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Back in 1993 I wrote down some of my goals,” says DITTCOMM Technologies President Don Ditto. “You could call it a business plan, but I call it notes I scribbled down, and I wasn’t at all focused on where I might be eight years down the road. They were just bullet points. I knew I wanted a fleet of vans, and we now own 20 vehicles. Another goal was to provide service in all the major cities in Texas; Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. Although we didn’t accomplish the Houston market until the fifth year, you don’t want to give up on your goals.”

Back in 1993, Don Ditto was 24 years old and his soon-to-be-wife Kristin was 20. Despite his youth, the Lanier High School graduate, then living in Dallas, had several years’ experience under his belt in the telecommunications industry. “I decided to go out on my own, borrowed a little money and got started. There were two installers, my stepbrother and myself. Kristin helped out in the office while attending college at UT Arlington.

“We worked hard to get contracts, and hired another employee and another and another,” Ditto continues. “In the first year, we did $250,000 in business; five years later, it was $2.5 million.” This 800 percent growth ratio landed DITTCOMM Technologies in the 1998 Inc. 500 listing (at No. 397) of fastest growing private companies in America. Ditto projects that sales in 2002 will be steady, with moderate growth. The company is currently being restructured to run more efficiently and profitably with a brand new mission statement in tact.

As high technology has become Texas’ new trademark industry, DITTCOMM’s expertise in cabling and connectivity has helped it find a ready market. “We have a bright future in front of us,” Ditto says, noting that while tech growth is not what it once was, “this industry isn’t slowing down. We install small telephone systems, paging systems, music-on-hold systems, but the core of our business is high-tech cabling and connectivity. Cabling is high-tech these days; you cannot just go run a cable without adhering to industry standards. If you want serious performance on a LAN, you need to do it right. We do jobs from one to 10,000 cables plus, and we test each and every one to ensure performance.”

DITTCOMM’s fleet of trademark vans can be seen across the Lone Star State. “My wife works here, my younger brother oversees our Houston market, I have a cousin overseeing the San Antonio market.” That is the type of business we have been, with many more not mentioned. However, friend or family, we have a mission to accomplish and goals to achieve. Everyone here is very dedicated and focused.

The Dittos split their time at work between their new custom-built home out past Lago Vista and Cedar Park. “Our vision since high school has been to come back to Austin, grow the business here and have the corporate office here,” Don Ditto says. The firm moved its HQ from Dallas in 2000. “Every day it feels totally different to be back at home, in Austin, where I want to be and want to raise my family. We were in Dallas as businesspeople. But this is home.”

Home for DITTCOMM is now Cedar Park, where Ditto has purchased a permanent facility for the corporate office. “We definitely want to be involved in civic affairs in Cedar Park, as it grows along the 183 corridor,” he says. “I expect I will be involved in the development of the Northwest Corridor, because there’s plenty of people who are involved in Austin itself. I want to do what I can to preserve the beauty of Austin and its surrounding areas.”

As DITTCOMM matures into an established firm, Ditto is constructing a business plan outlining future strategies. “We intend to expand into broader markets - we’re doing market research in places like Atlanta, Central- Florida, Charlotte. We also intend to make acquisitions of smaller companies. We do not intend to do massive marketing; we’ve always been a wordof- mouth company. Our best form of advertisement is our fleet of vans, Website (, and strong reputation with our customers.”

In addition, one of the best advertise-ments for the entrepreneurial spirit in Austin is Don Ditto himself. “My story isn’t just a story of the corporate world,” he says. “It’s about how a guy who didn’t go to college, who took five years to finish high school because he was working 60-plus hours a week, starting at the age of 15, became a successful business owner of a hightech company at the age of 24. After eight years, I have to look back and appreciate where we’ve been and what we’ve done. But we also need to focus on where we’re going.”