Russ: Good morning. This is the BusinessMakers Show heard here and online at thebusinessmakers.com, and this is that show about those people that make business happen.
John: It goes beyond the business, though. It really seeps into the population, the marketplace and the country where these entrepreneurs operate from.
Russ: You bet.
John: And that's why the United States of America has always been a leader in most of the things you wanna be a leader in.
Russ: All right, and before we get to today's lineup, I gotta share with you how happy and pleased we are with using that cool product, PDQ Meetings. This is the multi-user online face-to-face platform that really allows a team - your team - to communicate and communicate effectively, and we use it very effectively to stay on the same page here at the BusinessMakers Show even though we're not in the same room. You can check it out at pdqmeetings.net or call 888-PDQ-9434. Okay, and here's what we've got lined up for you today.
Okay, and the topic is the 2010 Rice Business Plan Contest held one week ago. It is such a cool event. It is by far the richest business plan contest on the planet and up first is my interview with Brad Burke, managing director of the Rice Alliance. That's the organization that hosts the Rice Business Plan Contest, and I interview Brad in front of a live audience of entrepreneurs and innovators at the kickoff of the elevator pitch contest and you can hear it right here or you can watch it online at thebusinessmakers.com. And then for the Aflac BusinessMakers flashback, John and I are gonna share our favorite elevator pitches from the contest along with our commentary and then all of the elevator pitches are gonna be available at thebusinessmakers.com. But first, that's right, it's time for the BusinessMakers School of Business, and we kick off the School of Business each Saturday morning with a quote of the day.
John: Quote of the day, yes.
Russ: And this morning's quote comes from Steve DePass.
John: Is he a Frenchman?
Russ: I don't know. His quote comes from -
Russ: - just making a comment on quotes4all.net and it's an iGoogle gadget and I think it's pretty good.
John: All right.
Russ: All right, you ready?
John: Fire away, yeah.
Russ: "If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you ever even tried."
John: That's right.
Russ: That's right. [Laughter]
John: Because I'll tell you, in this day and age, you know, with the Internet and all these things, if you make a mistake, everybody knows about it in five minutes.
Russ: That's right. That's right.
John: So it's good to leave a cold trail where you go.
Russ: That's right. Hide the evidence. That's right. That brings us to This Week in Business History, so what happened in this last April week in business history?
John: This week in business history, 1789, George Washington is inaugurated as the first president of the United States.
Russ: Wow. That's 221 years ago, George Washington, the first inauguration took place. Cool.
John: First inauguration and, you know, the rest is history, as they say.
Russ: Boy, no kidding.
John: Father of our country.
Russ: There you go.
John: Okay, this week in business high school, in 1844, Samuel Morse sends the first telegraphic message.
Russ: Oh, that Morse code started happening then.
John: The Morse code, yeah.
Russ: Wow, this week.
John: This week in business history, in 1900 is the last ride of Casey Jones, celebrated railroad guy. Okay?
[Music: "Casey Jones"]
John: His real name was John Luther Jones and he started working in the telegraph office at Cayce, Kentucky and took the nickname Casey and what happened was he was trying to make up some time on a return trip on -
Russ: Yeah, I think he was supposed to be good at that and he was - yeah.
John: And he - yeah, he was good but apparently he missed the flagman who was waving him off and -
Russ: [Laughter] He was making up too much time.
John: Yeah, 'cause he - and he collided into a train. He warned everyone to get off the train, but he kinda went down with the ship just like the guy on the Titanic, you know.
Russ: Wow. Oh, so he was a hero and nobody else got hurt.
John: Well, actually he's the one who caused the wreck, so -
Russ: Yeah. [Laughter]
John: This week in business history, 1916, Claude Elwood Shannon, he's the father of information theory and he's the one who looked at the fact that this information can be transmitted and correlated through binary digits, which means the ones and zeros -
Russ: And he was born this week in 1916. Wow.
John: Yeah, right. Born in 1916.
Russ: Zeros and ones. Wow. Did you ever do any of that addition and subtraction with binary digits and multiplication?
John: I had trouble with the real numbers. Yeah. I always wonder how they could do all that with Roman numerals. I mean -
Russ: Those guys. Yeah, sheesh.
John: Yeah, right. Yeah, geez. This week in business history, in 1931, the Empire State Building opens in New York City.
Russ: And what a edifice, man, and that - yeah.
John: What an edifice and not too long after that, you know, plane crashed in there, a bomber. It was like foggy up there.
Russ: Yeah, King Kong got -
John: Yeah, a giant ape got shot down from there. Okay, this week in business history, in 1937, U.S. Social Security system makes its first benefit payment.
Russ: Wow, the Ponzi scheme started paying out.
John: And pretty soon we're gonna have its last payment.
Russ: [Laughter] Yeah, right. Right before we get there, right?
John: Before we - yeah, right. Spent all this time and boom. All right. This week in business history, in 1939, Batman comics hit the street. Now I gotta tell you, Batman is my favorite superhero.
Russ: Is he? Wow.
John: I like Superman and all that, but Batman is good.
Russ: So it was 71 years ago this week.
John: Yeah, he's getting a little old right now.
Russ: Yeah, he is. [Laughter]
John: He can't be jumping off of buildings, you know.
Russ: Not like he used to at least.
John: Well, not - I don't know any 71?year-old that can, you know -
Russ: I know some that could jump off. It's just that landing thats...
John: It's the landing that's a doozy. Yeah, watch out for that landing. Right. This week in business history, in 1940, Glenn Miller records "Pennsylvania 6?5000."
[Music: "Pennsylvania 6?5000"]
Russ: We like Glenn Miller on the show.
John: Yeah, Glenn Miller's not bad. Yeah. Okay, this week in business history, in 1941, General Mills introduces Cheerios.
Russ: My goodness.
John: Yeah, have you ever had Cheerios?
John: I used to have them all the time.
Russ: Sixty-nine years ago now. Well, there's all kinds of new versions. There's Honey Nut Cheerios. There's even a chocolate one now. You ought to try it.
John: Have you had the chocolate Cheerios?
Russ: Yes, I have.
John: Are they good?
Russ: Yeah, they're really good.
John: If I'm gonna have chocolate for breakfast, it's gonna be chocolate around a big doughnut. All right. This week in business history, in 1945, Adolf Hitler marries Eva Braun, 1945.
Russ: My goodness. Wonder what kinda ceremony that was?
John: Well, it was probably not very well attended.
Russ: Probably not.
John: And, well, he never made it to their first anniversary obviously. Okay.
Russ: No, he didn't. Yeah.
John: Okay. This week in business history, in 1952, the American Bowling Congress approves the use of an automatic pinsetter.
Russ: My goodness. I wonder if that controversial at the time?
John: Well, you had the pinsetter union guys.
Russ: I bet they were hacked off.
John: I mean what were they gonna do? Well, wouldn't you be if you got replaced by a machine?
Russ: That's right, man.
John: That's probably one of the first examples of technological unemployment.
Russ: Yeah, did you ever see the backend of a bowling alley before they had pinsetters?
John: Well, I see - well, I don't really need to 'cause when you hit a strike those pins go flying and nothing's yet been built that stops the pins from flying.
Russ: No, I know. I bowled the first time probably in 1957 or '58. The automatic pinsetters had not made it to my community yet, and I ventured back there once and, man, it was holy terror back there.
John: I know. It's like a bunch of hand grenades going off every second. Okay. All right, this week in business history, in 1960, Russia shoots down Francis Gary Powers' U-2 spy plane over Sverdlovsk.
Russ: And, boy, I - you do, too, I'm sure. I remember that. I mean when it hit the news first it kinda made me feel like, "Wait a minute, you know. We're spying?" And, you know, I had a conversation with my dad and concluded, yeah, we were and it was probably a pretty good thing that we were and it was a bad thing that we failed.
John: Yeah, because I think Eisenhower - President Eisenhower was about to really have some sort of a meeting with Khrushchev and -
Russ: Right and it messed it up.
John: Yeah, it messed it up big time.
Russ: And then there was like controversy on the fact that Francis Gary Powers survived.
John: I know. All right, this week in business history, in 1961, Fidel Castro announces there will be no more elections in Cuba.
Russ: Yeah, we don't need no stupid elections.
John: Yeah, you got me. Yeah, you got me, you know, and what am I, chopped liver?
Russ: [Laughter] That's right.
John: This week in business history, in 1961, Robert Noyce patents the integrated circuit and manufacturing process.
Russ: And, man, oh, man, has that made a difference in the world.
John: That's right 'cause if you have those ones and zeros you gotta have something to drive them, right?
Russ: Well, yeah, something miniature and energy efficient and, boy, this was it.
John: That's right. Yeah. This week in business history, in 1967, Aretha Franklin releases "Respect."
John: This week in business history, in 1981, Xerox PARC introduces the computer mouse.
Russ: My goodness, what a week, the mouse, the integrated circuit and -
John: And I always thought that came from Apple Computer, but no.
Russ: No, Apple got it from Xerox actually.
John: Did they steal it?
Russ: Well, not necessarily. I think they were there on a tour and Steve Jobs looked at it and said, "Wow, that's a pretty neat thing. Let's incorporate that in the Macintosh," you know.
John: So do you think he worked out a deal with Xerox?
Russ: Either he did -
John: Or he didn't.
Russ: - or they didn't care whether he did.
John: Yeah, right.
Russ: There are those that were critical of Xerox 'cause they've had quite a few technologies sorta slip outta that place over there.
John: Oh, they sure did. Yeah. This week in business history, in 1986, the nuclear disaster, Chernobyl, history's worst nuclear reaction, occurred at the power plant in Chernobyl in the Ukraine, which was then part of the Soviet Union.
Russ: Right. The Soviet Union was not known for their quality construction either. I mean this kind of demonstrated that.
John: No, they weren't. They were one of the worst polluters out there. This week in business history, in 1990, Hubble Space Telescope is placed in orbit by the shuttle Discovery.
Russ: Man, oh, man, what a success that's turned out to be.
John: Well, it didn't - wasn't one in the beginning.
Russ: That's right, not in the beginning. They had to go up there and work on it a couple of times.
John: All right. This week in business history, in 1997, you know, those electronic devices we all carry around and some of them called smart phones or iPhones.
Russ: Must haves, you bet.
John: Well, anyway, this one was called the electronic mail system with RF communications to mobile processors and it was the BlackBerry.
Russ: And it was patented -
John: Patented by Thomas J. Campana, Michael P. Ponschke and Gary Thelen and with an assist from Albert Gore. No, I'm just kidding.
Russ: So 1997 so that's only 13 years ago that that thing was patented.
John: I know. That's just - yeah.
Russ: And the predominance of that.
John: The first one just got email. Then they made it an email phone.
Russ: Oh, yeah, it's gotten incredible.
John: Now it's - you know.
Russ: It's incredible.
John: Yeah. I think that's it.
Russ: What a history lesson today, man.
John: A lotta computer stuff there, you know?
Russ: Boy, no kidding. Good history lesson.
John: All right, thank you, sir.
Russ: All right, and that brings us to the jargon challenge round.
John: The jargon challenge round.
Russ: You bet.
John: Okay, I'm ready.
Russ: You bet. This is our vocabulary lesson where I get to choose a word, a new word -
John: Or make one up.
Russ: - or make one up.
John: Yeah. Uh-huh and then I have to come up with a meaning.
Russ: That's right.
John: And sometimes I do it and actually more often than not though I've been doing it.
Russ: You've been doing very well.
Russ: That's why I picked a tough one this morning, and I say the word and then John guesses the meaning. You ready?
John: Yeah, go ahead.
Russ: This is a cool word.
John: Retro-futurism. Okay, I think this is a - kind of a thought process or a theory or something like that and what it does, those who practice retro-futurism have a strong belief that the future is gonna take us back in technology and -
Russ: Back to the future?
John: No, the future is not gonna continue where we're gonna - you know, improving the knowledge every five years or inventing all these things and all that. We may be doing that but eventually that is gonna take us back into a dark age or something.
Russ: Wrong. I listened for a long time because sometimes I allow you to actually come up with a better definition.
John: Well, I know and I have to kinda - not having ever heard the word or phrase, I kinda have to think out loud and talk about it, so -
Russ: Yeah, you do. Yeah. No, you're good at thinking out loud. Here -
John: Before I come up with what I think the meaning is.
Russ: Here is the real meaning. A return to the phrases and concepts characteristic of the futurism that existed back in the 1950s and 1960s. It's looking back at what we thought the future was gonna be. Kinda like what we thought in 1950 the cars of the future would look like.
Russ: All right, that brings us to dumb moments in business, do you have one?
John: Well, I don't know whether it's a dumb moment or - yeah. Not everybody can take advantage of things that are out there, okay? And we have somebody - here's an entrepreneur named Lisa Murphy, came out with a book called Tactile Minds. Now what she has done is she has come out with a porno magazine for blind people.
John: Yeah, 17 raised images including, you know, naked woman in a disco pose and - but she said she made the book to fill the gap in the market and there are no books for blind people for pornography.
Russ: Okay, so -
John: And she's breaking new ground and she said Playboy has an edition of - with Braille wording but there are no pictures. What's Playboy thinking about? But anyway, so we'll see how this goes.
Russ: So it's kind of a Braille version of a body.
John: And she says that she made the book after realizing that blind people have been left out in a culture saturated with sexual images.
Russ: I think that that's a success story.
John: Well, I don't know.
Russ: I think it is.
John: I don't know. We'll see, you know.
Russ: Yeah. I applaud that lady. We should get her on the show. That's incredible.
John: Well, you go right ahead. All right.
Russ: All right. All right. And before we wrap up this morning's School of Business, it's time for the very popular PKF Texas Entrepreneur's Playbook.
John: And here he is, none other than Greg Price.
Russ: Greg Price on the piano.
Greg: This is Greg Price with PKF Texas' Entrepreneur's Playbook.
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Russ: All right, and that wraps up this morning's School of Business. Stay tuned in for my interview with Brad Burke, managing director of the Rice Alliance, in front of a live audience at the 2010 Rice Business Plan Contest, followed by the Aflac BusinessMakers Flashback where we're gonna review our favorite elevator pitches from that contest and then all of the elevator pitches are gonna be available at thebusinessmakers.com. You're listening to the BusinessMakers Show heard here and online at thebusinessmakers.com.