'Bidness' in Texas Is a Big Deal
I know every state is proud of itself, but Texas seems especially enamored with all things Texan. I noticed this a couple of years ago when I attended the Houston franchise expo and my hotel’s waffle maker turned out waffles in the shape of the state. I have never had an Ohio-shaped waffle, nor a California one.
Just recently I was in Dallas interviewing Antonio Swad of Wingstop and Pizza Patron fame, when I was struck once again with the notion that Texas is like that stuck up girl in junior high, who thought she should be a cheerleader even though she could only do a stag jump (Oh, wait, that was me; the stuck-up girl really could do a toe-touch.)
I stayed at the Hilton Regency, thinking it was the Hilton inside the airport and that I wouldn’t have to venture out until the next day when the photographer graciously picked me up for my interview. It turns out there are two Hiltons and I picked the one that required a shuttle.
But it was worth it because the hotel was a shrine to Texas. On the wall above the staircase that led down to the conference center were mismatched letters spelling out: “Texas bidness is a big deal.” Please note, they misspelled “business” on purpose.
Around the hotel were pictures and descriptions of innovations by Texas businesses—especially prolific was Texas Instruments. But I was captivated with the lesser known ones, like the Topsy Tail, which looks like a plastic ring with a tail that allows a woman with long hair to loop it through for a sophisticated take on the pony tail. And then there was Bob Bemer, who invented the “escape key” on computers, which allows us all to undo our errors. I love that guy. I only wish he’d invented one that covered real-life experiences.
Plus the first prototype of an ATM was developed by a Texan. Anyone who has ever shown up at the airport with no cash applauds that invention.
But my favorite was created by a woman (so the framed tribute was in the women’s restroom): “the Doggy Bag.” I know what you’re envisioning, those plastic bags that attach to a dog’s leash, but you’re wrong. This is a little coat with a handle so you can carry your dog like a purse. One of the pics showed the Burburry version. Trés chic. This was one time when Texas’ mantra about everything’s bigger in Texas didn’t apply. The Doggy Bag was designed for designer dogs, not hunting dogs, which would have required a concealed pocket.