Russ: This is the BusinessMakers Show heard on the radio and seen online at thebusinessmakers.com. This is episode number 380 of that show that features those that most positively affect our lives. We're talking about the entrepreneurs.
John: The intrapreneurs and the entrepreneurs -
Russ: And the entrepreneurs.
John: - and the capitalists and the captains of industry and the -
Russ: And the innovators.
John: - the innovators and athletes of the free enterprise system and artists. We can go on and on and on. The fact is these are the people who helped build this country and create a lot of innovation that you see and use every day and take for granted.
Russ: Well, we started championing them 380 episodes ago.
John: I know.
Russ: Back then mainly because it just seemed -
John: Nobody else was doing it.
Russ: Yeah. They were just left out.
John: They were left out.
Russ: Now they're not left out, but they're dissed sometimes -
John: Dissed by the -
Russ: - by the fleeter's of the country.
John: I know. It's amazing. Amazing these people who we put in charge of running the show had no idea how the country operates.
Russ: But the people that run this show do know how.
John: Yeah. We should run for president.
Russ: We should.
John: Both of us. It'll be a co-presidency.
Russ: A co-presidency. We could do that.
John: A co-dependent for presidency.
Russ: There we go. Well, what do you think about the economic ignorance indicator this week? Do you think it's up or down?
John: I think it went way up since the democratic convention.
Russ: I think it did too.
John: Good Lord.
Russ: I think it did. People forgot how it works. It's just a pool of money that they want.
John: Just a pool of money that they want and it's - half the people are getting government assistance, half the people don't pay income tax. What a ______.
Russ: You talk about sustainable developing all these _______ out here talking about - what about a sustainable country? ‘Cause we cannot sustain this large ___ that we're heaping out.
John: Absolutely not.
Russ: And with very little money coming in.
John: Absolutely not.
Russ: And here's what we've got lined up today. First guest is Deborah Cannon, the president of the Houston Zoo, and that's a turnaround story extraordinaire.
John: Yeah. How would you like to work with a bunch of animals?
Russ: I felt like I have a couple of times before, but I think from what I've gathered Leisa Holland-Nelson does this interview. In fact, this interview was done earlier this week in front of an audience at the Greater Houston Partnership, and I learned a lot more about the zoo. I learned why I didn't think it was such a good zoo because it didn't used to be a good zoo.
John: No. It was not.
Russ: And now it is.
John: I know what you're talking about.
Russ: If I were like a monkey or a tiger I'd wanna be there.
John: I would. Yeah. You'd be living the life of Riley.
Russ: There you go, and also we're gonna follow that with an interview with Ashok Rao, the founder and CEO of Whodini, the leader of the world's largest entrepreneur organization, that's TIE, the Indus Entrepreneur. Ashok gave some advice on the show probably about three or four months ago. It was so popular I've got him back again.
John: Wow. You've been a busy boy.
Russ: Absolutely, but first [break in audio]. That's right. It's time for the BusinessMakers School of Business. Not your ordinary business as usual school.
John: I know. It's -
Russ: You agree? I'm glad to see you agree.
John: Yeah. I'm speechless.
Russ: Didn't mean to wake you up. Huh? Well, tell us about this school. You always do a great dissertation.
John: Well, I tell ya -
Russ: What's different about it?
John: Here's the thing that's different about it is we are real world, ground level educators, and we don't have text books. We don't have a marching band. We don't have a football team, but where we lack in those areas we more than make up for information that is relevant, not only at the time you hear it, but you can go back to anyone of our previous lessons and you'll learn stuff that'll keep you going in business for a long, long time.
Russ: There you go.
John: The information is ageless. Ageless. It's ageless I tell you. It's ageless.
Russ: And we kick off The School of Business each week with a quote of the day.
John: The quote of the day. Yes.
Russ: And today I'm quoting a famous - well, I don't know if he qualifies as a journalist anymore - Dan Rather.
John: Oh, no.
Russ: Does he qualify as a journalist?
John: He stopped being a journalist a long time ago.
Russ: Well, this -
John: I don't think he ever was one really.
Russ: But he wasn't put in jail. Was he?
John: No. He was not put in jail. Right.
Russ: So he escaped that, but this is a good quote. I think you'll agree with this. It goes like this: "Journalists should denounce government by public opinion polls."
John: So in other words -
Russ: Meaning those who govern by - they see which way the public's going and they - that's what bill Clinton - he was good at that.
John: They all do it.
Russ: He'd find out - they all do it. They find out which way the parades going and they run out and jump in front of it.
John: They run and jump in front of it. Yeah. You're right. It's really prevalent right now.
Russ: Well, and you know what's really bad about it is that the public opinion polls are not ground in mathematical fact anymore.
John: No. No. No they're not, and although, I gotta tell ya, the more - every time I disagree with them before the election when the election comes out, most of them are right.
Russ: Yeah, but they change a lot moving up to it. I think in the Bush/Gore election they didn't know how to call that one and they called it wrong a lot of times.
John: Yeah. They did and back then -
Russ: Of course there was like a tie.
John: See, back then there weren't a lot of cell phone numbers that were readily available, ‘cause most people, yours included, use my cell phone as my home phone number.
Russ: Yeah. I do too.
John: I have a landline, but it's basically to send faxes out. I still send faxes.
Russ: Yeah, but I don't send faxes anymore. You should cut that out.
John: Well, some people say, "Fax it to me." So - or if some people wanna send me a fax.
Russ: Well, tell them to get real. Tell them it's 2012 right now. So much for that.
John: You hurt my feelings.
Russ: That brings us to this week in business history. What happened during this mid-September week in business history?
John: This week in business history in 1780 Benedict Arnold commits treason during the American Revolution War. He handed over West Point to the British. Now the importance of West Point - now why would West Point be -
Russ: Well, why would they? That's exactly what I was gonna -
John: Because that river that goes up through West Point, the Hudson River, was the main artery that went up into northern New York and where a lot of the battles and the conflicts were going on in the Revolutionary War and the continental army built this huge chain and put it across the river so the ships couldn't get past it.
Russ: To keep out the Brits.
John: Yeah. So what he did is he handed over the key to the chain to the -
Russ: Wow. So he -
John: He gave up the position to the British Army. In other words they were gonna -
Russ: And he though they were about to.
John: He was about to. He never did complete it.
Russ: And he thought they were gonna win so he would make sure he had a job.
John: Well, yeah. He was depressed because he had some people promoted over him. He was a very accomplished general in the Revolutionary War, but for some reason Washington didn't wanna promote him that much any higher than he already was and he felt he had misgivings and he said, "Well, I'll fix you. I'll turn over West Point to the British."
Russ: Never really a good idea though to change sides. Is it?
John: No. No. Of course politicians do it all the time.
Russ: Yeah. They do it all the time.
John: That was before the war and the - that was before the war, before I was against _______. This week in business history in 1842 is the birthdate of the inventor of the thermos bottles; Sir James Thermos was born in Scotland. No. He was actually _____. You have to -
Russ: Well, he had some Scotch.
John: He had some Scotch first then he said, "I gotta keep this Scotch cold," or something. So anyway, he was born in Scotland September 20, 1842, chemist, physicist. Was a professor in college and all that and he would - by hook and by crook he invented that handy item that we all use to keep our hot stuff hot and our cold stuff cold.
Russ: Wonder if they acknowledge him out there at corporate headquarters for igloo here in town.
John: I think they have a statue of him built over there.
Russ: Do they?
John: And they use a lot different technology that he did.
Russ: I know. Well, a lot of people use a lot of different technology than they did back in 18 -
John: What was it? 1842?
Russ: But I use what we call as a thermos bottle probably all the way into high school. They had that glass silvery inside.
John: That would break.
Russ: That was the best thing. Yeah. It would break. It would break. I could break it.
John: And then they told you - and they would tell not to put it into the dishwasher.
Russ: That's right or the microwave, mainly ‘cause we didn't have any microwaves.
John: Well, yeah. How could you? You didn't have them back then.
Russ: Continue on.
John: This week in business history in 1849 the first commercial laundry was established in Oakland, California. Think about that.
Russ: That's - it had to be a hand crank washing machine with a ringer and stuff, ‘cause in 1849 we didn't have automatic washers.
John: I know. I know. We had the gold rush over in California. So they had enough money to buy -
Russ: To pay people.
John: Take their clothes to the laundry
John: I always I hate doing that. You used to have get up, put that crap in your car.
Russ: It's a hassle.
John: You take it to the laundry. Then you come back and pick it up the next day, but I never do.
Russ: And wonder how much is missing.
John: I still have shirts over in the laundry still.
Russ: You still have them there?
John: I took them over there two weeks ago, told them I needed them back that night. Golly. This week in business history 1901 Peter Cooper Hewitt receives a patent for the vapor lamp. It was the beginning of development of the fluorescent light.
Russ: Wow. Interesting.
John: We all know the fluorescent light because the government's making us buy those things.
Russ: The little curly Q CFL's.
John: That's right. The little -
Russ: Compact fluorescent.
John: The mini fluorescents that ‘cause more pollution when you're done with them than they do when you use them.
Russ: Yeah. Well, I - and it was a mistake to do that too because they were followed real quickly by the LED technology, which is safer, better, and cheaper.
John: I know, but see the government's subsidizing the manufacturer of the -
Russ: Of the CFL's. Yeah.
John: And the LED's ‘cause GE's getting into them and we all know Jeffrey Emmel is a pal of ______ president.
Russ: Yeah. He wouldn't be doing it if there wasn't some government money coming in.
John: Some government at large. Yes. Actually it's Chinese money being laundered by the U.S. government.
Russ: It's so complicated.
John: Oh, it is. You're telling me.
Russ: We need to start offering flow charts from some of this stuff.
John: And where does the money come from and where does it go.
Russ: That's right.
John: This week in business history in 1908 car manufacture General Motors is founded. It's a pretty good operation until about ten years ago.
Russ: Well, they lasted almost 100 years on their own.
John: I know. Now they've been bailed out and for every Chevy Volt they sell it costs $49,000.00 for us.
Russ: Right. For us. That we pay.
John: That we pay.
Russ: But they got so heavily laden by their union and their benefits -
John: Yeah they actually - yeah. Somebody said they were not a car company anymore. They were a health care company that just happened to make automobiles.
Russ: That's exactly what bankruptcy laws are designed to handle. When something gets totally upside down, yet you know there's still a real viable business thing and you start over.
John: It's a Democrat's _____ where Romney wanted them to go bankrupt. Well, that's what the bankruptcy laws are for. The Chapter 11 is. There are other types of bankruptcies which are total wipe outs.
Russ: Yeah. Chapter 7.
John: Chapter 7.
Russ: In Chapter 11 what would have happened is that all of the bad mistakes and commitments in the past go away. You start over. A lot of people get hired back, maybe not as many as there are today, but you'd have a viable long term business potentially.
John: Right and you can renegotiate all your contracts under the projection of a bankruptcy judge. Yeah.
Russ: As this was done we'll be doing it again.
John: Right. I know. It's terrible. This week in business history in 1954, September 20, the first FORTRAN computer program was run. That was back in ‘54. That thing must have been the size of a railroad car.
Russ: Well, what - I made a FORTRAN computer program run in 1968 on a huge computer at the time.
John: It was the size of this room probably.
Russ: Yeah. Probably. FORTRAN was my language, my only language, beside English and BS. Those are my other two.
John: BS. You're a magna cum laude in BS.
Russ: In BS. In advanced studies.
John: They don't even have a chart big enough to record all the BS that you - God.
Russ: It's important.
John: It is. Good BS is important, but you've heard the expression, "When in doubt, mumble"?
Russ: Yes. Yes.
John: Well, BS is also when you're in doubt.
Russ: That's right. That's true.
John: This week in business history in September 19 the twist - more positive news here. Good. "Chubby Checker" out.
Russ: What year? You left the year out.
John: 1960. "Chubby Checker," one of the most successful singles in history.
Russ: Fifty-two years ago we did the twist [break in audio].
John: September 30, 1973, Billie Jean King, the battle of the sexes right here in Houston, Texas. Billie Jean who is 29 was challenged by Bobby Riggs 19 - who's 55. He's a former number one rank player, but Billie Jean cleaned his clock.
Russ: Yeah. I think - what do you think? He thought it was a good paycheck.
John: Oh, it was. He did it for the publicity and the money.
Russ: You think he thought he could have won?
John: I think he did. He beat Margaret Court and she was just as high - almost highly ranked as Billie Jean King was.
Russ: Billie Jean King _____.
John: That's what got the thing started. He challenged Margaret Court and it was a good match. I didn't see it, but I read about it.
John: This week in business history 1997 Apple computer enlist founder and former CEO Steve Jobs to temporally run the company during a search for a permanent leader. Jobs had his ups and downs with Apple, but -
Russ: Well, this was the beginning of the ups.
John: This was the beginning of the -
Russ: Man. It took a while. He was there at least four or five years and they kept saying, "When are they gonna get a permanent one and then it began to look like they weren't and then it began to look like he was gonna start knocking the ball out of the ball park and man. Goodness gracious, has he ever done that. That wraps up the history lesson.
John: Hey. What do you want?
Russ: Well, no. I think it was good.
John: I thought I did a good job.
Russ: Actually, well, once you got through the depressing part, but -
John: Which was most of what happened.
Russ: We were both - yeah. We were both depressed, but it was justifiable depression. Don't you think?
John: Yes. I know. You gotta - if you don't care about some of this stuff then you shouldn't be allowed to vote.
Russ: But they talk about depression a lot and there's clinical depression, but I think there's also justifiable depression that -
Russ: - like you're nuts if you're not depressed.
John: Like there's justifiable homicide.
Russ: Yes. There is.
John: There's justifiable depression.
John: You can get - if you think you've committed justifiable homicide, then you find out from a court of law that it was not justified that can be -
Russ: Then you really have justifiable depression.
John: Because you're behind bars or you're getting ready to sit down and old Sparky gets behind you.
Russ: I don't think anymore. I think they give you drugs now.
John: Well, yeah.
Russ: Let's move forward.
John: Go ahead and walk the green mile.
Russ: We're gonna lose our students if we don't move forward, ‘cause it's now time for navigating business jargon.
John: Oh, man. Hey, I've been three in a row, I think.
Russ: Well, you've done well. This is our jargon challenge round also. It's also our vocabulary lesson. We've never centered in on a real name so we keep using all three of those. What we have centered in on is the original rules and regulations that this has to be delivered in a contest format.
John: Yeah. I do not know the word until I hear the word.
Russ: I know the word. I get to choose the word. I've got the meaning right in front of me and John does not.
John: See, the fun part is trying to guess the word.
Russ: Which is what John's gonna try to do right now if I can wake him back up. He just hit his head on the microphone. Sorry about that. He just knotted out a little bit.
John: I'm sorry. Okay.
Russ: You ready?
John: We do this early in the morning.
Russ: It's a noun and it's twitch fork.
John: Pitch fork is something you - it's a farm implement, a garden implement. You use it to pick up grass and hay and stuff. A twitch fork is a -
Russ: Let me try to give you a hint ‘cause this one is tough. I think there are periods of time in history where the pitch fork was almost like a weapon and it was a sign of a protest. Farmers might be protesting. _______.
John: A twitch fork is the one they take to when they protest the government or something.
Russ: No. No. I thought you were gonna say something smart there.
John: Hey, look. I got three in a row. Right? I get three right. I get one wrong.
Russ: You're not gonna get this one right. Here - this one is an angry or aggressive protest on Twitter. All right. That brings us to dumb moments. Do you have one or was everything even kill this week?
John: No. This is one of the reasons why our economic index is rather - ignorant index is high. And a lot of people - they all, "Let's vote for Obama. Let's" - here's what's facing us. This is just one little thing. In order to define a full time employee it takes the federal government and their ObamaCare regulation that they need 18 pages of federal regulations to define a full time employee.
Russ: Eighteen pages.
John: Eighteen pages just to describe what it is.
Russ: Maybe we should read them one day for the show.
John: This is a blog called "Washington Secrets." I've note that as a full time employee works an average of just 30 hours a week, not the normally accepted 40 hours a week. So if you have a full time, part time employee if you work them 30 hours now they're a full time employee.
Russ: Full time? Does that mean you start getting over time if you got them more than 30 hours?
John: That's right. You have to pay them - yeah. This IRS rules because companies with more than 50 full time employees must provide health insurance under ObamaCare or be fined. And now business groups have been warning that small companies might try to replace full time workers with part time in order to be - to avoid all this, but it's not gonna work.
Russ: Well, they could make them work 29 hours in 59 minutes each week and say, "All right. You gotta go." All right, and before we wrap up today's School of Business it's time for the very popular PKF Texas Entrepreneurs Playbook. [Break in audio] all right and that wraps up today's School of Business. Stayed tuned in for Leisa Holland-Nelson's interview with Deborah Cannon, the CEO of the zoo, followed by my interview with Ashok Rao, founder and CEO of Whodini, chairman of The Indus Entrepreneur. This is the BusinessMakers Show heard on the radio and seen online at thebusinessmakers.com.