Three people – Charlie Ergen, Candy Ergen and Jim DeFranco – were hauling an enormous C-band TV dish antenna via pickup truck to a customer in remote Colorado. In the early 1980s this was one of only two dish antennas owned by the developing new business. A powerful gust of wind whipped up, blowing the antenna off its trailer and into a roadside ditch. There goes half of the company.
Summed up as a bad day in the infancy of DISH, the founding trio overcame this setback to build what is now a Fortune 200 company that employs thousands and serves millions throughout the nation – a seemingly unlikely future on that blustery day.