September 26, 2019

Calvin Carter Opens SMU Digital Summit Discussing The Connected Lifestyle

Bottle Rocket’s Founder & CEO was invited to give the opening keynote at his alma mater, Southern Methodist University (SMU), during their 2019 Digital Summit. Here’s a synopsis of his talk along with a video recording from the event.

The Connected Lifestyle Is Here! Are You Ready?

We all know that the digital revolution is in full swing. Both emerging and existing engagement technologies can unlock tremendous value for your business and for the customers you serve.

But are you truly ready to embrace this new normal we’ve come to know? Which technologies are “must haves” and which experiences will garner deep loyalty? How do all of your digital experiences fit together into a cohesive ecosystem that exceed the ever-changing wants and expectations of your customers?

At the intersection of business and the connected user’s goals lies opportunity. We call this intersection the Connected Lifestyle and those companies that embrace it will thrive while others will be left behind. The digital experiences that your company creates are already being compared to the likes of Starbucks, Uber, Netflix, and Facebook, among others. These brands are your competition whether you realize it or not. This is the new normal. For Connected Consumers (or for employees,) digital experiences are as important, if not more so, than the product or service your company makes or sells. And they expect these experiences to be seamless across all digital touchpoints from websites to apps to voice skills, chat bots, virtual reality, augmented reality, and beyond. No matter the industry, no matter the company, the implications of not paying attention could mean huge things for your business.

Join Calvin Carter, Founder & CEO of Dallas-based Bottle Rocket, as he highlights his experience building an award-winning experience-based technology company in North Texas that is leading many of the world’s most distinguished brands head on into the Connected Lifestyle. Carter will take a deeper dive into the Connected Lifestyle and share how companies can overcome the challenges that they will face as they move toward success in this turbulent, and ever-changing world of technology.

Watch the full session here:

September 24, 2019

Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

Originally, the term was coined as “The Imposter Phenomenon,” by the clinical psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes in the 1970s. In a nutshell, Imposter Syndrome isn’t just about doubting yourself, or having low self-esteem.  The syndrome is a belief or continuous feeling that regardless of academic or professional accomplishment, you’re inadequate or incompetent in your field of work. Or a fraud that will soon be “found out” at any moment.

These feelings are not mutually exclusive to entry level positions. Senior, Management, C-Suite, even some of the brightest and most talented individuals have expressed their feelings of Imposter Syndrome, amongst them are: Arianna Huffington (of the Huffington Post), Tom Hanks, acclaimed writer Maya Angelou, Howard Schultz (former Starbucks CEO), 3 time Oscar winner, and 21 time Oscar nominee Meryl Streep, Albert Einstein, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and Debbie Millman (named one of the most influential designers of today, and the former President of AIGA). This list goes on and on.

There are thousands of articles, books, blogs, videos and the like that have recipes for dealing with imposter syndrome. But I have been able to deal with mine by realizing the ultimate power wasn’t in having to always know everything...but the opposite. I gained infinite strength by being humble enough, and brave enough, to say these three simple words: “I don’t know.”

Having self-awareness in the things that you don’t know—paired with a restless pursuit for knowledge lifts a weight off of your psyche. Embrace what you don’t know, fall in love with your ignorance enough to change it. Learn and grow through the ignorance, not in spite of it, and to use challenges as didactic opportunities.

It’s also key to be open and verbalize those challenges. It’s a lot easier to climb Mt Everest with a group of Sherpas than it is to do it alone.

*As presented at the 2019 Big Design Conference in Dallas Texas.

More info on the event can be found here:

More info about Tony Dausset and his Imposter Syndrome can be found here:

August 23, 2019

Calvin Carter Wins Tech Titans Emerging CEO Award

We're so proud of, Calvin Carter, Bottle Rocket’s Founder & CEO for winning the 2019 Emerging Company CEO Award from local the Tech Titans organization. Learn more about what makes Bottle Rocket great and the leadership that supports it this full article:

See the full list of winners from 2019 here:

August 1, 2019

What We Can Learn from Failure

At Bottle Rocket, challenges excite us, even when that means sometimes failing. In July’s issue of DCEO Magazine, author Jason Heid highlights various Dallas-based leaders and what they have learned from failure. Bottle Rocket’s very own founder & CEO, Calvin Carter was featured in this article. Here’s what he had to say (in an excerpt from the full article).

Calvin Carter found himself in something of a mid-career drift in 2008. He had sold his tech consulting company several years before and gotten into the real estate game, but as the Great Recession began to make that tougher, he found he wasn’t passionate about the business.

So, Carter was primed to seek a new opportunity when then-Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced creation of the company’s App Store, which would allow developers to sell their own software applications to iPhone users.

Carter launched Bottle Rocket the very next day. He sketched out plans for eight different possible apps and hired developers off Craigslist to build them for him. Seven of the apps flopped. The only one that didn’t was intended to be a business utility—a basic airplane flight visualizer. It sold well enough to keep him going, but by most measures, he had failed as a would-be app mogul.

Then, six months after the App Store opened, Apple reached out to him. Early on, many apps in the store had been created by amateur hobbyists as one-offs to earn a little bit of extra cash. Carter was among the relatively few who were trying to build a business through the market—which meant he was also one of a relatively small number of companies offering a broad portfolio of apps. It didn’t matter that they weren’t selling. Apple saw that they were well made and asked if Carter would be interested in building apps for other companies. Absolutely, he told them.

“So, while the output of those apps were failures, the outcome was the building of a muscle and the building of a depth of experience, via our portfolio, that won us a pretty sizable business,” Carter says. “A piece of business that completely changed the rest of my life.” Fast-forward more than 10 years, and Bottle Rocket has designed applications on a wide variety of platforms for brands like NPR, Coca-Cola, Starwood Hotels, and Mary Kay. The company was acquired in 2013 by London-based advertising firm WPP, but it continues to operate independently out of its Addison office.

*As published in the July 2019 issue of DCEO Magazine.

Read the full article here:

April 2, 2019

“This is Dallas” visits Bottle Rocket

A local lifestyle show, “This Is” recently visited Dallas and made a stop by Bottle Rocket to learn the ins and outs of what makes us us. The series, also available in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Denver, came to Dallas for its inaugural season to highlight local hot spots and up-and-coming businesses. Check out what went down when they visited Bottle Rocket and chatted with our very own Founder & CEO, Calvin Carter.

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