In October 2015, Kevin was invited to speak at the Jacksonville Community of Entrepreneurs (JaxCoE)’s Innovation Connection Conference in Jacksonville, FL. Details of the event and audio were shared on the Tech Ranch blog and you can read them here, but we thought we’d share the text of Kevin’s closing statements here on his blog.
I’m going to actually take the platform that everyone’s said, and I’m going to actually try to present something that’s way out there. Tech Ranch was born out of tragedy. I lost a friend, and it so severely, deeply wounded me that I actually had to go do something different. I had a very normal founder kind of career until this young woman decided to commit suicide. In that tragedy and in the struggle that I had in dealing with that, I actually started having to really look at what the world could look like. I’m not an overly religious person, but I want to say this, because it actually speaks to what I want to point to, for all of u,s and not just in our local community, but actually something that’s quite profound. In the Lord’s Prayer, it actually says, “On earth as it is in heaven.” There are writers right now like Peter Diamandis that are actually saying within the next 20 years, all the world’s problems could be addressed. All the world’s problems. Can you imagine that? Within two decades, all the world’s problems could be addressed. The thing that I think is quite profound is that we actually live in a period of time where it might actually be possible.
So my prize in all the entrepreneurs that I hope to touch, in all the work that I hope to do in my lifetime, whatever I have left, is, I say, 100,000 solutions to world problems. Part of it is having Jacksonville stand up and actually say, “Hey, wait. We’re going to actually do this. We’re going to actually create this collaborative environment that’s really going to support entrepreneurs.” If we have that soft landing for the pioneers who actually don’t make it – sometimes – every once in a while – I’ve been close to bankruptcy twice during my career, and that’s not a very nice place to be. The idea is if we can actually have this group of people come together and work with each other so that there are softer landings when there are failures, and there is someone to pick you up during that Thursday night when you’re trying to figure out, “How am I going to pay my employees tomorrow morning?” Only an entrepreneur is going to be the entrepreneur that that person needs to talk to because it’s the only person that can understand. I hear the echo of my mother’s voice saying for the first 10 years of my entrepreneurial career, even after all the money I made, she said, “Kevin, don’t you want to go get a job?” We have to actually presence this idea of entrepreneurs supporting entrepreneurs to create the cooperative world to then go do what we need to do to discover in the next 20 years how we can actually solve all of the world’s problems.
Thanks to Jacksonville Community of Entrepreneurs (JaxCoE) for the invitation!