Janet Pinkerton

David Thomas, CEO at Evident, is an accomplished cybersecurity entrepreneur. He has a history of introducing innovative technologies, establishing them in the market, and driving growth – with each early-stage company emerging as the market leader.

Dealerscope is resurrecting "What They're Thinking," a series of interviews/conversations with CE industry execs currently making headlines. Please feel free to offer suggestions of any industry executive that you think would generate an interest interview. Janet Pinkerton spoke to DSI's Dave Robision, who recently made news with his video in support of independent CE dealers. In this portion, Robison talks about his early days in the business and how the industry has changed. Stay tuned next Wednesday for the second half, in which Robison expresses his views on the big-box chains and the current state of the industry.

My father and I started the business 25 years ago. For the first five years I was the only employee. I was 25. Started by going door-to-door in rural Iowa with a trailer behind a pickup truck, pulling an 11-foot diamond-shaped satellite dish, offering a free overnight trial of a C-band satellite system.

I'd dig the hole by hand, mix the concrete in a wheelbarrow, dig the trench with a shovel and install the whole system start to finish.

Fred Towns, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, New Age Electronics, a division of SYNNEX Corp. I started off in the industry working in the music side, disc jockeying in the late 1970s when disco music was big. In my younger days, I was a martial artist. To make extra money working weekends, I’d check IDs and collect money at nightclubs. I realized that wasn’t best for my future. I could literally get hurt. There was always somebody bigger and badder than me. So I started to really get into the disk jockey aspect of it. I went out and bought

Vance Pflanz of Pflanz Electronics in Sioux City, Iowa, knew his was a rural market. But that still didn’t prepare him for the local response to his company’s participation in the digital television converter box coupon program. Although the February 17th analog shut off is more than seven months away, Pflanz recently estimated he was selling roughly 100 DTV converter boxes a week from his single location, with most people buying two converter boxes at a time. “A lot of people have antennas,” Pflanz said of Sioux City’s rural market. “A lot of people have a TV in kitchen with rabbit ears or

(As told to Janet Pinkerton): The electronics industry has been in a recession for over six months. There’s going to be great opportunity in our industry today, but there’s going to be two kinds of businesses this year and next year: the quick and the dead. If you’re not totally involved in your business, I’m recommending you get out quick. They (higher prices) have been hitting, but (U.S.) retailers have refused to accept the price increase so distributors and manufacturers are being squeezed out. The large big boxes are continuing to dig in their heels, saying ‘We do not to

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