By Bret Piatt
Aug 28, 2018
This week we celebrate our 100th episode of Cyber Talk Radio! Wow, how time flies when you are having fun and talking with such smart and talented guests. We launched Cyber Talk Radio with our very first episode on security implications of machine learning with Charlie Rentschler and then continued the show with a wide-variety of distinguished guests such as Congressman Will Hurd, Microsoft’s VP of Military Affairs, Port San Antonio CEO and many more. We are so proud of this milestone and would like to give a special thanks to News Radio 1200 WOAI, iHeartRadio, our listeners and guests!
To celebrate this exciting milestone, this past Saturday, August 25, I was joined by Dirk Elmendorf, co-founder of Rackspace and current CTO of Brokerage Engine to discuss entrepreneurship in San Antonio, advice for those looking to start a business, and ways businesses can make technology more efficient and secure. Most have you have heard about San Antonio-based Rackspace especially if you live locally or are in the tech industry. How did the idea of Rackspace get started by three Trinity University students? Dirk shares the founding story of Rackspace and what challenges they faced trying to get a tech startup going at that time from finding investors, funding, etc. Nowadays, the focus has shifted from “How do I do this thing that I want to do?” to “How do I capture the attention of consumers to use my product?” Difficulty building and marketing a product makes for a challenging experience starting a business. If you built a great product such as an application, how do you get visibility in an app store? Dirk shares some advice for those thinking of starting their own business. In the modern era, it’s good to hone in on a niche area of a market. Don’t try to make a product for everyone, you can’t convert everyone at once. Also, top of mind for Dirk when building a great product is security. Security is essential in the product development process. As we move to a more Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based world, technology can help make businesses and people more efficient and safe.
Dirk is now the CTO at Brokerage Engine. What is Brokerage Engine and how does it help make brokers and agents lives easier, safer and more efficient? Real estate transactions include a lot of confidential information that is being shared back and forth many times via email. As we move into a more digital world, it’s important to address security in the services and products your business uses. This is very true in the real estate industry. It’s crucial to be able to regulate access permissions to the right people and data at the right time. We recently had two attorneys from Langley & Banack on the show where they shared a story of a real estate wire transfer that was compromised by a hacker getting into someone’s email and stealing the home purchasing funds. Real estate is an industry that has been around a long time and is starting to take advantage of technology and improving processes. Brokerage Engine is doing its part in trying to improve processes and move real estate transactions into a SaaS-based workflow instead of via email.
Before we end the show, we had to squeeze in a few personal and fun questions for Dirk. What nonprofits is he passionate about? Dirk shares his personal mission which is to do his part in teaching mathematics and science, which prepares them for a future in technology. Too many people say they can’t do math. Statistics and math come into your life in lots of different ways! Listen to the episode replay to hear more from Dirk, here or watch below.
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