Russ: This is the Businessmakers Show, heard on the radio and seen online at TheBusinessmakers.com. This is that show that features those that go out there and make it happen. I'm talking about the entrepreneurs.
Leisa: Those of us who really don't know how to say no, don't know what stop means.
Russ: Exactly. And for those of you who are surprised at that voice, once again, Leisa Holland-Nelson, cofounder and COO of Content Active is once again co-hosting with me today. John Beddow is out on an assignment, an important one for sure, and it's great to have you here once again.
Leisa: Russ, I am so glad to be here. We miss you, John Beddow, but not that much.
Russ: That's right. Well, and you are - you kind of do this. You just sort of pick it up and take it in stride. In fact, once they hear the lineup today, this is kind of your show, man.
Leisa: I think the whole show is my show, starting with I have I think one of the feature interviews on The Businessmakers with Barbara Duganier, the North American head of finance for Accenture.
Russ: Right, kind of a career person in that space, that upper end, accounting, consulting space.
Leisa: Anderson to Duke Energy to Accenture. But she was the CFO of Anderson, so…
Russ: Which is a huge responsibility.
Leisa: Pretty huge for a woman. I mean when you consider it was ten years ago that - that 's pretty amazing. But she's -
Russ: And you also on Women Mean Business. It's not just a normal Women Mean Business session today. Right?
Leisa: We have a very special Women Mean Business. This week, a salute to October as Breast Health Month, and we're interviewing three extraordinary women who run non-profits around breast health. So I can't wait for everybody to hear.
Russ: Okay, and since we're already into the lineup, I will complete it with announcing that I get to do an interview, and this is kind of interesting because it's already been done. It was earlier this week when the DaVinci Institute from the Republic of South Africa came to the city of Houston, Texas with a group of PhD students who are here on a mission to learn how to better commercialize their technology. They are pretty proud of their inventions, but willingly admit that they falter big time when it comes to turning them into commercial successes. So they put together a group. The leader of the DaVinci Institute, Roy Marcus who was actually appointed by Nelson Mandela, knows him well, brought this group here. And they spent time already at NASA. I caught up with them at Rice University.
Then they're going over to Texas A&M, and they're going to Austin, Texas, and in fact, quite frankly, they talk a bit about when they decided we're going to the United States, where do we think we should go. And they did a thorough analysis and said, "It's obvious. Texas." And they're spending most of that time right here in Houston, so that's a pretty cool one, too.
Leisa: Any possibility they'll relocate here?
Russ: No, I think what they want to do is they're solid, nationalistic South Africans, and they want to learn from us, and they would certainly love to partner with some of the institutes here, and they would love to bring their technology here, and they would love to learn from us here. So it's pretty cool. A cool group. Very impressive. But first. That's right, it's time for the Businessmakers School of Business. And when John is here, we always sort of kick it off with maybe exaggerating the amount of work that we do to put together the curriculum, but nevertheless, we enjoy doing it, and we enjoy sharing these lessons of the not business as usual school.
Leisa: Yes. Here we go.
Russ: We kick it off each week with the quote of the day, and our quote today comes from Winston Churchill, and it goes like this. Saving is a fine thing, especially when your parents have done it for you. Can't argue with that.
Leisa: No, sorry, no comment.
Russ: Well, me neither. It's an interesting phenomenon. I know a lot of people who certainly could save for their children, and who absolutely do not because they think it's bad for them. I know others that think, "My God, if I can save for my children, I want to equip them with everything I can because I think their future is going to be so different than ours." Nevertheless, at the end of the day, being equipped with the right skills and knowledge is probably a lot more important than money.
Leisa: I couldn't agree more. To me, education is everything.
Russ: Well, and I don't know if your daughter got it through school, but I know she got it somewhere because man. For those of you who might have seen Laura Nelson show up - Laura Max Nelson show up a couple of times on the show will know what we're talking about. But anyway, that brings us to this week in business history. So Leisa, open it up. Tell us what happened this week in business history. This October week in business history.
Leisa: Well, I just would like to say that this week in business history, it appears to have been my week throughout history. We're going to start this week in 1858 - actually, October 27th, 1858. Macy's opened for business.
Russ: My goodness, to have a brand like that - so we're talking about 154 years old.
Leisa: And get this, people. Never say die. That's what I said in the first sentence today. This was the eighth time was the charm for Roland Macy. After a string of seven business failures, the resilient entrepreneur finally hit the jackpot in 1858 when he founded his own department store named, you guessed it, Macy's.
Russ: Cool. Now in your several decade stint, maybe just two, in New York City - don't want to make you sound -
Leisa: Two and a half.
Russ: Okay. In high fashion, was Macy's one of your target retailers?
Leisa: Macy's was a giant customer of ours. I mean Macy's at that time - believe it or not, this is really dating me, but when I started in the industry, Macy's was one of 600 department store chains in the United States.
Russ: Six hundred?
Leisa: Six hundred. Today, there is Macy's in that space. And actually, Macy's and Dillard's, and I don't think anyone else is left. Isn't that incredible?
Russ: Wow. So even though there were 600, was Macy's considered one of the premiere ones?
Leisa: Yes. Macy's federated the May company, Allied, ADG. There were four or five different groups that were considered the place to be, and basically, through acquisition - none of them went out of business. They all got acquired one after another after another, and Macy's is what was Federated Department Stores, which was the ultimate acquirer of everybody, including Macy's, and they chose Macy's as their brand.
Russ: And Foleys was of that producer.
Leisa: Foleys was part of it. The old Joskey's was part of it.
Russ: Oh, Joskey's yeah, I remember that.
Leisa: Marshall Fields is part of it.
Russ: What about the old Sakowitz?
Leisa: Sakowitz went out of business.
Russ: Because they were just kind of small. They were -
Leisa: They were a specialty retailer. A hometown specialty retailer, and they competed more with Neiman Marcus, which is in the specialty - it's interesting. Department stores got the name because they carried everything in their departments, including refrigerators and stoves and appliances. They had appliances. And ergo, department stores and furniture, which Sakowitz and Neiman Marcus never carried. Let's continue. Another big moment, and important to me, certainly. October of 1881, Pablo Picasso was born.
Leisa: I mean you know, it doesn't feel like he's been dead that long. He couldn't have been born that long ago.
Russ: I know, I know.
Leisa: His work, get this, comprises more than 50,000 paintings, drawings, engravings, sculptures, and ceramics produced over 80 years. Really fantastic.
Russ: One prolific artist.
Leisa: He died in 1973, so he was almost 100 by the time he died at 92, but amazing, amazing artist, and probably in my lifetime the most important.
Russ: Wow, cool. I'm a huge fan, too. I don't know that I feel as close to him as you do.
Leisa: Well, I just I - you know, he was a major influence in art. 1904, the New York City subway opened, and boy, did I become the queen of it when I lived there. At 2:35 on the afternoon of October 27th, 1904, New York City mayor George McClellan takes the controls of the inaugural run of the city's innovative new rapid transit system subway.
Russ: So you were a big customer.
Leisa: Huge. 1904. We haven't figured out light rail yet in Houston. I mean like I think we've got to get with that one.
Russ: I've probably ridden a New York City subway less than ten times. But I'm amazed at, number one, that it does work. And you know, it's pretty old now, obviously. But golly, you know, you had to know what floor to even be in once you got below the ground and there were lower floors for other trains. Everybody there knows it, but you know.
Leisa: It runs - it's the only rapid transit system in the world that runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, some four and a half million passengers. I'm sure every day, Monday through Friday. I don't know if that many use it on the weekends. But I will tell you, interestingly, I fought it. I moved to Manhattan, and I tried to walk everywhere and take cabs, and then even cars and drivers when I was able to afford them. You can't get anywhere. Manhattan is a gridlock. So sooner or later, I remember one New Year's Eve being in an evening gown and my husband in a tuxedo, dragging him into the subway, jumping out of the car that we were in and saying, "We're never going to get to this event and taking the subway and having him scream the entire time." But we got there. You know? I mean like hey, and I knew how to do it, so that's very important.
Okay, 1907, this is really interesting. October is not the best month of the year as we know for the stock market.
Russ: No, it's not.
Leisa: The panic of 1907, a run on the stock of the Knickerbocker Trust Company set the events in motion that led to the depression, which was 20 years later, really, but this was the first event of it. 1936, the first electric generator at Hoover Dam went into full operation.
Russ: Hoover Dam, still operating a lot of electricity, and impressive, and hydro electricity is probably the coolest electricity there is.
Leisa: I agree.
Russ: I know some kayakers who don't think it is because you dammed up the river, but the clean energy -
Leisa: Have you ever seen the falls? I've not been there.
Russ: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. No, it's impressive.
Leisa: Unbelievable. Okay, 1955. Moving into the 20th century. October 26th, Rebel Without a Cause opened. Do you remember James Dean? Oh my God.
Leisa: He was 24, and he had already died in a car accident weeks before it opened, if you can imagine.
Russ: I was a huge fan of the character he played in Giant when he was Jett Rink. And Jett Rink, you probably know this, was based on a Houstonian, Glenn McCarthy.
Leisa: Glenn McCarthy.
Russ: And a lot of people don't know that because so much of it took place in Dallas at the Adolphus and State Fair when it was really based upon Houston and Shamrock Hilton, and Glenn McCarthy was a fun loving rebel rouser who -
Leisa: Wild catter, made a bunch of money.
Russ: Yeah, got in fights all the time, built his own nightclub so he could get into fights and not get in trouble.
Leisa: My parents belonged to the international club. It was his deal.
Russ: Wow, cool.
Leisa: Yeah. 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs an executive order transferring Wernher Von Braun and other German scientists from the US army to NASA.
Russ: It's always fascinating to me that we took those German scientists that were actually Nazis and that were building weapons against our side, and I guess it makes sense. I think we really benefitted from it, and hopefully they renounced their -
Leisa: Nazism. One never knows.
Russ: Yeah, you don't. Okay.
Leisa: Okay, moving right along here. 1973, Gladys Knight and the Pips had the number one song with Midnight Train to Georgia. I love that song.
Russ: Oh, it's just incredible. I saw her sing it live one time. Always aspired to grow up and be one of the Pips.
Leisa: Me too. I think we all wanted to be Pips.
Russ: All you had to do is go, "Woo-hoo."
Leisa: I actually wanted to be Gladys Knight. I mean I didn't get to either place. Okay, here is a huge one for all of us, certainly you and me. 2001, Apple announces the iPod.
Russ: That was unbelievable.
Leisa: That was a game changer, major.
Russ: Oh, totally. The marketing and advertising was just so out there and differentiated from everything else. I remember my kids particularly. It was those colored figures dancing down the street all the time with their iPods on. Reorganized the whole music industry. What an example of Steve Jobs' innovation.
Leisa: He was just such a brilliant, brilliant man. 2006, a Panama Canal expansion proposal is approved by 77.8 percent of voters in a national referendum held in Panama.
Russ: Well, and it's under way, and in fact, there's a lot of people in this part of the country that think it's going to benefit us immensely.
Leisa: Means the world of Houston.
Russ: Well, absolutely because there's huge - for those of you outside of our city, there are huge tankers now and cargo ships that can't go through the existing Panama Canal, and so they kind of avoid this high traffic port that we have here. And that's going to change with the widening.
Leisa: Unbelievable. Last but not least, in 2008, here we go again, Bloody Friday saw many of the world's stock exchanges experience the worst declines in their history with drops of around ten percent in most indices. That was right before the election four years ago. October 24th.
Russ: I remember it very well. I was one that was on the side of dumping - getting completely out of the market, but I was married to somebody who said, "No, it's the long-term. You've got to stay in."
Leisa: And you listened.
Russ: Well, I just gave in. And I - in fact, I think even one of my lines is look, I'm in for the long-term. It's just the short-term that I want to get out. This is terrible. And you and I were talking before the show today that there was another one in October 1987, which I think was the prior week, too.
Leisa: Yeah, I really remember that. I mean I was in the retail business in Manhattan at the time.
Russ: I remember it, too.
Leisa: And the bottom falling out of the fabulous '80s.
Russ: Oh, yeah, I was in the computer networking business at the time, and remember in the back of the warehouse, we were watching the only TV that we had back there with our jaws dropped down and going, "Holy smokes."
Leisa: It was really unbelievable.
Russ: So that wraps up today's history lesson.
Leisa: That's about all we have.
Russ: Fabulous job. It worked out well that you were here.
Leisa: Thank you.
Russ: With the references to New York, for sure. And that brings us to navigating business jargon. This one is always fun when Leisa is here. It's fun also when John is here, but this is our vocabulary lesson where I get to go out and find some new jargon words, maybe techno speak, acronyms, and challenge my co-host at this time of the show to guess the meaning. Now this one is going to be interesting. I think it's a pretty cool word, and I might bet that you're going to get it. But the word is uncumbent.
Leisa: Uncumbent. So an incumbent is someone who is seated. Uncumbent. Is that someone who has never been seated?
Russ: No, you're close. Think of it a little bit different. Incumbent, the term really only applies in election time when he's an incumbent -
Leisa: Yes, someone who holds office. Uncumbent, no office?
Russ: No, it's a defeated incumbent politician. So it's not - I
Leisa: That makes - that's kind of cool.
Russ: An uncumbent. Yeah, a defeated incumbent politician.
Leisa: He's now incumbent.
Russ: That's right. Absolutely. There you go.
Leisa: That's really a good one. I might have to use that.
Russ: All right, uncumbent. We love it when people end up using these words.
Leisa: I think that one is great.
Russ: 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 Greg Price. All right, and that wraps up today's school of business. Leisa, thanks once again for joining me today.
Leisa: I loved being here.
Russ: I'm sure you will be back. Stay tuned in for my interview with the group from The DaVinci Institute from the Republic of South Africa followed by Leisa's interview with Barbara Duganier of Accenture. This is The Businessmakers Show heard on the radio and seen online at TheBusinessmakers.com.