Russ: This is the BusinessMakers Show, heard on the radio and seen online at thebusinessmakers.com. This is that show about the private sector, the job creators. I'm talking about the entrepreneurs.
John: That's right. These are the artists and the athletes of the free enterprise system. They're artists because they're so creative. Most of the most fantastic products you ever thought of or ever saw in your and my life for sure were mostly created by people who had these ideas to make something better; and they're the athletes because they have the stamina to see these things through because a lot of these people start their companies and their sole proprietorships and, you know, they're lucky if they've got their wives working for them or their son-in-laws. I mean, the amazing amount of energy they have is amazing.
Russ: Right. They are the people that most positively affect our lives. All right, and here's our line-up for today. I'm going to interview Dr. Mae Jemison, physician, engineer, and former NASA astronaut, and the world's first woman of color to go into space; and now, coming on the BusinessMakers Show, to talk about heading up the 100 Year Starship, that's the DARPA initiative aimed at building the tools we need to travel to another start system in the next 100 years.
John: You know, Russ, this is just like the Star Trek movie when they discovered warp drive.
Russ: Well, it might take warp drive, but I was thinking more that it was a replay of Avatar and it had been influenced by that.
John: Now what happened, if you remember the movie, okay, it was an American who was who had developed the space craft that would go warp drive, and the Vulcan space craft was close to earth and discovered that the society was able to develop warp drive.
Russ: Well, I'm going to ask her if she's seen those movies and if not, she needs to watch them, right?
John: Well, there's Pandora, right, the Avatar, right?
Russ: Yeah. Well, yeah.
John: How do you think Sigourney Weaver made it to Avatar, or Pandora? She should just go talk to her.
Russ: Well, she's dead. She can't,
John: But Sigourney's still alive.
Russ: Well, she didn't really go there.
John: Okay, all right. I don't know. We'll see. It's confusing
Russ: But first [break in audio] that's right, it's time for the BusinessMakers' school of business, and this is our unique approach to business education. It's not business school as usual.
John: No, it's not usual at all.
Russ: No. It doesn't cost anything.
John: It doesn't cost anything. It's a little inane.
John: Yeah, a little strange.
Russ: All right. Okay. All right, we kick off the school of business each week with the quote of day.
John: What's the quote of the day?
Russ: And today, this quote really takes some thought. It's a Leslie Nielsen quote.
John: Leslie - is this "Naked Gun" Leslie Nielsen?
Russ: Yeah, the "Airplane" guy.
John: Yeah, the "Airplane," right, or "Naked Gun?'
John: Yeah, right. Yeah.
Russ: And obviously -
John: Lieutenant Frank Drebin, that was his name.
Russ: Yeah, and here it is: "Doing nothing is very hard to do. You never know when you're finished."
John: That's right. It can be very stressful.
Russ: Yeah. Now that takes some deep thought, doesn't it?
John: That is very deep thought. Okay.
Russ: All right. All right. That brings us to this week in business history, the history lesson of the week.
John: All right, this week in business history, in 1961, the first major battle of the Civil War was the Battle of Bull Run.
Russ: The Battle of Bull Run.
John: Right at Manassas Junction, the First Manassas.
Russ: Which was in Virginia, right?
John: Yeah, in Virginia. And before this battle, everybody thought the Civil War wouldn't last very long. It would be over, get the boys home by Christmas, kind of thing, but of course it was the bloodiest, biggest loss of American lives in the history of the United States.
Russ: What about - you know so much about it. Was the Battle of Bull Run real bloody?
John: Very bloody.
Russ: Okay, and they didn't have any Kevlar back then to wear, did they?
John: No. They had Kevlar that I know of.
Russ: Okay, okay. All right.
John: So here we go, this week in business history in 1873, in Adair, Iowa, Jesse James and the James Younger gang, the first to pull off the first successful train robbery.
Russ: Wow, right there. Right there.
John: You know Jesse James, he was actually portrayed in a movie with Brad Pitt and it was a pretty accurate portrayal there, but life was violent back in those days.
Russ: Well, you know, the fact that this happened in Iowa is pretty interesting because they just had another huge robbery in Iowa.
John: Oh, they did?
Russ: Yeah, the Peregrine Corporation --
John: Oh, that's where that one was. Right. We were going to talk about that a little bit.
Russ: And Russell Wasendorf kind of did a Jesse James-type thing on all his investors.
John: That's right, yeah. Well, good for him.
Russ: Yeah, right. Good for him.
John: Maybe not so good for him now because he got caught.
John: This week in business history in 1977, a lot of rioting by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad workers led to the deaths of nine rail workers. The Maryland National Guard, actually back then called the Maryland Militia, killed these people. They shot them during the riots, and the workers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, staged a strike sympathetic to their brethren in Maryland, and it is also met with an assault by the militia from the state of Pennsylvania. So things were pretty bloody back in those days and especially in the northeast because that's where the labor movement began, and lots of riots throughout the whole industrial revolution. This week in business history, 1904, Louis Rigoly, a Frenchman, became the first man to break the 100 mile per hour barrier on land. 100 miles per hour on land in 1904.
Russ: That was probably pretty exciting. Can you imagine the vehicles they got?
John: I don't know if to do that. He probably didn't know what to do about it. Can you imagine the fear in somebody like that, driving at 100 - 1904. I mean even now it's a high speed.
Russ: Yeah. Now you've driven a 100 miles per hour before, have you not?
John: I've dreamt that I've gone 100 miles per hour.
Russ: You don't think you've ever driven it?
John: Well, not driven. I don't think I have. I've kind of gotten it up to 80 a few times. I've been in other modes of transportation where I've gone that fast or a lot faster than that.
Russ: Okay. Now if I admitted that I had gone 100 miles per hour, they can't come in here and give me a ticket right now, can they?
John: No, no. I don't think so. I wouldn't brag about it.
Russ: All right, then let's go on the next one.
John: Let's go on to the next one, okay. This week in business history in 1943, the birthday of Mick Jagger.
Russ: Wow, so 57, that means he's 69 years old.
John: That's right, yeah.
Russ: And they also right now are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their first - yeah, yeah.
John: I know. Yeah, we talked about that last week. You know, when I first heard the sound of that group I thought, "They're not going to last very long."
Russ: Yeah, well, they still might not, you know. You never can tell.
John: I know. It's the day-to-day thing, you know.
Russ: Yeah, right.
John: This week in business history, in 1944, the first German V-2 rocket hits Great Britain, and a V-1 rocket - there was a V-1 rocket and that was what they aimed at kind of where they wanted it to go and then when it ran out of fuel, it just dropped to earth.
Russ: So there wasn't much precision in where it landed.
John: Well, these were more guided missiles.
Russ: V-2s were?
John: Yeah, and the person behind all this was Werner von Braun, who came to the United States and helped in our space program, built our space program.
Russ: Um-hum. But that still is amazing, sometimes we have these huge wars and after they're over, people sort of change sides and stuff.
John: I know, I know. I know, and the reason why we got to the moon before the Russians is our German scientists were better their German scientists. All right, speaking of an amazing feat of engineering, this week in business history, 1946, the first bikini is show at a Paris fashion show.
John: Yeah, talk about engineering. - And the same day, U.S. detonates an underwater A-bomb at Bikini Island. It's the fifth atomic explosion and, you know, it's all tests. They test these things all the time. This week in business history, 1953, Fidel Castro begin his rebellion called the 26th of July Movement against Fulgencio Batista's regime, and Batista's pictured in the second Godfather movie.
Russ: Oh, yeah? He played a role in there?
John: He's not playing the role but someone played him.
Russ: Oh, really? They should have got him.
John: And Michael Corleone and all those people are sitting around the table. Then they have their big New Year's Eve party and that's when the actual rebels entered into Havana.
Russ: Well, as you well know, I was there not too long ago and one of the little tours that they insist you go on is to see where he was attacked, and they preserved the bullet holes in the wall and stuff. There's also this argument too that says that one reason that the people kind of embraced Castro - and I would say they kind of had to. It's been on now for 50 or 60 years.
John: Well, they have to because they'll get thrown in prison.
Russ: Well, that's true. That's true.
John: Or worse.
Russ: But all the predecessors, including Batista in particular - who might have actually been elected to some degree - were all so crooked and profiteering themselves that he didn't do that, you know.
John: Well, not initially.
Russ: Well, he still doesn't. He still lives kind of in a small place. He's not a big money guy at all. No. No. That doesn't mean that he's good with the people but that's what's happened there.
John: Okay. Instead of spending money on himself he spent it on prisons.
Russ: Right. Okay. Exactly. He isn't selfish.
John: Because you know these dictators, the main thing that they're concerned about is --
Russ: Is keeping their jobs.
John: Yeah, we keeping - we know why.
Russ: Which means keeping their lives. It's tied together when you're a dictator.
John: It's tied together because you can't get voted out of office and the only way to get these guys out is to kill them.
Russ: Right. Right.
John: Okay, this week in business history, 1960, Cuba nationalizes all U.S.-owned sugar factories.
Russ: Wow, so really Fidel finally won in the '59 timeframe.
John: Yeah, right, and he kept telling people he was a democrat, you know, a small "d" democrat, and believed in democracy and all that. Okay. This week in business history, 1965, Bob Dylan releases "Like a Rolling Stone" and that was a big -
Russ: A huge hit. I still hear it all the time.
John: The thing that gets me about Bob Dylan, last year he looked kind of hip and everything. Lately, I mean last time I saw him he looked like Vincent Price. I mean, he looks like he -
Russ: He's taken on that persona now.
John: I mean, he looks like he just stepped out of the "Telltale Heart" or Vincent Price, you know.
Russ: He does!
John: The guy looks creepy.
Russ: Yes, he does.
John: Okay. This week in business history, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Buzz Aldrin become the first humans to walk on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission.
Russ: Oh, what an accomplishment. My goodness, I still am amazed that we did that, what, 31, 33 years ago now. Jeez, it's incredible.
John: I know. It's amazing. Yeah. All the parts supplied by the lowest bidder.
John: This week in business history in 2002, telecom giant WorldCom files for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after it is discovered that there were some accounting irregularities.
Russ: They were very basic accounting irregularities.
John: Yeah, they took expenses and capitalized on them for an amount. This pen which costs like 50 cents, instead of booking the 50 cents the week they bought the pen, they took the 50 cents and amortized it over six years or something.
Russ: Right, and they would even go out for a big company dinner and amortized that over 30 years.
John: They capitalized it.
Russ: You know, I heard people explain before too the downfall of Arthur Anderson that was caused essentially by Enron and then kind of overturned by the judge, and t really wouldn't have mattered because if Enron hadn't gotten them, WorldCom would have, and that Enron was sort of like accounting irregularities in the category of calculus and WorldCom accounting irregularities were like math.
John: Math, right.
Russ: Yeah, instead of calculus. So anyway, no matter how you do it, no matter how you add it up, if you're not booking the revenue and the expenses properly, you're cheating.
John: You're cheating, right. Okay, this week in business history, in 2005, Lance Armstrong wins his seventh Tour de France, and that's quite an achievement.
Russ: It's not looking good for him right now.
John: Not looking too good for the man, yes. I know, there's a big - so everybody should know, there's a big scandal about these athletes doping, a big doping scandal and he's like at the nexus of the whole thing. We're not sure whether he's guilty or innocent but it seems his name always seems to come up when they talk about it.
Russ: Boy, it does.
John: Okay, and this week in business history, in 2011, NASA's space shuttle program ends with the landing of the space shuttle Atlantis on Mission STS-135, thereby ending a rather interesting period of space travel considering the two disasters that happened, which goes to show how dangerous it is to get into one of those things.
Russ: I think the space shuttles in general were very successful.
John: Oh, they were very safe and very successful and incredible.
Russ: So that wraps up today's history lesson?
John: I think so, yeah.
Russ: You were going pretty well, man. You got to the end. The last three were bummers.
John: It's kind of a downer, yeah.
Russ: Telecom, Lance Armstrong,
John: Well, Telecom's got some humor to it, you know.
Russ: Yeah. Well, yeah. And then Lance Armstrong and then the space shuttle's over.
John: The space shuttle, yeah.
Russ: All right, and that brings us to navigating business jargon, and this is also known as our vocabulary lesson; and it's not just a regular vocabulary lesson, no, we go out and find new words.
John: We scour the earth.
Russ: Right, acronyms, techno-speak.
John: Or actually you do because I don't know what the word is.
Russ: Yeah, you just sit back and take the pressure and the heat -
John: Now I want you to know this that I do not know the word.
Russ: Right, yes, and I spring the word on John right here and he does his best at coming up with the meaning, and he gets it right sometimes.
John: Sometimes, yes. It's amazing.
Russ: Are you ready?
John: I think so.
Russ: Today's two-word noun is wrap rage - W-R-A-P rage. What does that mean?
John: Wrap rage.
John: Okay. Wrap is when you wrap something, like you finish an event. "Now we've wrapped it up." Okay. And some people aren't ready to get it wrapped up. They still have work to do or are still enjoying whatever it is. We all know all good things must end but some people don't want it to end, so what happens is people get angry almost to the sense of being insane and ravenous.
Russ: Okay, you can stop now. You're not anywhere close.
John: No? Alright.
Russ: Okay, here's what it is. It's extreme anger caused by -
John: Okay, well anger. I got the anger part.
Russ: You got the anger part. I'll give you a little credit for that. It's extreme anger caused by product packaging that is difficult to open or manipulate.
John: Oh, right. Okay. Like those pill bottles.
Russ: Yeah. Well, that's -
John: Richard Nixon, the former President Nixon, could never open those pill bottles.
Russ: Right, well it's like those, and it's also like this, you know, compressed plastic and those encasements now.
John: Oh yeah, like batteries. You get like C batteries, you try to open up those blister packs or something.
Russ: Yeah, and you can get out razor blades and stuff and risk cutting yourself to get in there.
John: I know. I use a chain saw.
Russ: Okay, so now you know what "wrap rage" means.
John: All right, okay.
Russ: And that brings us to Dumb Moments. Do you have a Dumb Moment story for us today?
John: Yeah. You know we talked about Wasendorf. Is that his name, Wasendort?
John: Okay, the Peregrine CEO tried to kill himself when the FEDs were closing in on him.
Russ: Yes. His name is Russel Wasendorf.
John: Russel Wasendorf, he knew that the law was closing in him so he tried to commit suicide and he was rescued from his - I mean, you're talking about $250 million in customer funds that go missing, and at least he's honest about it because they asked him where it went and he said he spent it all. Okay, so anyway. He's an honest guy. He's an honest guy. That's kind of a dumb thing to do, be honest about it. But the other thing here is, and I guess we may make this an ongoing segment. This is like the fourth time we've talked about this, about when you raise the taxes too high you get the unintended consequences. In this case France, there's a proposed higher tax rate of 75% of all earnings over a million Euros.
John: 75% -
Russ: Of all earnings over -
John: -- of all earnings over a million Euros, and lo and behold, people are leaving the country.
Russ: Oh, yeah.
John: Yeah, so that always happens. It always happens - New York, California, and now France.
Russ: You know that tactic of trying to solve a deficit just by raising taxes is synonymous with a business person who's sitting there selling widgets every month and he looks up and he goes, "My God, I'm selling a thousand widgets every month and I'm still losing $10,000 a month. All I've got to do is raise the price of my widget $10 and I'm breaking even. If I raise to $20, I'm going to be making $10,000 a month!" - And that logic usually doesn't work in today's -
John: I know. That logic is called static analysis.
Russ: That's right. That's right.
John: You know, if you raise taxes or raise a price, you don't expect people's behavior changes but it does which is why they have this theory of dynamic scoring --
Russ: Right, which is what happens.
John: Which is what happens. People are not going to sit there and take it, and that's what's happening in these countries and cities that are raising their taxes higher than most people think is fair.
Russ: Yeah. All you can do is cut your expenses generally-speaking.
John: Yeah, I mean the average wage-earner in this country pays about 35% of their income on taxes if you combine all the taxes together. It's about 35%. I think if the country can't make it on 35%, they should be -
Russ: Well they could, they just keep spending more and more and more.
John: Right, and they think if they take more of our money, and we all know they're not wiling to cut back on expenses, so.
Russ: All right, and before we wrap up today's school of business, it's time for the very popular PKF Texas Entrepreneur's Playbook.
John: And this is a man who has no accounting irregularities, right? This is Gregory Price -
Russ: On the piano. All right, and that wraps up today's school of business. Stay tuned in for my interview with Dr. Mae Jemison, the physician, engineer, and former NASA astronaut talking about heading up the 100 Year Starship. What an exciting interview this is going to be. This is the BusinessMakers Show, heard on the radio and seen online at thebusinessmakers.com.