The Businessmakers Radio Show

Entrepreneurial resources & interviews
presented by Comcast Business.

School of Business 12/22/2012

The BusinessMakers

Listen Now

This text will be replaced




Russ and Leisa present the show that champions the make-it-happen entrepreneurs, and that includes Women [who] Mean Business. (Ha! See what we did there?) We love the creativity of innovation and we’ve got some serious innovation happening here. Includes: The BusinessMakers Quote of the Week—a techno observation from Wall Street technology analyst Esther Dyson; This Week in Business History includes the innovation of dry cleaning, the first radio transmission, and Roger Staubach’s creation of the Hail Mary pass; and the Jargon Challenge Round—trendy technospeak that YOU should know.

Video and Full Interview Text

Russ: This is the Businessmakers Show heard on the radio and online at This is that show that champions entrepreneurship that features the make-it-happen business people and that includes women who mean business because [crosstalk] --

Leisa: Love those women.

Russ: Because with me right now today sitting in for John Beddow, once again, Leisa Holland-Nelson. Leisa, great to have you on the show, again.

Leisa: Hey Russ, it's great to be here.

Russ: Well, and since I opened the door, who is this week's guest on Women Mean Business?

Leisa: We have fabulous Sarah Groen this week from SURGE.

Russ: Wow, the SURGE Accelerator, one of the co-founders, right?

Leisa: Yes, and really bright young woman.

Russ: Absolutely. Well, here's the guest lineup today. First up, Ben Lipson, the Founder and CEO of Sports Tradex, and I'm really looking forward to this. This is kind of a unique business. I don't imagine you are a Fantasy Football, are you?

Leisa: No but I'd like to be.

Russ: Okay. All right.

Leisa: I love football and, for some reason, no one's ever asked me to play Fantasy Football.

Russ: Well, it's serious for a lot of, mostly, guys but Sports Tradex is an upgraded, significantly upgraded, version of that where serious sports fans and what my homework told me that what that means is the sports fans that watch most all of the games and do it with a laptop or an iPad or a computer right in front of 'em because they're checking everything that's going on, they're watching their players and fantasy leagues, and they're serious, serious sports fans. This particular business allows those people to actually make money, sort of, on a legal betting phenomena in that category. Kind of interesting. I'm looking forward to it. We shall see.

Leisa: Me, too.

Russ: A little side note: I know that Ben, before he started this company, was a commodities trader so he went from, like, commodities trading to live-action sports trading.

Leisa: Well, it's still the same game.

Russ: Yeah, yeah, no, it's where he got smart about this but then, also, I'm gonna be able to sit down and visit with Henry Goodrow of Microsoft. The Microsoft people have really been ringing the phone lines and the email box lately, wanting to show us Windows 8. In my preparation for that I am blown away by the difference in the operating system! I don't know how much you know about it. We've been watching TV commercials.

Leisa: I haven't. I have not personally been demoed but my team has and I know they're so excited about Windows 8.

Russ: Well, it is such a change and I mean the change is motivated by, as we know, all of the iPad and the Notebook and the Tablet computers and but they're trying to, sorta, get in the middle now in this operating system for a desktop or a laptop is still a major touchscreen application plus they're coming out with their own hardware but, today, we're just gonna be focused on the software. We're really looking forward to all that.

Leisa: That's exciting for me to and more to learn for ContentActive.

Russ: There you go but first - That's right. It's time for The Businessmakers School of Business and this is not your business-as-usual school and it's always a pleasure doing it with you two because, particularly when we get into your component of the curriculum. That's the history lesson. You and I have a lot of similar experiences and opinions on these items so I'm looking forward to that but on the School of Business, before we get to that, we do the Quote of the Day, and today's quote is from Esther Dyson. She's the former journalist with The Wall Street Technology Section, has been an angel investor, an entrepreneur herself, kind of an interesting lady, and here's the quote: The internet is like alcohol in some sense. It accentuates what you would do anyway. If you want to be a loner, you can be more alone. If you want to connect, it makes it easier to connect. Kind of an interesting observation.

Leisa: Very true and it's totally addictive.

Russ: Oh, absolutely, absolutely, just like alcohol.

Leisa: Like if you think about it, just like alcohol. There you have it.

Russ: All right so that brings us to This Week in Business History so what happened at this third week in December in business history, Leisa?

Leisa: I mean this is quite a week. I mean for most of us one of the most important things that probably ever happened in our lives happened in 1849 when M. Jolly-Bellin discovers dry cleaning. Get this, he accidentally upset a lamp containing turpentine and oil on his clothing and saw a cleaning effect.

Russ:[Laughter] What?!

Leisa:[Laughter] How do ya like that?!

Russ: Now that is pretty interesting it showed up in 1849! My goodness!

Leisa: I know! I know! I mean I wonder how they were cleaning before that.

Russ: Yeah well I don't know.

Leisa: You know? Not a lot from what I understand.

Russ: That's probably true!

Leisa: Fast-forward 60 years to 1906 and radio, a big deal happened. Reginald Fessendentransmitted the first radio broadcast consisting of poetry reading, a violin solo and a speech.

Russ: Who I wonder?

Leisa: Who was listening?

Russ: Yeah!

Leisa: And on what device?

Russ: That's probably true. That's what's so interesting about these media plays when there're new ones who out there is listening?

Leisa: I mean it's really true and then another 25 years goes by - actually 27 years - and FM radio is patented in 1933.

Russ: 1933, jeez, well, in my opinion, FM radio really started showing up when I was in college, which was in the early '70s/late '60s, and it was considered - you probably remember this if you listened to it - it was sorta considered underground radio. It was higher quality. There weren't many commercials because the business -- the commercial -- world didn't understand it yet and so there was a lot of real heavy-duty serious Rock stations that were in the FM channel but now it's kind of taken over and our show is on FM radio.

Leisa: In know. Isn't that amazing? I mean I was definitely an AM radio person.

Russ: Oh, well we all were. I mean in the early days, in Pop Music, and stuff, it was all on the AM radio and so FM really changed that.

Leisa: Absolutely, okay. I have a big one and one we discussed a little before we think it's such a major event.

Russ: Right.

Leisa: On December 27th, 1937, Mae West performs her Adam & Eve skit that got her banned from NBC Radio.

Russ: Oh, my God. Well [crosstalk] -

Leisa: I cannot imagine what she did on the radio that got her banned.

Russ: Now this was radio and it was an Adam & Eve skit. I think the line between what should be censored and not was a little bit higher or lower depending on your point of view back in that era. I don't think Mae West would even be considered racy in this era.

Leisa: Not in the least. Plus most of us know her as an 85-year-old.

Russ: That's true, too. That's true, too.

Leisa: So 1947, a great year in my opinion, the transistor is first demonstrated at Bell Laboratories.

Russ: And that was the advent so that was '47. I saw probably my first transistor radio, which is where they really showed up big-time, the transistors, in probably the late '50s.

Leisa: I was thinking 1960. My next door neighbor got one in a purple leather case.

Russ: And was it small?

Leisa: Uh-huh.

Russ: Yeah that's what was so unique. The miniaturization took a huge step forward with the transistor. In my opinion you know I guess just because I liked, sort of, electronics, it was just so cool to be able to have a radio that when they really, kind of, got it going, it was not much bigger than a pack of cigarettes.

Leisa: Right and we followed her everywhere because she had it so she became the leader.

Russ: Right, absolutely.

Leisa: Pretty smart of her parents to buy it.

Russ: You bet.

Leisa: Okay 1954, the first successful kidney transplant is performed by J. Hartwell Harrison and Joseph E. Murray.

Russ: My goodness..

Leisa: Two doctors. I wonder where that was. It doesn't say but that's interesting.

Russ: I don't know. We didn't have that. That would've been sort of scary, maybe, to be the first recipient of a kidney transplant and, back then, I don't think we had the science of managing the rejection like we do today.

Leisa: Certainly not.

Russ: But thank goodness. There were guys out there taking the risk and [crosstalk] -

Leisa: And now they're just pretty common, kidney transplants and people living with only one kidney.

Russ: Absolutely.

Leisa: Science is amazing. 1968 the crew of the USS Pueblo is released by North Korea after having been held for 11 months on suspicion of spying.

Russ: Now do you remember that?

Leisa: Yes, I think I sort of do.

Russ: I do because it was on the news and it was interesting the way that it was treated compared to the way it would be treated today. They didn't go into much depth at all in the news reporting. There was concern about the men but there was also sort of an underlying feeling of, "Well, why did they get caught," you know? They should've done something to prevent themselves from getting caught and the North Koreans would show pictures of them and, you know, if they were smiling we were critical. If they weren't smiling we were worried that they were being tortured but, eventually, they were released, which is cool.

Leisa: This week in business history - the same week, actually - in 1968, the crew of Apollo 8 enters into orbit around the moon becoming the first humans to do so. They perform 10 lunar orbits and broadcast live TV pictures that became the famous Christmas Eve Broadcast, one of the most watched programs in history. Then get this, the next day Apollo 8 performs the very first successful trans-earth injection maneuver, sending the crew and spacecraft on a trajectory back to earth from lunar orbit.

Russ: Well, I bet they were pleased that that worked [laughter] the next day, my God. I'm just in awe of everything that our astronauts and that the NASA people did and as much as we like to talk about Neil Armstrong walking on the moon, I mean, I think it would just be almost incomprehensible to take the journey and to be there but, even these guys, before him, that went up and were the first guys orbiting the moon.

Leisa: I mean orbiting and coming back.

Russ: Well, yeah.

Leisa: That's a huge deal.

Russ: And it's so much further to go out to the moon than it is, like we've been doing, near earth orbits but, man, what heroes they were.

Leisa: The next one's a little bit tender: 1970, the North Tower of the World Trade Center, in Manhattan, New York City, was topped out at 1,368 feet, 417 meters, making it the tallest building in the world.

Russ: Well, those towers always took my breath away, how they looked, how tall they were. Now they were - there were many taller buildings built along the way but anytime I was ever close to New York City, they just captured my attention. When they were completed - I remember before they were completed. I remember the tightrope walker that walked [crosstalk] -

Leisa: Yes!

Russ: that snuck to the top. He's famous. I don't know who he is but had a rope going across and walked, and that just took my breath away, too, but they were incredible structures and, unfortunately, no longer exist.

Leisa: I know. A lot happened, though. This is really an interesting time in the history of the world, between 1968 and mid-'70s. '72 here we go again: The 16 survivors of the Andes Flight Disaster are rescued after 73 days, having survived by cannibalism.

Russ: Yes.

Leisa: Ouch. Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 also known as the Andes Flight Disaster and in South America as The Miracle in the Andes was a chartered flight carrying 45 people, including a rugby team, their friends, family and associates that crashed in the Andes on October 13th, 1972, unbelievable.

Russ: Yeah, well, and so between then and this week is when they survived and I remember it became controversial, I think, when they were first rescued, it wasn't known that they had practiced cannibalism but I think, eventually, people started figuring out, wait a minute, you crashed way up on this mountain and there [laughter] no food around, how did you survive, and what - I [crosstalk] -

Leisa: Were they eating the people that died with them?

Russ: Yes but as it turned out it was the people that died in the crash and since they were up high and it was cold[crosstalk] -

Leisa: They were frozen.

Russ: Yeah, their bodies were preserved and so they kinda took their time and knew there was more food around the corner. I think it's okay. There's just such a negative human stigma tied with cannibalism but, for survival, I think there's a lot of us that just don't know what it feels like to be starving to death and to have a solution there but it was quite a story.

Leisa: Oh, I think it was all they probably could've done.

Russ: It was or died! That was it.

Leisa: Yeah.

Russ: Yeah.

Leisa: Wow. 1975, here's a great segue way, the first Hail Mary pass, the Cowboys beat the Vikings 17-14 on the last-second pass.

Russ: Well, and I know it very well because I interviewed Roger Staubach who was the quarterback that threw it about this very topic. There's a side story about my interviewing skills that I like to tell people. I learned a lot about interviewing there. I practically told the story while I was asking the question. Luckily we edited that out and he told a great one but, in a way, the way that it all happened is it was a last-second pass to Drew Pearson. They were behind by 4 I believe and the way the term Hail Mary came up, you know, Roger was a good Catholic boy and in the after-the-game press conference, the press is all around, and said, "Well, what did you think before you threw it?" He said, "Well, I just did a Hail Mary and let it go," so the next day, the headlines in the Sports Page was, "Roger Throws A Hail Mary Pass To Win Game" and now that's standard nomenclature today in Football, the Hail Mary pass.

Leisa: I mean it's really amazing that Roger Staubach who is probably the quarterback for a whole generation.

Russ: Absolutely.

Leisa: He's all over Texas now and a real estate guy. [Laughter]

Russ: That's right. That's right.

Leisa: And you just see him around.

Russ: That's right and what's interesting, too, is that even though he was one of the highest-paid players in the league, still, the pay was nothing like it is today and so if you were smart and you were finishing up your pro career, you started planning for your career afterwards, you know? He was in commercial real estate I believe the last two years that he was still playing football, so.

Leisa: A pretty smart man.

Russ: And the other interesting thing about him was that a lot of people thought he should've kept playing. He decided to quit because he had already gone through a couple of concussions and it was probably smart of him to say, "Hey, I've had enough," knowing what we know now.

Leisa: Well, I think we've seen what head injuries have done to so many athletes.

Russ: Oh, I mean in my opinion, it's gonna completely change the game. A lotta people think it already has but I don't think it's gone as far as it's gonna need to go in order to prevent those injuries.

Leisa: All right so we're actually gonna fast-forward to 1982, which was really unique for Time Magazine's Man of the Year for the first time is a non-human, the personal computer, something near and dear to both of our lives.

Russ: Absolutely, well, 1982 would have been, you know, after the IBM PC, which most people, when they say, "The personal computer," they're talking about the IBM PC. It'd been out about a year and was changing the landscape. Nothing like it. Ultimately it has changed but at the time that was pretty good forward thinking by Time.

Leisa: Yeah and I remained terrified of it for another 14 years.

Russ: Right, okay. Well, that's okay.

Leisa: I don't think I actually touched one until 1996 or '97.

Russ: Well, they were pretty basic back then, too, but, anyway, it was the beginning of something huge.

Leisa: Okay 1986, Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager lands at Edwards Air Force Base, in California, becoming the first aircraft to fly non-stop around the world without aerial or ground refueling.

Russ: Well, Mr. Dick Rutan is a Rock star in that world and that aircraft was that aircraft that had a very wide wingspan, was very light, and, from what I heard, it was just a terrible ride the whole time. In fact, I read stories and I might have this wrong and I apologize if I do but that there was like a serious disagreement, all along, between Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager. She was about to die. I mean I think it was a rough ride. They couldn't, you know, it was real hard to get air in, and she had to kinda lay down in a tube and he just kept persisting to flying on and on, and it took a long time because it was not a fast-flying airplane but they did it. They succeeded.

Leisa: Wow. 1989 Berlin's Brandenburg Gate reopens after nearly 30 years, effectively ending the division of east and West Germany. Was that, "Mr. Gorbachev, take down that wall" or was it [crosstalk] --?

Russ: Well, yeah, this was. This was like right after that and there were some steps in there with Berlin that were just huge in the fall of the Cold War, and this was one of 'em, you bet.

Leisa: Same week, in a similar location, Nicolae Ceau?escu, the former Communist President of Romania, and his wife, First Deputy Prime Minister Elena are condemned to death and executed after a summary trial.

Russ: Yeah, and I think this happened [crosstalk] -

Leisa: He was a bad guy.

Russ: Yeah, I think he was and I think this happened, like, real fast.

Leisa: Yes.

Russ: Okay, we've got him, let's give him a trial, okay, you're guilty, and they killed him, and nobody complained, [laughter] either, I don't think.

Leisa: I know and we're gonna continue in the Soviet Zone here.

Russ: Okay.

Leisa: 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as President of the Soviet Union and the Union itself is dissolved the next day. Ukraine's Referendum is finalized and Ukraine officially leaves the Soviet Union.

Russ: It was a dramatic period. I was always a fan of Mikhail Gorbachev.

Leisa: Yeah, me, too.

Russ: I mean I give him a lotta credit.

Leisa: Well, Gorbachev and President Reagan. I mean they were just like an incredible duo.

Russ: Oh yeah, oh yeah, now there're some people - the Russians - that give more to Yeltsin than they do to Gorbachev because, after everything kinda changed, there was this sense that Gorbachev, you know, and it might not have been at this date, was still trying to bring back the old way, and it was Yeltsin that came in and went, "No." Now it's Putin who's kinda pushing it back the old way so still gonna be an interesting story there.

Leisa: Amazing so here we come into our century, 2000. This is kinda sad for an ex-retailer like me. U.S. retail giant Montgomery Ward announces it's going out of business after 128 years.

Russ: Isn't that unbelievable?

Leisa: It is unbelievable.

Russ: I mean I grew up thinking there were two big stores, Sears & Roebuck and Montgomery Ward, and [crosstalk] -

Leisa: Maybe Penny's.

Russ: Maybe. Penny's was there but we just thought - I thought, you know, believe me I wasn't in New York City, like you were. I was in Seguin, Texas, but Penny's was more like just clothes, in my mind, but Sears and Montgomery Ward were tools and lawnmowers and [crosstalk] -

Leisa: Hard lines.

Russ: Yeah, but Montgomery Ward always seemed like they were in second place behind Sears.

Leisa: They were.

Russ: Yeah, they were.

Leisa: I mean Sears is still there, which is really [crosstalk] -

Russ: Kind of but [crosstalk] -

Leisa: I know it's hanging on but [crosstalk] -

Russ: Yeah but they were kinda bought out mainly by [crosstalk] -

Leisa: Kmart. Well, isn't it all one thing now, Sears, Kmart, Kresge, all of it's rolled up.

Russ: Yeah, well it's all Sears.

Leisa: Yeah, it's all Sears.

Russ: But I think the actual owners of Kmart are the guys that came out on top.

Leisa: Yes, last but not least, 2010, the repeal of the Don't Ask Don't Tell Policy, the 17-year-old policy banning homosexuals serving openly in the United States military was signed into law by President Barack Obama.

Russ: Well, it seems like it's working out okay. I haven't heard of any problems. The Don't Ask Don't Tell thing was one of the most interesting chapters, you know, and I think that was probably Bill Clinton's creativity in that he knew that he couldn't do what we did in 2010 and get it to be okay but he didn't wanna discriminate against homosexuals and so he had the Don't Ask Don't Tell but it was brought to the end in 2010.

Leisa: Well, I think I'm glad. Part of me feels like if you can fight, you should be allowed to if you want to fight. Not that many people want to fight for America and for our freedom so I do feel like you should be.

Russ: Well, I've always felt that way as well even when it comes to women in the military. If women can - I don't think women should be held to a lower standard but I think if they can fight and do the job and do as many pushups as required, they should be able to do everything and I'll tell you the thing that got me there more than anything is watching women sports, particularly the Summer Olympics, particularly the Women's Pole-vault. When I watch that, Leisa, I keep thinking, "You know, it's not gonna be very far to where there won't be" - I think - now there'll be a lot of people that think that I'm full of it but they [crosstalk] -

Leisa: That there won't be men's and women's.

Russ: There won't be men's and women's, no.

Leisa: I agree with you.

Russ: And it's the Pole-vault. When I watch that I mean that's - that there's so much strength, speed and coordination required in that event, and then to watch how high. I think they're up to almost 16 feet in the championship now, which is unbelievable, so [crosstalk] -

Leisa: There you have it.

Russ: So that wraps up today's history lesson, eh?

Leisa: Yep.

Russ: Well, a great job as always the case.

Leisa: Test to follow.

Russ: You bet and there you go. All right and as you know, speaking of tests, that brings us to Navigating Business Jargon and this is our vocabulary test.

Leisa: Okay.

Russ: That you take. I'm the teacher, you're the student. I pick out a jargon new word and you try to figure out the meaning. I don't know about this one. I don't know if I would get it but you might. Here it is: Passface, P-A-S-S-F-A-C-E.

Leisa: Passface, I'm not sure.

Russ: I'll give you a big hint: Password.

Leisa: Oh, could it be something like where you electronically use your face as your password picture?

Russ: Absolutely. That's exactly what it is.

Leisa: Okay like instead of an eyeball?

Russ: So hold your calls, ladies and gentlemen, we've got a winner! Way to go. Passface. In fact that's an interesting segue way to mention something about the Windows 8 interview that we're gonna have a little bit later in the show. One thing on Windows 8 that I do know - I don't know if we'll talk about it or see it - is - but they have a new way of passwords and you create your own, and what you do is you bring up a photo, your own photo, your photo of your house, and you know that you have this little pattern when you bring the photo up, say it's of your house, that you touch, you know, the top of the roof, and then the side gate, and then the third to the top window, and that's your password and, supposedly, it's probably gonna make it pretty easy to remember your password.

Leisa: Oh, I hope so.

Russ: Yeah, I do, too!

Leisa: You know I don't even want to admit how many passwords I have because it's not all that many. I got a gift recently that's a little book to store your passwords in and it's got pages and pages, and I'm going, "Hmm, hmm."

Russ: Well, password management is a new challenge in life these days, too, so I do. I actually still kinda choose things that make sense for me but I work with a technology guy who thinks that's a big mistake and always has all these passwords that are combined with @ signs and numbers and letters and [crosstalk] -

Leisa: And how does he remember that?

Russ: I don't know.

Leisa: What is the system?

Russ: I have no idea. Maybe there is a system. I just haven't figured it out. All right and before we wrap up today's School of Business, it's time for the very popular PKF Texas Entrepreneur's Playbook so let's welcome Mr. Greg Price on the piano. And that wraps up today's School of Business. Stay tuned in for our interview with Ben Lipson, the Founder and CEO of Sports Tradex followed by our interview with Henry Goodrow of Microsoft, looking into Windows 8. This is the Businessmakers Show heard on the radio and seen online at

Comments and Opinions

blog comments powered by Disqus