Degree from Mays gives startup owner a competitive edge

Jack Perry ’99

Even while a student at Mays Business School over a decade ago, Jack Perry could already see the value of his studies. “I knew computers, media, and information management were my strengths and would help be a strong background to build on,” said Perry, who graduated in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Information Systems.

Perry would go on to work in photography and videography production for 13 years, and even be voted among Top 3 Videographers in Houston from 2010 to 2014. But in 2011, Perry’s home and home office were destroyed by fire. Fortunately, due to his diligent preparation, he recovered thousands of photos and videos that he had backed up to cloud storage on the Internet.

Inspired by how he had narrowly averted losing his family’s most precious images – from birthdays and baseball games to violin recitals – he embarked in 2014 on his newest business endeavor: Doorstep Digital. It is a digital archiving business that primarily helps families preserve their memories through digital archiving, converting anything from photographs to video footage, artwork and other priceless artifacts, to digital format, inoculating them from risk of loss or damage. The company has even worked with businesses to help them “go paperless.”

In less than two years, Perry has led the company to expand to all four major cities in Texas, as well as Chicago, Seattle and Denver. Clients consistently award Doorstep Digital 5 stars on business reviews sites.

Like many startups, Perry’s business had a challenging start. The first six months were exceedingly difficult for Perry, with slow weeks and a near shutdown of the business. Perry said it took perseverance and strong will to overcome these challenges. But he also credits his education at Mays to helping his business succeed.

“I can rave about how my Texas A&M business degree has given Doorstep Digital an edge in the marketplace,” said Perry.

Perry said his information systems classes at Mays were great preparation for the information management and media with which he works for his clients. “One of my favorites was my Systems Design class,” he said. “My systems professor was great and gave us some great nuggets on how to think of business and projects as a system – everything goes either in or out and must be dealt with systematically. That has really helped us dealing with cloud storage and priceless memorabilia.”

For Perry, being the owner of his own business has its perks, especially “knowing that it’s up to you to make things happen and loving it!” From selling and directing marketing to controlling operations and making decisions about accounting, he wears many hats at Doorstep Digital, ensuring his direct involvement in “seeing a happy client and problem solved.”

“QuickBooks and accounting exposure at Texas A&M was invaluable,” said Perry, who said he uses accounting every day. “I’ll often run into bookkeepers that we use that do not know debits and credits – just auto functions on QuickBooks. It’s nice to know how things work ‘under the hood.’ I thank my very tough accounting courses for helping me understand how to properly account for various expenses and income in Doorstep Digital.”

Perry also credits Business Fellows, a premier undergraduate program of Mays Business School, with preparing him to work in a small business environment, in which partnerships require candor and cooperation in order to help the business thrive. “The Fellows program leadership classes really helped me understand how partnerships work, and how to make the most of working together to grow something bigger that can scale.”

His takeaways from the Fellows program keep Perry optimistic as Doorstep Digital continues on a trajectory of growth into expanding into new geographical areas and attracting more talent to join the company.

“More than any specific class, being in Business Fellows helps give you confidence that you can compete with any business. This helps give me confidence to expand into any market. It gives us a competitive edge to any initiative we start.”

IMG_6825- Jack Perry & Lowry Mays - crop tight

Jack Perry visited Lowry Mays, namesake of Mays Business School, in his San Antonio office, for a digital archiving project during Sept. 2015.