No one has the market cornered on good ideas. I love to say that. There are all kinds of ways to make new businesses out of all kinds of ideas. Over the years, the great business ideas turned brick and mortar into web based stores. The latest craze is social networking. However, I think that people are tiring of investing in the freemium model. It’s such a risky play. Especially in the midwest.
One part of the business world that hasn’t been revolutionized yet is business to business services. Usually, creating businesses in B2B has been all about software as a service (SaaS). Then you sell that platform into a business via a monthly recurring revenue model. Sales cycles can be very long. But there are ways around that, and ways to create revenue around B2B. I really think B2B is going to see a lot of innovation as entrepreneurs look to new horizons.
The difficulty is that in order to undertake a disruption in a B2B market, the person needs some local knowledge of the market. If you are going to revolutionize operations in a trading room, you better know something about that place. It’s very tough to go into it blind and be successful. In many cases, we are seeing more seasoned entrepreneurs. People that have a lot of experience that are ages 30-50 are discovering that they can use technology to solve problems that have been with them for decades.
I was introduced to the two entrepreneurs that started a company Kapow Events by a mutual friend. It turns out, Dan’s father and I traded together for years in the Eurodollar pit of the $CME! Dan also worked at Groupon($GRPN). Marc was an entrepreneur prior, and successfully took his last business global. I know the guys that are running it today.
They are revolutionizing the event space. It’s a huge pain point with a lot of people because of logistics, planning menus, getting venues, and the pressure to always do something different and out of the ordinary. Kapow Events makes this simple. One click. Boom, it’s done.
The other interesting part of the business is they don’t have to explain it very long to their target customer. Their target market listens, and gets it right away. The education process for the consumer is short-and because of the platform, it’s easy to use. Kapow is getting all kinds of venues from restaurants and hotels to specialized places as unique as skydiving signing up. Imagine being a restaurant or hotel. Instead of planning a gazillion specialized parties for many companies, you can come up with one acceptable platform that you upload to the Kapow platform and everyone can access. It smooths out your operations and makes you profitable from day one.
Recently Marc and Dan did an interview on Tastytrade. Tastytrade doesn’t have embeds yet, so here is the link to it. Click over and listen to it. You will get a great feel for what they are trying to do, and you might even become a customer.
If you want to be an entrepreneur, you have to think like one. Go through your day and think about problems that need to be solved. If you create a way to solve them, is the market big enough for you to make some money doing it? Will it be easy to get customers? Can you sell the business to someone else once you build it-or can you earn a consistent living off of it? Entrepreneurs think differently. It’s accepting the randomness of life and putting a disciplined approach to analyzing it.