Brand New Travel Series (With A Familiar Name)

Watch the first New York episode of Stab & Red Bull's No Contest Off Tour.

Sep 30, 2022

Leandro Dora: Pro Surfer, Businessman, Punk Rock Festival Organizer, Spiritual Mentor, And World Title Winning Surf Coach 

Meet one of the most beloved and effective individuals in the athlete's zone.

Sep 29, 2022

12:31

You’re Gonna Click On A New Oscar Langburne Video

Style that can't be denied.

Sep 29, 2022

Long Read: An Angel At My Table

From Stab Issue 15, October 2006: Chris Davidson has one more shot at the big…

Sep 28, 2022

5:07

Watch: Kalani David’s Last Dance

A final surf part from the Hawaiian surf/skate prodigy.

Sep 28, 2022

Taylor Steele Won’t Let Surf Filmmaking Die Without a Fight

Movies shown, filmmaking advice, punk rock at the 2022 Solento Surf Festival.

Sep 28, 2022
Advertisement