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December 23, 2020

Member Spotlight – Robert Douglas

Selecting a professional workspace no longer requires a long-term lease, remodeling, buying office furniture and equipment, hiring a cleaning company, and all the other tedious tasks that you would typically expect. Instead, the modern workspace is a flexible workspace that can grow with your company as it grows. It is fully-equipped with all the furniture and equipment needed to get work done, it is professionally cleaned and maintained, it has super-fast Internet, space for networking with other like-minded professionals, meeting rooms, a café and so much more. At Venture X, you never have to worry about those tedious things again. Our professional workspace is ready to go and you can start working right away without a long-term commitment. And, you will have access to free coffee and concierge-level services. Robert Douglas, President of Planet Magpie, a full-service IT consulting firm, works from Venture X Grapevine – DFW Airport North

Robert started Planet Magpie in Silicon Valley over 20 years ago and the company expanded to Texas two years ago. He explained, “We offer the full range of IT services, including Microsoft consulting, network security, desktop support, cloud services, and award-winning web design & development.” We asked Robert some questions to get to know him and learn about the journey he’s been on, career-wise. 

·         What made you want to get involved in this line of work?

I love to learn, and IT was the new learning frontier 35 years ago when I started as a programmer. Since then I’ve built up my expertise in systems and network engineering, built my own datacenter, and even pioneered what we now know as the cloud.

·         What has been the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Contributing to the success of American businesses. IT is the backbone of almost every company, small to large. It’s satisfying to come in and provide a stable, secure, scalable IT foundation that enables our customers to grow. 

·         What’s the biggest challenge that you have faced in business and how did you overcome it?

The proliferation of low-cost H1-B workers in the IT industry is a major hurdle for American IT consulting firms that want to grow. We haven’t fully overcome this hurdle yet, but President Trump has added some H1-B restrictions recently that should help level the playing field a bit. He rightly sees the need to provide jobs for the tens of thousands of American STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) graduates each year, which also helps rebuild our tech advantage.

·         What business tips would you like to share with others?

Cybersecurity should be a huge concern for every American company. Two pieces of advice on that: (1) a network security review is a small investment and could literally save your company; and (2) maintain two sets of geographically separate cloud backups of all your business-critical data. Ransomware attacks are up 200% from 2019, and they're only speeding up. It only takes one errant click to unleash a ransomware attack on your network.

·         What has been your favorite part about working at Venture X?

We’ve been at Venture X for just 4 months, but it seems like longer! The office space is very open and the staff is friendly and helpful. I like to get around the space and meet everyone and see what they do. It can help your business grow, too.

A Personal Look at Robert Douglas

Robert shared that his dad has been the greatest inspiration on his journey. He elaborated, “He showed me how to be a good man. He was in law enforcement and worked crazy hours, but he always made time for our family and was there for all the important events. It’s a real trick to do that when you run a small company, but I always try to follow his example.” In his spare time . . . when he’s not working, he’s working on a major remodel of a craftsman-style home with his wife and daughter. He shared, “It’s been a 15-year labor of love and we’re finally closing in on it!” We are confident they will enjoy the home for many years to come.

If your business is looking for an upscale professional workspace, look no further – Venture X has everything you could ever need. Schedule a tour of the Venture X space closest to you. We know you’ll love working here too!