‘We have an opportunity to be the electrification capital of the world.’

The high-efficiency electric motors Brad Hunstable’s company, Linear Labs, is designing could help make the region the hub of powering things with electricity.

Here’s more of “who said what” this week in our collection of quotes. You’ll find Spacee's Skip Howard, Cornbread Hustle's Cheri Garcia, American Airlines' Vasu Raja, and more among our favorites.

These North Texans had “The Last Word.”

THE LAST WORD on Dallas Innovates. Find "who said what" in our collection of quotes on Dallas-Fort Worth Innovation.
Here's "who said what" in Dallas Innovates Every Day.

Find ‘who said what’ in our collection of quotes from North Texas Innovators.

We love folks who have a way with words. 

Here’s a roundup of quotes from North Texas innovators that inspire, inform, motivate, or simply make us laugh.

Dallas Innovates publishes “The Last Word” each day in the Dallas Innovates Every Day e-newsletter.  Make sure you don’t miss a thing by signing up here. 

If you have a few wise words of your own, let us know.

Monday, Dec. 2

“If you’re in a board meeting and you’re trying to either come up with a new product or service or troubleshoot something that has been happening in your company—that’s really not getting you to the next level.”

Amanda Austin
Owner and Founder
Dallas Comedy House
…on DCH’s company improv training workshops, via The DMN.

North Texas companies like Southwest Airlines, Topgolf, and Frito Lay have used Dallas Comedy House’s workshops to improve collaboration and corporate culture. In recent months, DCH has settled into a new home in Deep Ellum and worked on rebranding and relaunching its corporate division, DCH Pro.

DCH Pro workshops cover a variety of topics and are customizable for groups, giving executives and other team members the opportunity to expand their improv skills for professional purposes.

“The tenets of improvisation help bring out the leader in all of us,” Austin told Dallas Innovates. “When we listen from a place of being present and open to new ideas, we can create new products and services, we can develop solutions to problems that are holding us back, and we can create trust with each other.”

Tuesday, Nov. 26

“You need to ride the wave of change or else get pounded by it.”

William Reeb
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
…on how you can’t get complacent in the accounting profession, via UT Dallas.

Even as technology makes accounting more efficient, CPAs will have to work much harder in the future, according to Reeb, who recently spoke at UTD’s Naveen Jindal School of Management. He pointed out that it’s important to adapt, because “the world is changing, technology is changing, and you now have to compete at a higher level.”

“The low-end work will go away. We’ll have to move up the value chain into high-end complexity work, like giving advice—even when you’re coming right out of school,” he said. “That’s not a bad thing. It’s a great thing, because it means more opportunities to deliver new services and connect with clients in new ways.”

Monday, Nov. 25

“The company had to first find the right partner and then perfect the business model to be successful in the most competitive, most sophisticated and most concentrated market in the world.”

John Alper
VP of Industry Partnerships
KidZania USA
…on why it took KidZania 20 years to land in the U.S.

“The license for KidZania in the U.S. was signed in December 2015,” Alper told Dallas Innovates. “After a couple of years finding the best location for the first U.S. park, we selected Stonebriar Centre.”

KidZania, the 75,000-square-foot “indoor city” that lets kids role play various careers in a variety of industries, opened in Frisco on Saturday, the company’s first U.S. location. Mexico-based KidZania Global has 27 locations in 21 countries—following the Frisco opening (where its U.S. corporate office will also be), it expects about 10 parks to open in the next 10 years in North America.

KidZania locations are tailored to the city they’re in. For Dallas, KidZania has a lineup of nationally recognized industry partners, including MOOYAH, SMU, Texas Health Resources, WFAA, and more.

“Having real-world brands representing their products, trades and services in KidZania makes our concept more realistic,” Alper said. “KidZania is an expert in operating theme parks, but we don’t necessarily know how a brain surgery should be performed, so having Texas Health Resource’s input makes the experience real and credible.”

Friday, Nov. 22

Give them the ‘why.’ Once you get folks invested in the strategy for an action, people put their all into the effort.”

Lee Bird
At Home Group
…on how he motivates others, via D CEO.

Originally from Cape Cod, Bird took the helm of At Home, formerly known as Garden Ridge, in 2012. It’s been a busy year for Bird, as At Home crossed the $1.2 billion sales mark and opened its 200th store. Bird’s a veteran executive—before joining At Home, he was president of Nike Affiliates for Nike Inc., COO of Gap, and CFO of Old Navy. 

What’s the advice he’d give to himself at age 18? “Never give up on your dreams.”

Thursday, Nov. 21

“The great thing about Dallas is there’s not just one hub for innovation. There are lots.”

Trey Bowles
Dallas Innovation Alliance
…on why the West End was chosen for the Innovation District, via the DBJ.

“We believed we needed to mark a spot and call it the Innovation District so that we can point people to a place when they ask about innovation in this area,” Bowles told the DBJ. 

The district serves as a living lab to showcase what an area would be like once smart elements are incorporated into it. The Dallas Innovation Alliance is a public-private partnership dedicated to the design and execution of the smart cities plan in Dallas.

Wednesday, Nov. 20

Inefficient companies are dying, and the ones that are able to provide digital efficiencies are the ones you are seeing survive.”

Abe Minkara
Managing Director
Mark Cuban Companies
…on brick-and-mortar companies experiencing market corrections, via D CEO.

If you’ve ever wondered what happens after Mark Cuban makes a deal on “Shark Tank,” look no further than Abe Minkara. Minkara and his team look into all of the metrics, sales, and debt figures after companies shake hands with Cuban.

“We treat Shark Tank companies like we would treat any new investment,” Minkara told Brandon Call of D CEO. “It is the same due diligence criteria whether you’re on the TV show or not.”

Tuesday, Nov. 19

“It was amazing walking in, and you have to kind of center yourself like, OK, this is a gig, you have to be professional, and on the other end, you don’t want to close yourself off to feeling how incredible this is.”

Cal Quinn
Photographer and Videographer
…on shooting at Paisley Park, via the Dallas Observer.

Dallas natives Cal Quinn and Aly Fae became the first videographers to film inside Paisley Park, Prince’s famous studio complex, this week, along with singer Beck. Quinn and Fae told the Dallas Observer they were given access to areas normally off limits. Beck was the first major artist to record at Paisley Park since Prince died, and Quinn and Fae were commissioned to capture the occasion.
“It was pretty insane with all the stars aligning,” Fae told the Observer. “Paisley Park has literally never ever let a camera crew come in and shoot there. It was incredible.”

Monday, Nov. 18

“…it’s still complicated to 99% of the population.”

David Herr
Chief Technology Officer
Dallas Mavericks
…on sports crypto payments, via Yahoo Finance.

Herr said he and his team did some research, heard some discussions, and one comment was that most still find it complicated. “Until it’s more widely accepted, it’s a cottage industry or a neat way to pay. I don’t have a crystal ball, we’re just building a platform to be flexible and responsive.”

The Mavs were the second NBA team to start accepting Bitcoin as payment for tickets and merch, but Herr says the uptake has been slow. He does, however, expect more fans to get interested in the future.

Friday, Nov. 15

“The reality is that data is the currency of today. The currency of tomorrow is actually creativity.”

Chieng Moua
VP of Innovation
Blue Prism
…at the Bots and Beers panel on Tuesday.

At Bots and Beers: Preparing for the next generation of civilization, innovation executives, digital leaders, government agencies, and tech lovers and critics alike gathered to talk about how emerging technology could transform our world.

As the world of technology grows and expands in areas like artificial intelligence, it can impact cities, healthcare, transportation, economy, careers and personal lives, the panel noted. The panelists discussed where technology is already at work impacting world issues, and where it could be implemented locally.

The audience came with many questions—some even with their own personal statements—on emerging tech. The panel shared what to expect and how to prepare for the next generation of civilization, because “change isn’t as far off as many think.”

“If I take all of my knowledge and experience and drop it into the machine, there are three things I think could happen: One, we change the world. Two, the effect on the next generation. And three sounds very ominous, but the survival of humans at the emotional level,” Moua says.

Thursday, Nov. 14

Understand the rules before you want to change them.”

Elaine Welteroth
NYT Bestselling Author
…giving the keynote today at Texas Women’s Foundation’s 34th Annual Luncheon, via Carine Feyten on Twitter.

Texas Women’s Foundation yearly luncheon, presented by The Dallas Mavericks, is its biggest fundraiser. The intent is to “help all Texas women and girls become full participants in society” by amplifying female voices and investing in real change.

Feyten, who is the Texas Woman’s University Chancellor and President, joined around 1,700 other attendees to support. She tweeted that Welteroth also recommended to: “Use your ‘difference’ as your super power;” allow yourself to be your highest, most powerful, biggest version of yourself; and “expand” when the world tells you to shrink.

Wednesday, Nov. 13

“I founded my company in the middle of the downturn, and the lessons we learned taught us not only how to survive but how to succeed.”

Herb Weitzman
Executive Chairman and Founder
…on starting Weitzman, via D CEO.

In 1990, Weitzman decided to found his own full-service commercial real estate brokerage firm after 30 years in the industry. Now, it’s the largest retail real estate brokerage force in Texas and one of the largest regional commercial real estate firms in the United States, according to weitzmangroup.com.

Tuesday, Nov. 12

“We purposely went big…We want corporations across North Texas to really get excited about becoming partners with arts organizations.”

Amy Carenza
PNC Bank
Managing Director of Corporate Banking
…on creating a new era of corporate engagement with the arts, via D CEO.

Some unlikely talents are going to be taking the spotlight at the inaugural Dallas Symphony Orchestra C-Suite Christmas concert “to bridge the gap between the business and artistic communities,” writes Bianca Montes. Executives from AT&T Latin America, NorthPark Center, Pinnacle Group, Neiman Marcus Group, Capital One, and more are participating in the Dec. 11 event.

Friday, Nov. 8

“Texas is a key market for us because it embraces technology and innovation, and includes large urban areas and universities with accessibility and traffic problems where micro mobility can help.” 

Joshua Viner
CEO and co-founder
…on why the Wheels bike-share program came to Dallas via the DBJ.

In September, the Wheels electric bike-share program entered the Dallas market “with a focus on safety, accessibility and sustainability,” writes the DBJ. The California-based company sets its bikes apart with a design that enables on-site part replacement, which eliminates the need for pickup and redeployment.

Thursday, Nov. 7

“We’ve tried to be like Tesla with our elevations.”

Jed Dolson
President of the Texas region
Green Brick Partners Inc
….on using the automobile industry to simplify the home-buying process, via the DBJ.

Dolson told the DBJ’s Bill Hethcock he’s looking for “something new and sleek that people haven’t really seen in the marketplace.” For example, with Green Brick’s preplanned packages he says the company is able to offer customers a better value—similar to visiting a car dealership and making a purchase the same day.

Plano-based Green Brick Partners is a homebuilding and land development company that operates in Texas, Georgia, Florida, and Colorado.

Wednesday, Nov. 6

“If we can get kids interested in creating content instead of just consuming it, we’ll inspire them to explore STEAM subjects that prepare them for the future.”

Sanjiv Yajnik
Capital One Financial Services
…on expanding students’ education in AI, via Twitter.

In partnership with Capital One, Dallas Innovates recently hosted a three-part roundtable discussion on the state of STEM, STEAM, and STREAM education in Dallas-Fort Worth—and what it means to our future workforce. It was only the beginning of pushing the boulder up the hill to impact North Texas, and beyond.

Dive into the discussion starting here.

Tuesday, Nov. 5

“As a female business owner who has experienced the challenges and journey first-hand, I recognize the importance of empowering women to take leadership roles and pursue their entrepreneurial efforts.”

Stacy Madison
Stacy’s Pita Chips
…on the hard work and perseverance it took her to grow Stacy’s Pita Chips into the established brand it is known as today.

“I’m so proud to see the continued commitment that Stacy’s Pita Chips has to carve a path towards equality for female entrepreneurs so that they too can achieve their dreams,” Madison said, referring to the new program Stacy’s launched earlier this year.

Stacy’s Snacks, one of the brands that makes up Plano-headquartered Frito-Lay North America, teamed up with Alice to launch its first-ever grant competition: Stacy’s Rise.

The five female founders—all in the food & bev industry—chosen as finalists for Stacy’s Rise convened this summer in Dallas for the program. Each spent three months learning from PepsiCo and Frito-Lay executives and was given $20K in business funding.

The inaugural program concluded this week with Los Angeles-based Hakuna Brands Founder Hannah Hong announced as the $100K grand prize winner of the program.

Monday, Nov. 4

“Dallas-Fort Worth will benefit from steady in-migration from the rest of the nation because we have a diverse economy here and a business-friendly environment.”

Mike Ablon
Principal and Founder
…discussing a potential national recession, via D CEO Magazine.

“Since the Great Recession, Dallas-Fort Worth has gained more new residents than any metro area in the country, solidifying us as the nation’s fourth-largest,” he says. “We have also created more than 100,000 jobs annually for the past four years.”

In D CEO, Charles R. Myers, the CEO and president of MYCON, asked his peers about local business growth and opportunities coming in 2020.

Check out more insights here.

Friday, Nov. 1

“Esports is an incredibly competitive industry for attracting and retaining talent, both on the player side and operation side of the business.”

Ryan Hoopes
Director of Tenant Advisory Group
Cushman & Wakefield
…on Envy Gaming’s new Dallas headquarters, via D Magazine.

Envy Gaming Inc., one of the largest esports organizations in the world, is expanding its Dallas footprint by building its esports training center and headquarters in Victory Park. “By strategically locating their new headquarters in Victory Park in the heart of Dallas, Envy Gaming is cementing their stamp as Texas’ most attractive and valuable esports organization,” Hoopes told D Magazine. Envy’s new headquarters are expected to be located in a building adjacent to the American Airlines Center with a sublease of 20,872-square-feet.

Thursday, Oct. 31

“Texas businesses continue to grow year after year, and we need to make sure veterans are able to get a piece of the pie.”

Todd Connor
Bunker Labs
…on how Dallas-Fort Worth is a veteran hub, and it’s important to “go where the people are.”

Bunker Labs, a national nonprofit that assists veteran entrepreneurs, will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony and reception on Nov. 20 at the JP Morgan Chase Plano to celebrate the official opening of the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter. The Dallas-Fort Worth chapter is the 31st chapter in the U.S. and the third in Texas, with other chapters in Austin and San Antonio. The nonprofit is expecting to have a chapter in all states by 2021.

You can read more about it here.

Wednesday, Oct. 30

“In this digital world, content is king, and agents must give their viewers plenty of videos, photos and 3D tours to keep the interest of their potential buyers.”

Thomas Crosson
CEO and Founder
Full Package Media
…on technological advances in real estate, via the DMN.

Crosson started Full Package Media, a Dallas-based company that produces imaging services for luxurious real estate listings, as a side hustle, but it soon turned into his main source of income. He said he put his paramedic career on hold, officially launching the company in 2016.

“One of the biggest things to remember when deciding what media you need to market your listing is that we live in a content-driven world that is flourishing online,” he told the DMN. “Potential buyers are searching all over the internet to find their perfect home. By providing them with the tools they need to see a home, they can quickly make decisions as to whether this is the property for them.”

Tuesday, Oct. 29

“It comes from all directions if people are in a position to participate. Lockheed is in a unique position, our teams are not assembly line workers. They are highly skilled technicians, used to collaborating with manufacturing engineers.”

Shelly Peterson
Emerging Technologies Lead
Principal Investigator for Augmented Reality
Lockheed Martin
…on how innovation comes from collaboration, via Forbes.

After Peterson shared her thoughts at last month’s Enterprise Wearable Technology Summit in Dallas, Forbes caught up with her to learn more about Lockheed Martin’s secrets to success. Among them: is “Pick Projects With Measurable Metrics,” “Start Small,” and “Keep It Simple.”

Today, Lockheed landed a $34 billion deal with the Pentagon for its F-35 jets, which are produced in Fort Worth. Lockheed has long awaited this contract, which is the biggest yet for the company, per the DMN.

Monday, Oct. 28

“Without financial success, investors would cease to risk capital and innovation would grind to a halt.”

Kenneth Hersh
President and Chief Executive Officer
George W. Bush Presidential Center
…on how capitalism and social good can co-exist, via The Catalyst.

“A debate has intensified this fall over whether businesses should produce results beyond the bottom line,” Kenneth Hersh writes in an essay in The Catalyst. “The Business Roundtable, which is a respected collection of major American businesses, recently modernized its Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation to say: ‘If companies fail to recognize that the success of our system is dependent on inclusive long-term growth, many will raise legitimate questions about the role of large employers in our society.'”

He discusses how leaders can square their long-term profit goals while at the same time achieving qualitative goals.
“Managing for an optimal bottom line is hard enough. Adding non-monetary considerations into the equation may seem impossible,” he acknowledges in the essay. Still, the pronouncements of the Business Roundtable “can be aligned with building a durable bottom line.”
Business models are adapting, and we have nothing to fear, he notes. There’s more to business than a quick buck, and we can serve the bottom line by broadening our view of how success is measured.

Friday, Oct. 25

“The world is replete with the gravestones of great products that couldn’t figure out a way to turn themselves into a good business.”

Paul Nichols
Executive Director
UT Dallas Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
…on teaching students the entrepreneurial process, rather than just focusing on a “cool idea,” via the DBJ.

“UTD is unique in a number of ways, but it is definitely unique in that we were founded by entrepreneurs. Most universities aren’t. It’s absolutely in our DNA and we’ve got to honor and respect that,” Paul Nichols said in the DBJ. Nichols recently replaced Steve Guengerich, who led the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the past few years.

Nichols said he’s been on “both sides of the table”—investor and startup founder—so with his new role, he’s essentially closing “the big three” of VC, startup, and university. He plans to leverage two of the institute’s main features, the Blackstone LaunchPad and the Venture Development Center, to help emerging student entrepreneurs.

Thursday, Oct. 24

“Practice till you can’t get it wrong.”

Mark Cuban
Dallas Mavericks Owner
Billionaire Dallas investor “Shark”
…shared on his Instagram today.

In recent Mark Cuban news, WFAA/Chanel 8 reported he plans to donate $100,000 to the Dallas Education Foundation to meet the most-urgent needs of schools impacted by the tornadoes that ripped through North Dallas on Sunday. Nearly four full days after the tornadoes touched down, there’s still plenty of help needed. Go here to find out how.

Wednesday, Oct. 23

“I didn’t want to be the captain. I wanted to be the science officer, the one who discovers all the mysteries of all the universe.”

Anousheh Ansari
XPRIZE Foundation
…on growing up as a “Trekkie” and her “long winding road to space.”

Dallas’ Anousheh Ansari was the first female private space explorer with an 11-day space expedition to ISS. Today, Ansari leads the XPRIZE Foundation. The tech entrepreneur spoke on commercial space flight and solving the world’s “grand challenges” at an EarthX’s Half Earth Day celebration at the Frontiers of Flight Museum yesterday.
Ansari and her family of entrepreneurs wanted to open up space for everyone, and that led to the XPRIZE competition. Its model, based on a “prize idea,” turned out to be a successful one. Today, XPRIZE Foundation leads incentive competitions that can help solve humanity’s greatest challenges in health and environment. It’s also sponsor of the Ansari XPRIZE, a $10 million competition won by SpaceShipOne that inspired commercial spaceflight.
“Unlike other philanthropy, we were able to leverage the prize money and bring additional money to actually solve problems,” she says. And, it’s brought a lot of awareness and policy change. Without those policy changes “the industry you see today with SpaceX and Blue Origin—none of those companies would exist because there’s no way anyone could launch anything other than government-based space agencies and their subcontractors.”

Tuesday, Oct. 22

“You don’t have to be on the West Coast or the East Coast to be ‘green’ or ‘environmentally friendly’—you can be right here in the center of the country.”

Tony Keane
CEO of EarthX

Happy Half Earth Day! Celebrate at the Frontiers of Flight Museum tonight from 5:30-7:30 p.m. with EarthX, the Dallas-based convener of the world’s largest environmental expo, conference, and film festival.

This year marks EarthX’s second annual Half Earth Day celebration, with this one marking the halfway point to the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day. It’s also a six-month countdown to Earthx2020.

“The first Earth Day in 1970 launched an environmental movement that has continued growing for nearly half a century,” Keane said. “One of our goals is to extend our traditionally once-annual observance into year-round mindfulness and action towards a more sustainable future, which we hope will keep Earth Day thriving for another 50 years to come.”

Monday, Oct. 21

“Amazon has 12 million square feet in Dallas, and they’re paying their employees a lot of money.”

Ward Richmond
Executive Vice President
Colliers International
…on how warehouses keep up with e-commerce growth, via Freightwaves.

Proximity to labor has become just as critical as proximity to consumers for warehouses, Freightwaves notes. And, operators like Amazon are emphasizing workplace culture.

“You’re going to pay to be close to good labor. Three years ago it wasn’t on my radar; in 2015 and 2016 we started hearing about labor, and now we talk about it on every deal,” Colliers’ Ward Richmond says. He shared his insights during a warehousing third-party logistics provider (3PL) panel last week in Chicago.

In DFW alone, there were 36 million square feet of big box space under construction in Q3. The overall industrial market is strong, Richmond said.

But, he notes that companies are being conservative with their CapEx. And they are open to innovation: “Robotics have become increasingly important sources of flex labor during demand surges,” according to Freightwaves. And “new kinds of equipment can help them avoid or delay the acquisition of another large building.”

Friday, Oct. 18

“What the human brings is the act of innovation and randomness and mistakes. Sometimes the best creations are discovered through mistakes.”

Vasu Raja
Senior Vice President of Network Strategy
American Airlines Group
…on how AI will affect network planning in the future (and whether or not humans will be involved), via the DBJ.

Machines don’t tend to make mistakes, Raja says. “They’re really good at recognizing patterns that aren’t evident to the naked eye, but they can’t necessarily, on their own, provide the kind of innovation that the human can.” 

Thursday, Oct. 17

[Image: Michael Samples]

“We have an opportunity to be the electrification capital of the world.”

Brad Hunstable
CEO and Founder
Linear Labs

We have the pieces to be known as the electrification capital of the world here in North Texas if we stake it, name it, and claim it as a region, Hunstable said at Venture Dallas in September.

The high-efficiency electric motors Hunstable’s company, Linear Labs, is designing could help make the region the hub of powering things with electricity.
Having sold in 2016 his San Francisco-based video streaming technology to IBM for $130 million-plus, the West Point-trained engineer funded research by his dad, Fred, that produced an electric turbine—machinery that turns energy from spinning devices into power for doing work—that the younger Hunstable says gives electric vehicles 10 percent more range than regular magnet motors.
Beyond his own business, Hunstable cited the presence of large local presences of big players in mobility such as Toyota, which since 1997 has sold a hybrid gasoline-electric car called the Prius. He added that he’s working a deal with Lockheed Martin for “33,000 meter motors that’s hopefully going to be bundled as we move forward.”

Wednesday, Oct. 16

Skip Howard, CEO and Founder of Spacee, was photographed at Tyler Station in Dallas’ Oak Cliff. [Image, Skyler Fike; Carniverous plant, Texas Triffid Ranch]

“Life is too short to work with the wrong people. Pick the right ones, and take your time finding them. Breakthroughs are the result of solving the right problems the right way with the right people.”

Skip Howard
CEO and Founder

Skip Howard is all about technology that has the potential to change the world for the better. He’s doing that as the CEO and founder of Spacee, a post-mobile augmented reality startup that’s revolutionizing the retail industry.

Spacee partners with retailers to create interactive experiences that improves a visitor’s experience. It’s partnered with Men’s Warehouse, Walmart, Mercedes-Benz, and most recently, Vitamin Shoppe.

Last week, Spacee announced its Vitamin Shoppe partnership, and enable digital transformation for the stores. Now, every product is smart through Spacee technology. Howard says he and the team plan to deploy the solution to various Vitamin Shoppe locations this year.

Tuesday, Oct. 15

“They needed a job.”

Cheri Garcia
Cornbread Hustle
…on the inspiration for creating a new software program to help previously incarcerated people and those recovering from addiction.

“I had done a lot of prison work on teaching business plans and entrepreneurship, and as these guys were getting out of prison, that’s the first thing they needed,” Garcia says. “A job.”
Garcia’s company, Cornbread Hustle, works to give previously incarcerated people and those recovering from addiction another chance through its Dallas staffing agency, and now, a software program called Cornbread Hustle Powered By Freedom 365 Virtual Recovery System. It’s free for people in her program to use. 
“HR departments are working with us to implement this to provide an anonymous tool for their employees if they need it,” Garcia says. In addition, a felony district court in Dallas County plans to use the program in a pilot. 

Friday, Oct. 11

Mark Stanley

Mark Stanley is president and chief business officer at McKinney-based Playful Corp. [Photo: Playful]

“There are up to five times more people watching others play games than actual people playing the games.”

Mark Stanley
President and Chief Business Officer
…on the rise of the “spectator era” in gaming.

McKinney-based Playful Studios, which raised its latest $23M funding round by non-traditional means in September, is working on a variety of new projects that are designed from the ground up to maximize the experience for gamers, viewers, and creators (streamers).
The spectator trend “has been growing steadily in the past few years, but has been massively accelerated with the advent of live streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube Live, and popular games like League of Legends and Fortnite,” Stanley says.

Thursday, Oct. 10

David Matthews

RevTech Ventures Managing Director David Matthews [File photo]

“We give all our entrepreneurs a little gas in the tank to get up the first hill.”

David Matthews
Managing Director
RevTech Ventures
…on the Dallas-based VC’s accelerator program.

But, it’s the Dallas-based VC fund’s mentors who are the ones to help those entrepreneurs “see beyond the first hill, to the next hill, and the next,” Matthews said at RevTech’s Tech Trends in Retail event held recently at the Neighborhood Goods flagship store in Plano.
RevTech Ventures is known for boosting startups that sit on the intersection of retail and technology. That support may include investments, year-round mentorship and support, and a program for accelerator graduates—as well as keeping entrepreneurs staying up-to-date on the latest emerging concepts.
(And if you’re unfamiliar with Neighborhood Goods’ concept, think coworking, but for retail.)

Wednesday, Oct. 9

[Image: Courtesy Elizabeth Dyer]

“Originally, it was just a bucket list item.”

Elizabeth Dyer
…on making the transition from working as an attorney to becoming an author.

Self-published author and Dallas resident Elizabeth Dyer recently won a Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award—”the highest award of distinction in romance fiction.”
Dyer says becoming an author is a form of entrepreneurship. While it can be a lot of fun, it can also be very overwhelming and extremely time-consuming, she says. “When people say they write full time, they don’t mean, typically, that they’re writing eight hours a day, because there’s all this other business stuff that goes into it.”

Tuesday, Oct. 8

“From a private-industry standpoint, we are facing this huge hockey stick of [attempted] attacks.”

Sharon Reynolds
Chief Information Security Officer
Omnitracs LLC
…on cybersecurity and trucking, via the Wall Street Journal.

Data and automation are creating opportunities for hackers in the transportation sector, the WSJ reports.

A “growing reliance on technology means that bad actors could divert valuable cargo from its destination, paralyze logistical networks, or enable trade secrets to be compromised,” according to the publication. “Hackers are already making attempts to break in.”

Reynolds, CISO at Omnitracs, a Dallas-based fleet-management technology provider, is also the president of the North Texas chapter of InfraGard, a security partnership between businesses and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Monday, Oct. 7

[Photo: Leatherology]

“We like the nimbleness. We only met with Diane von Furstenberg in May.”

David Liu
Co-owner of DC International
…on the growth strategy behind Dallas-based, family-run e-commerce company, Leatherology, via the Dallas Morning News. 

Sister-and-brother duo Rae and David Liu came home to Texas to lead Leatherology, a brand known for its personalizable leather goods and unique painted-on designs. 
The siblings have upped the game with a new collaboration: “The younger generation has evolved the brand enough that it has grabbed the attention of fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, who asked them to put a couple of her signature prints—a leopard and geometric patterns—onto leather,” writes Maria Halkias in the DMN. 
It was “Instagram, of all places,” that opened up a conversation that led to the new capsule collection, according to WWD. A photo ended up in the feed of Sandra Campos, CEO of Diane von Furstenberg that led to the DVF x Leatherology collection.
The brand’s craftsmanship is all in the family: A factory in China that makes the goods is owned by the Liu family, and the Carrollton HQ handles the personalization. DC International is the parent company of Leatherology.
For now, the pair looks to keep their options open: “The siblings don’t want Leatherology to become a wholesale business with merchandise sold by other retailers or to open their own branded stores,” reports the DMN. 
Leatherology also offers custom options for corporate giving. The company offerings have been described as affordable luxury, but you will rarely see its logo on the front of its products. “Our brand isn’t the focus of the story—you are,” according to its website. “We want each customer to make our items their own through monograms, company logos, slogans or even the occasional hashtag.”

Friday, Oct. 4

Google’s new data center under construction in Midlothian [Photo: Quincy Preston]

“Everything in Texas is big—so is our data center. It’s a pretty big place.”

Sundar Pichai
CEO of Google
…during a roundtable Thursday in Dallas, via the DBJ.

Pichai and First Daughter Ivanka Trump visited El Centro College, where they announced the expansion of a training program that provides high-tech job training to community college students. Pichai also signed a White House pledge that aims to provide 250,000 training and education opportunities throughout the next five years. More than 350 companies have signed, including DFW-headquartered AT&T, American Airlines, and Toyota.

In June, Google announced its already-under-construction $600 million data center in Midlothian, where key online tools and resources will be developed, including search results, YouTube videos, Gmail, and various apps. Google also gave Midlothian Independent School District a $100,000 grant for the development of STEM programs in schools. Read more about that here.

Thursday, Oct. 3

“The lack of innovation and risk taking is catching up with all these retailers that watched the last 20 years happen to them. It’s death in the middle.”

Steve Dennis
Retail Strategic Advisor, Keynote Speaker, Writer
…on how businesses must innovate to stay ahead.

While many think this is the era of a retail apocalypse, Dallas-based Dennis disagrees—brick-and-mortar stores aren’t going away, and instead are focusing on delivering something “unique, memorable, and intensely customer relevant.” Dennis is well known for this assertion that “physical retail isn’t dead, but boring retail is.”

Matt Alexander, the founder and CEO of Plano’s Neighborhood Goods (known for its next-gen approach to the department store), even brought this up during a recent RevTech Ventures event. To Alexander, a retailer’s purpose has to extend beyond just selling product—which is quite different from the traditional model.

“I think the reason we have the opportunity to even exist as a company is largely a result of a lack of self-awareness in the retail industry in general,” Alexander said. “Steve Dennis, who’s involved with RevTech, has said for a long time that ‘physical retail isn’t dead, boring retail is.’ And that’s become a very significant statement throughout the industry.”

Wednesday, Oct. 2

“Leaders will try and fail, try and fail, but the important thing is to remain optimistic and great things will happen.”

Former President George W. Bush
…on leadership as a catalyst to solve the world’s largest challenges.

“Failure is just part of being a business leader,” President Bush said at an event in Dallas hosted by Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), a global, peer-to-peer network of some 14,000 business owners.

Bush, who served as the 43rd president of the United States from 2001 to 2009, met with leaders “to discuss how leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurism can transform industries and communities around the world.”

Tuesday, Oct. 1

Left to right: Rachel Sipperley, founder of Rent my Wardrobe, and Kameron Westcott, Real Housewife of Dallas and Rent my Wardrobe investor at the company’s launch event in early 2019.  [Photo: Quincy Preston]

“Sacrifice is something we experience in the startup ecosystem quite frequently, but it’s not always the tangible sacrifices that make the biggest difference. “

Rachel Sipperley
Rent My Wardrobe
via Linkedin

Monday, Sept. 30

[Photo: Dana McCurdy]

“Eventually, I want you to get rid of me.”

Monte Anderson
Developer and Owner
Options Real Estate of Texas at Dallas

Anderson is a helper at heart, and often invests his time and money in entrepreneurs he believes in, many of whom rent space from him at Tyler Station—the mixed-use “collaborative village” that’s home to artisans, craftspeople, creatives, and entrepreneurs—and other developments.
“I’m always trying to get the artists and the craftsmen to own real estate so they can build wealth and get a piece of the action,” Anderson says.
What makes him different from other investors, he says, is he has no interest in long-term, high-interest loans, nor in having equity in a company or entrepreneur.

Friday, Sept. 27

[Photo: Courtesy Dallas Film]

“The first-ever North Texas Film Festival has a broad range of films that will speak to a variety of people and special interests—from films on sports to military service and veterans to the environment to horror stories, family features, and more.”

Jonathan Brownlee
CEO and President of Dallas Film
Executive Director of DIFF and NTXFF
… on the new film festival that made its debut in Plano on Thursday. 

The North Texas Film Festival (NTXFF) will be in full swing this weekend. The inaugural event opened with a screening of “The Laundromat” last night and will close on Sunday with “Two Popes.” The festival is incorporating programming from North Texas VetFest, EarthXFilm, and Vans.
Proceeds from this year’s inaugural NTXFF will benefit VIFM. In honor of VIFM, the NTXFF will showcase “A New Leash on Life: A K9’s for Warriors Story” and a shorts block with films created by veterans or pertaining to military service.
EarthXFilm will have its own shorts block too, focused on climate and the environment on Saturday at 12 p.m. And, in honor of “The Tony Alva Story” screening, NTXFF is collaborating with Vans to bring a skateboarding exhibition to the Cinemark West Plano at 2:15 p.m.
Plus, the Texas Archive of the Moving Image will host a pop-up event: North Texas people and businesses can drop off their old films and videotapes for free digitization on Sunday from 12 – 7 p.m. at Cinemark West Plano and XD. To qualify for the free service, participants must donate a digital copy of their materials to Texas Archive of the Moving Image’s (TAMI) archive.

The North Texas Film Festival is produced by Dallas Film and powered by Capital One.

Thursday, Sept. 26

[Image: Istockphoto]

“Active use is suspected to be associated with improved subjective well-being, whereas passive browsing is suspected to be particularly harmful.”

Kaitlyn Burnell
Doctoral student
University of Texas at Dallas
School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences
— on the effects of social media and “FOMO” in a new study

Studies suggest young people are mostly passively browsing,” Burnell said, emphasizing the difference between “active social media use—uploading content and initiating direct interactions with other people—and passive use, described as browsing feeds without any kind of social exchange.”
Burnell’s social media research is part of the Blackberry Project, which is a multiyear study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

“This study of the possible effects of young people lurking online is the first investigation to show that the fear of missing out may follow from comparing your inner experiences to someone else’s ‘greatest hits’ posted online—and that this fear predicts feeling depressed and bad about yourself,” Burnell said in a UTD post.

Wednesday, Sept. 25

Jared Sine, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary, Match Group  [Photo: Trevor Paulus/D CEO] 

“Noticing trends in other industries can be crucial to figuring out where policy is going in the future.”

Jared Sine
Chief Legal Officer and Secretary
Match Group
… via D CEO

“Observing small but important events that have nothing to do with your business can provide a perspective into the bigger picture,” Sine says.

Meet the 31 honorees in D CEO’s 10th annual Corporate Counsel Awards program. Sine won Outstanding General Counsel in the Large Legal Department category.

Tuesday, Sept. 24

“I’ll tell you what, my failures can be attributed to one thing: Piss‑poor preplanning. You’ve got to preplan this stuff.

Phil Romano
Entrepreneur, Restaurant Mogul, Author
… Real talk from Romano during a ’40-minute master class’ in support of the Greater Dallas Food & Beverage CPG Community group.

Best known for creating popular restaurant staples like Fuddruckers, Cozymel’s, Macaroni Grill, Eatzi’s, and Nick & Sam’s, Romano regaled the group with stories from his long career. His most recent creations are Trinity Groves, the West Dallas food incubator, and the Network Bar, which has been likened to a “LinkedIn country club.”

Monday, Sept. 23

“At the end of the day, consulting is a people business.”

David Toth
Wilson Perumal & Company
on the company’s recognition as a great place to work in ALM’s Consulting Magazine.

Dallas-based Wilson Perumal & Company (WP&C) was named the No. 1 small strategy consulting firm on ALM’s Consulting Magazine’s annual “Best Firms to Work For” list. The firm ranked No. 2 among small firms across all service lines.

It’s the third year for WP&C to earn a spot on the list.

“Doing interesting work, the right way, means WP&C consultants get ample opportunity to team, learn, and grow,” Partner David Toth said in the magazine. But recruiting carefully for the right fit is a big part of it, he said. And, “the company has a strict “no jerks” policy.”

The boutique management consulting firm was founded in 2009. “The team rallies together behind a common goal: helping global companies solve some of their most difficult issues,” according to the company. WP&C wants to provide a fresh perspective to help companies that “struggle with the complexity of today’s world.”

What next? Wilson Perumal’s priorities in the coming year include deepening its relationships at its flagship clients in commercial, private equity and defense sectors — and “continuing to recruit top talent to build out the team.”

Friday, Sept. 20

“We have to make downtown Dallas more walkable, more livable, and more navigable—and that’s the commitment I’ll make to you today.”

Eric Johnson
Dallas Mayor
…during Downtown Dallas Inc.’s Fall Forum and State of Downtown.

The mayor talked about how downtown Dallas is becoming a more vibrant place, and how it’s become home to roughly 12,000 residents.

Johnson also named the new AT&T Discovery District under construction as one of the area’s major investments. “I truly think this will become a destination for all citizens in Dallas,” Johnson said, via WBAP.com.

Thursday, Sept. 19

“Innovation comes from taking risks, and all the good characteristics of amazing IT teams can lead back to being purpose-driven.”

Leah Miller
Chief Information Officer
Medical City Healthcare
…on the role of innovation in healthcare, via Becker’s Healthcare.

“It is a purpose higher than any one of us or a job or function,” Dallas-based Miller says. “I can take risks differently; I can do the right thing for our patients differently; I can empower differently. It’s all about being purpose-driven. It’s never about just one person, but the focus is on the patient in the bed.”

Wednesday, Sept. 18

Elyse Dickerson [Photo: Courtesy Eosera]

“We believe if we focus on continuing to meet people’s needs, the money will come behind that. It’s just a fundamental way of living.”

Elyse Dickerson
CEO of Eosera
…on her company’s business philosophy, via D CEO.

Fort Worth-based Eosera all started when Dickerson realized it had been decades since there had been significant progress in the world of earwax removal, and decided to find a way to help. She and Joe Griffin left big pharma behind, found a lab at the UNT Health Center, and launched a company.

Today, Eoseara makes a half-dozen products sold on shelves across the country by Amazon, Target, CVS, and more.

“We knew it would be much easier to find a hole in the market and try to fill it rather than build a product and go find a place for it,” she told D CEO. “We heard loud and clear that there was an opportunity, as no one was focused on ear care.”

Tuesday, Sept. 17

Anurag Jain, Perot Jain

Anurag Jain

“I didn’t have a silver spoon growing up. When I landed at the airport in the USA, I couldn’t afford a coffee.
Despite tough life circumstances, I have always been a dreamer and wanted to make something of my life by hook or crook.”

Anurag Jain
Access Healthcare Services
…on his early career journey, via Jayneil Dalal on LinkedIn.

“I always feel inspired by the success stories of fellow immigrants,” Dalal, who’s the lead UX designer at AT&T, wrote on LinkedIn during last week’s Venture Dallas. Jain, who’s also a managing partner at Perot Jain, moderated a panel on the Future of Mobility at the event.

Go here to read about more big-name speakers talking tech, funding, and growth in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Monday, Sept. 16

“If you don’t see it, you’re not going to be it.”

Claudia Romo Edelman
We Are All Human Foundation
via The Dallas Morning News.

The We Are All Human Foundation—a nonprofit that promotes equity, diversity, and inclusion—launched a first-of-its-kind national pledge called the “Hispanic Promise,” which more than 45 corporations signed earlier this year. It’s a call to action for companies to hire, promote, retain, and celebrate Hispanics in the workplace.

Last month, we told you about how the Hispanic Promise was to be featured at the first Dallas gathering of the Hispanic Leadership Summit.

At the event, about 15 Dallas- and North Texas-based companies signed the Promise, including AT&T, Ericsson and YUM! Brands. That makes business sense and creates opportunity, Pinnacle’s Nina Vaca told The DMN, given the region’s large Latino population. “We can’t have the Latino community left behind here in Dallas.”
Dallas is about 42 percent Latino, according to The DMN.

Friday, Sept. 13

“You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-living the last.”

Sunny Lowe
CEO of Blue Jean Networks, LLC
…via TECH Fort Worth.

Sunny Lowe, a local serial entrepreneur, kicked off TechFW’s Fall TechNest series.

Thursday, Sept. 12

David Matthews

David Matthews

“Ask yourself: ‘How many times have I been on camera so far today? Ten times? One hundred times? Am I on camera right now?'”

David Matthews
Managing Director of RevTech
…on new retail concepts and the technologies that power them, via LinkedIn.

“In retail settings, the relevant question is increasingly this one: ‘Fine, I’m on camera, but what benefit is it bringing to me?'” Matthews asks.
RevTech will explore these themes during its upcoming annual event, Tech Trends in Retail, at Neighborhood Goods in Plano on September 19.

Wednesday, Sept. 11

“Best definition of sales that I’ve ever heard: ‘transfer of enthusiasm.’

Marshall Haas
…commenting on a job description, via Twitter (@marshal).

“Agreed! My friend once pointed out how negatively I spoke about sales. She looked at me and said: ‘Tina, selling is a transfer of enthusiasm. Nothing else.’ That was a game changer for me,” Tina Roth Eisenberg (@swissmiss) also tweeted.
Entrepreneur Haas recently moved back to Dallas-Fort Worth after spending 8 years away. “Home prices in Texas are amazing. $350k gets you a custom home—5 bedrooms, 3 car garage, 15 mins to downtown Fort Worth,” he tweeted.

Tuesday, Sept. 10

“Education is a great equalizer.”

Elda M. Rojas
Chief Academic Officer
Cityscape Schools
…on the role of education in the advancement of the Hispanic community, via @MartyTakesDAL on Twitter.

We Are All Human Foundation hosted the first Dallas Hispanic Leadership Summit yesterday, coinciding with the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. The goal was to spark conversation and drive actionable solutions for the Latino community.

Leaders from major Dallas-Fort Worth-based businesses were in attendance, including AT&T, Texas Instruments, Southwest Airlines, and Pinnacle Group.

Monday, Sept. 9

“Anyone that is drawn to this program is naturally in one way or another a sponge. Whether it is receiving or giving, oftentimes it’s a combination of both.”

Cynthia St. John
Chiefologist at Chiefology
…on mentoring in the M-Crew program, via TechFW.

Watch this clip as Cynthia St. John shares her perspective on being a mentor in the M-Crew program.

Quincy Preston, Alex Edwards, and Lance Murray contributed to this report.

Icon image: m_pavlova/istockphoto

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