A Collegiate Entrepreneur’s Take on the Dallas Startup Scene
The following is a guest post by Kenneth Johnson. Kenneth lives in Frisco, is a freshman in college, and is working on his fourth company. If you’re interested in writing a guest post for LAUNCH DFW please contact us.
My Perspective on the Dallas Scene
Growing up in Dallas during my teenage years gave me the opportunity to meet some of the most influential and supportive people within the city. In the beginning I was prepared to go about my ventures with only the infinite knowledge that Google has to offer, but quickly learned how hard it is to climb the entrepreneurial ladder without first mastering certain skillsets.
Those skills can’t be learned by simply reading “how to” books and trying to replicate the outcome. Practical knowledge, I feel, is key to constantly solving problems that present themselves on a day to day basis. Think about it, once you have overcome a certain issue, the next time that issue arises (and there will be a next time) you should be able to handle it with less paranoia and discomfort than you did the first time around. No one is born knowing everything, and a person can only endure so much error when attempting the trial and error method.
How do you maximize your success and minimize your failures? Ideally it would be a lot easier for person to succeed if there were a community full people that have “been there and done that”. This ecosystem actually works, and for the lack of better examples I have to use Silicon Valley. Over the years we have seen entrepreneurs flock to the “promise land” in hopes of finding success. Some do and a lot fail, but the ecosystem that the Valley has in place gives entrepreneurs the CHANCE at success by having the proper tools within.
The great part is that these tools are not exclusive to Silicon Valley. Dallas has these very tools; they just need to be more visible to the city’s residents. The word I would use to describe Dallas’ tech scene is “over-due.”
Many successful companies were founded in Dallas and why we were not able to build on this base beats me, but I am happy to see a rapidly growing community of entrepreneurs. The recent surge of tech meetups proves that the interest is here and its participants are ready to band together as a community. At least for me the scene feels like going to elementary school for the first time, so many unfamiliar faces, inside of unfamiliar places coupled with the anxiety of having to make friends before lunch time (or in this case before the event is over).
The ecosystem for success is in place, all that is left to do is attract the masses. It is definitely easier said than done, but I believe Dallas will quickly become the largest technological community in the country – rivaling Silicon Valley – not replicating it.
Kenneth is a freshman at the University of North Texas. He’s on his fourth startup, and understands that the future of business begins with a community mentors, and genuine leadership. Kenneth started his first company at the age of fourteen, licensing his music for commercial and indie projects. While managing his music publishing company and attending high school, Kenneth teamed up with a friend to create the PopCultureFiend clothing brand. Recently, the duo decided it was time to take the next step and turn the brand into a sustainable company.