If You Are Coming Down With Any Of These 6 Symptoms, You Might Be Suffering from Kansas City Wantrapreneurship

You’d have to have blinders on to not notice the entrepreneurial renaissance that is happening all across the United States, and especially in Kansas City. An infinite amount of good things are going to come from this with ramifications that will indubitably affect our generation forever. But the added spotlight on entrepreneurship has created at least one very notable side-effect: Kansas City wantrapreneurs. This is a trendy term describing the people that seem to be in a chronic state of pre-launch. If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, we’re prescribing a hard dose of the reality capsuled in this article. 1. You Wrote A Business Plan, Yet You Have No Revenue A business plan is a boring, long, and extinct document. If someone hands us a business plan it’s a red flag that they haven’t read anything from a prolific startup entrepreneur in the last half decade. EVERYONE is screaming not to do them, including us. It’s a waste of time. More importantly, it promotes a bad habit. The habit is it enables your confidence to think you have some sort of fortune telling ability. Let this sink in: almost everything you think you know will happen in the first couple of years is wrong. A business plan is just proof that you think too highly of your guesses. It will be harder to tweak your offering based on what your customers are saying if it’s written down. You need to be fast and flexible; a long winded document filled with a series of guesses is the opposite of that. Get in the habit of assuming...

Becoming A Better Leader For Your Startup

“First rule of leadership: everything is your fault” – Hopper, “A Bugs Life” Everyone looks in the mirror and think they see a natural born leader, sort of a combination of Churchill and your favorite Avenger. But according to Gallup, 82% of managers are pretty much complete failures.   Less than 1 out of 10 can be called good leaders. While “managing” is different than “leading,” it’s a close enough proxy to demonstrate that there are very, very few good, much less great leaders out there. And as for you, you’re almost certainly part of the bottom 82%, more Eeyore than Churchill, no matter what your mother says. “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.” — Max DePree  Want to be a better leader for your startup? Jack Welch believes that “if the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is in sight.” In other words, if you’re not continually changing and growing as a leader, the volatile environment will sneak up behind you like a Harvard trained vampire and suck the success out of your business. Many people grow up thinking desirable leadership behaviors are things like aggression, extroversion, self-confidence and competence. Yet study after study shows that the two most important behaviors that make leaders successful are sensitivity and being articulate. Look at the Max DePree quote – defining reality really doesn’t take much time; most of leadership is about communicating and executing the plan. Effectively communicating and guiding the vision, and helping...

10 Things Not To Say To Kansas City Web Developers

Kansas City web developers have important jobs. They must take the ideas and the visions of Midwestern startup entrepreneurs and and turn them into functioning media. Media that doesn’t just tell a story, but also sells a product. They must dance within the competencies of design, UI/UX architecture, and various programming languages an effort to make both their client happy, as well as maintain their artistic integrity. On the other end of the table, the entrepreneur must set deadlines, paint the picture of the vision, direct the copy, pay the bills, and a handful of other crucial aspects of the the relationship. Both sides of this arrangement need each other, yet both are at often at odds with each other. Why? Much of the reason for this mixup is they aren’t putting themselves in each other’s shoes. In other words, a loss of mutual empathy destroys business relationships. That thesis alone would make for two essays – but this one will concentrate on helping the entrepreneur see what the web developer sees. In the entrepreneur/freelancer relationship, the responsibility is on the entrepreneur to make things go smoothly. In fact, if you’re ever wondering who is at fault, who is in charge, who is at risk, etc., it’s always the entrepreneur. It’s our businesses’ that are at stake, and we’re the ones that have the most to gain – so the hard job will always land in our lap. Below is a list of commonly uttered statements that Kansas City web developers hear from startups; then underneath it is an explanation why these are things you should rethink saying for...

Another Score For Kansas City Startups, LaunchKC

LaunchKC, the public sector BFFs of Betablox, is currently accepting applications for their global grants competition for tech startup businesses. Applications will be accepted through July 2nd, and ten tech entrepreneurs will be awarded $50,000 grants to help grow their business. LaunchKC is welcoming applicants from Kansas City, as well as from all over the country and world. The application review process will conclude on September 18th, when a panel made up of business leaders from the Kansas City area, as well as national venture capitalists, will select the winning applicants during Techweek Kansas City. Yes, you heard that right – Techweek Kansas City. Between that mega conference, this new powerful grant competition, and BetaBlox of course, it’s pretty obvious our city is on fire right now. The goals of LaunchKC are plentiful; increasing jobs in the Kansas City area, building businesses locally, bringing tech talent from around the nation and the world to Kansas City, increasing investments in the tech scene of Kansas City, and to help bring Kansas City into the national spotlight as a leader and innovator in the tech world. “LaunchKC is searching locally and nationally to identify innovative entrepreneurs, – the ‘real drivers,’ like mid-career professionals with expertise in existing industries to be uniquely qualified to spin off new businesses,” stated Bull Dietrich, chief administrative officer of LaunchKC and president and CEO of the Downtown Council. Focus will be on businesses with scalable, high-growth potential startups, in vertical sectors such as: mobile tech, real estate tech, healthtech, edtech, agtech, data analytics, and animal health. Kansas City is world reknown in many of these industries,...

Startup Entrepreneurs & Bodybuilders

Getting stuff done is at the heart of every entrepreneurial day. But getting stuff done can be challenging when you’re staring at a mountain and you’re at the bottom. It’s crucial to stay up-to-date on the entrepreneurial happenings of other startups, e.g., reading things like Techcrunch and VentureBeat, watching things like Shark Tank and Restaurant Startup. It’s important for trend spotting purposes, education on what has worked, and a number of other things – but it also comes with a price that all startup entrepreneurs should be cognizant of. The press and entertainment industry shine bright light on things like large angel investments, big partnerships, loads of customers, hockey stick growth, etc. Those milestones are misleading in that the stories hardly ever shine a light on all the small scores it took to get them that kind of press in the first place. New founders are left thinking that those big wins are partitioned off for only a privileged and special few lucky people; or they had some sort of an unfair advantage; or they found a cheat somewhere in the system and skipped to that step. This is a cancerous attitude. Entrepreneurship is a lot like lifting weights. You start light, rest, go heavier, rest, heavier, rest….and you’ll never be done. One day you’ll look back to where you started and you won’t even believe how strong you are, but you’ll also never look back and see large random jumps in weight class. You’re not going to be bench pressing 50 lb dumbells one day and 80 lb dumbells the next day. Not only are you probably only to...

Audacious Entrepreneurship in Kansas City

When we hear a startup’s vision, our hope is that we describe it with the word ‘audacious.’ No, we don’t want them to try and tackle the whole thing at once, but we do want the long-term vision to be huge. We need to see this to turn us on; more importantly we need the founders to see it to keep them turned on. Entrepreneurship is a marathon …. scratch that … entrepreneurship is whatever makes a marathon seem easy and short. Without an audacious goal that makes the world a better place, there is too much risk that the founder will quit. You need to pretend like your audacious vision has already been created, and that by not implementing there will be millions of people that will suffer accordingly. That feeling will turn from passion into responsibility. A responsibility to make the world a better place. Not because you can, but because you should. That is how entrepreneurship in Kansas City should work. Go get...