Ryan Vinson
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CEO & Co-founder, MineralWare, Energy Domain & Energy Freelance, Fort Worth, Texas

Ryan Vinson grew up in Midland, Texas. He graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in energy commerce from Texas Tech University and earned his master’s degree in energy policy and law studies from University of Denver Sturm College of Law. He moved to Fort Worth in 2012, where he settled down his wife and two daughters.

Vinson’s first experience in oil and gas was as a roughneck on an oil rig at age 17. Out of college, he worked as a landman. Over the years, Vinson recognized an unfilled need for a better-organized source for oil, gas and mineral asset management. At the age of 30, with a newborn at home and a new home under construction, he quit his job to start a mineral management company called MineralWare with two other partners. They boot strapped the company for three years with a $40,000 loan and grew the company with existing cash flow. A new opportunity arose once Vinson met Larry Brogdon, whose investment and partnership fueled the accelerated growth of the company. Since then, each year MineralWare has doubled or tripled the prior year’s recurring revenue.

“We set a bold goal in 2016 to increase our monthly recurring revenue 10X by 2020. We achieved this milestone a year and a half early. Our team’s commitment to our success was the key reason we achieved it earlier than expected,” Vinson said.

Facing challenges

“We started MineralWare as a mineral management services company in 2014 when oil was over $100 per barrel. Prices quickly took a nosedive that winter and fell to a low of $40 per barrel in a period of months. During this dramatic change in the oil and gas economy, we pivoted our company model to focus on providing user-friendly software in addition to our asset management services. This shift in our focus proved to be crucial to our success in the early stages of our company’s growth.”

Proud moments

“Celebrating MineralWare’s five-year anniversary was a huge landmark for us considering nine out of 10 startup companies fail within the first couple of years. MineralWare has been named ‘Top Companies to Work For in Fort Worth’ for three consecutive years. I attribute the success of the company to the culture we have established and the top-notch people who work here.”

Work culture

“From the very beginning, it was important to set the tone for the type of company we wanted to create. We had very little startup capital when we founded MineralWare six years ago, but we established the foundation of providing a fulfilling work environment for our team. We have always taken extra steps to ensure we are hiring the right members to add to our team, and we consistently reinforce a positive work culture. We defined our company core values, which are routinely emphasized in all that we do. We establish specific, attainable goals with incentives for achieving them and outline detailed expectations for all of our team members. From the type of office space and work tools we provide to our commitment to giving back to the community, we invest in our team members’ personal growth and development.”

Leadership qualities

“Two of the most important leadership qualities are integrity and perseverance. If you want people to follow you, you must be well grounded in pure and honest principles. When you are sincere in your words and actions, people will recognize your virtue, and your ability to influence and lead them grows exponentially. … Good leaders will help their teams navigate the waters during troubling times and overcome obstacles to continue to foster growth and development. This dedication and determination shows grit and endurance in an ever-changing industry and sets the stamina and steadfastness needed for strong, positive leaders.”

Young professionals

“Young industry members bring fresh perspective and an open mind to solving age-old problems. We have seen this with fracking in recent times, and young entrepreneurial minds are finding creative problem-solving solutions for other areas of oil and gas using technology.

“[My advice to young professionals is to] always put integrity first and never give up. Build self-awareness. When you know who you are, what you stand for and what personal attributes shape how you behave and think, you can be a more effective leader to others.”

“There are a lot of circumstances that are beyond our control, but the one thing we can control is how we respond or react to them.”