Fort Worth, Texas: Bob Simpson and Steve Palko were working for Southland Oil when there was hostile takeover; they were out of a job within 24 hours. They just took what they had learned and started all over again.
At the same time many others were getting out, with a third partner they founded Cross Timbers Oil & Gas in Fort Worth. Visionaries, they teach us all what it means to take calculated risks. Founded in 1986, incorporated in 1990, they floated an IPO in 1993. By their sixth round, this business had become one of the top ten gas producers in the USA. Learn how in the beginning, Robert Rubin, then with Goldman and later US Secretary of Treasury, raised their seed money -- $35 million -- in three hours. Bob and Steve knew that by the time that seed group was ready to harvest (cash-in or get liquid), they would have taken their business into its sixth or seventh round of funding. Learn how their geologists use and develop advanced technologies to determine where to drill for oil (hitting over 95% of the time!).
As they grew, they changed the name to XTO Energy. Though they grew right out of the ranks of a small business, the spirit of small business still permeated their day-to-day activities. They kept dreaming impossible dreams yet had methodologies to turn those dreams into multifaceted realities with deep-seated value.
On December 14, 2009, ExxonMobil bought their company for $41 billion dollars.