I HAVE MET THE ENEMY- AND LIKE IT
Blockbuster relies on people leaving with an armful of videos. So why would it strike a deal with archrival DirectTV to put a kiosk in each store? Because they not only want to survive, but they also want to grow. CEO John Antioco told us thai Blockbuster will make money when you contract to buy a satellite dish, pay your monthly bill, and even when you choose a pay-per-view movie. The losers? Possibly Radio Shack, who has a similar deal with DirectTV, and certainly DISH Network, a competitor of DTV. Antioco says this doesn’t preclude other deals, especially live “streaming” of movies over the Internet when that becomes viable. Now, if they could just figure out how to stream us some popcorn, then I’d embrace the technology. Meanwhile, look for me at the Granada.
WIRELESS ALL THE WAY
Dallas is one of the first cities in the country to see the rollout of AT&T “fixed wireless” service. AT&T provides your local and high-speed Internet service by installing a pizza box-sized antenna on your roof and then running a few wires in your attic. The service can deliver up to five telephone lines and DSL-speed Internet service, and it’s even a little cheaper than your favorite Baby Bell. One North Dallas friend says installing it was a little unnerving. The poor installer took a misstep in the attic and plunged through the bathroom ceiling. She eventually patched the unwanted skylight, the installer recovered, and now she loves the service.
JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT’S “DALLAS BUSINESS HALL OF FAME”
The inductees this year had a lot in common besides being distinguished leaders of the Dallas business community. All three are Dallas natives, all three represented second-generation wealth and-get this-all three head up private, family businesses. In a time of IPO fever, the concept of a private business has all but been lost. Today, companies race to the marketplace even when profitability is a distant possibility.
And the coincidences don’t end there. Two of the inductees graduated from high school and college together. Carl Sewell, CEO of Sewell Automotive, says he was a slim, 145-pound football player at St. Marks who always counted on 225-pound Ray Hunt, CEO of Hunt Oil. to protect him. That bond continued at SMU and then into business as the two became original investors in this magazine (OK, they may have made some mistakes in judgment).
Joining Hunt and Sewell was Dallas native Liz Minyard, co-CEO of Minyard Foods. Minyard said that when she and her sister, Gretchen Minyard Williams, took over the reins at her father’s food store, she thought she’d bring a kinder, gentler style of management to the business. Then one day, when she saw a child playing scooter with a cart, she suddenly shouted, “Stop that! Do you know how much those things cost?” That, she said, was her father coming out in her.
AND YOU THINK YOU’RE BUSYWhen Dallasite Michael Jordan merged aging, old-economy Westinghouse with media conglomerate CBS in late 1998, retirement for the mid-60s executive seemed well deserved. Bui instead of working on his golf game. Jordan has taken on a furious pace in the world of high technology. Currently, he’s the CEO and chairman of eOriginal; chairman of Dallas’ Luminant Worldwide; director of Digital Convergence.com; board member of Mort Meyerson’s e-Rewards; consultant and investor in Dallas’ ServiceLane.com; and retains his longtime board presence at Dell, Aetna, and Young & Rubicam. In his free time, he commutes from New York to his Turtle Creek condo.
WORKING TWO JOBS
PGA Tour golfer David Frost of Dallas fulfilled a lifelong dream in 1994 when he and his brother Michel bought a 300-acre wine farm at the foot of a mountain range in Paarl, South Africa. Frost and his brother grew up on a wine farm that their father owned. So now, as Frost puts it, “I’ve got a day job and a night job.” Only problem is the night job entails hosting wine tastings and dinners. His day job means he has to make 8 a.m. tee times. Maybe that’s why he hasn’t won a tourney since the Mastercard Colonial in 1997. But there’s a consolation. One sip of his ’98 Cabernet is like watching a rainbow come out over Augusta.
National value of venture capital investments poured into start-ups during the first quarter of 2000 (a 400 percent increase over the same period in 1999).
Amount of venture capital funding poured into Dallas-Fort Worth start-ups in the first quarter of 2000 (a 500 percent increase over same period in 1999).
Percentage of increase in local sales of new cars and trucks in the first quarter of 2000 versus the first quarter of 1999 (which was a record-breaking year for auto sales).
Average cost of a 2,200-square-foot, four-bedroom home in San Jose, Calif.
Average cost of a 2.200-square-foot. four-bedroom home in Dallas.
Number of completed new home sales in Dallas in the first quarter of 2000 (a 13 percent increase over the first quarter 1999).
Stockbroker David Johnson has covered the Dallas business scene for more titan 20 years for WFAA-TV Channel H, KRLD radio I0S0-AM. and for Public Radio International’s Marketplace.
I HAVE MET THE ENEMY- AND LIKE IT