Weekend Six Pack

Founder of The Labor Party and Software Development Director of Ennovar at Wichita State University, Kenton Hansen (@Kentonh), brings a weekly selection of links and events he believes should be on our radar. Part round-up, part heads-up... look-up, for this week's Weekend Six Pack.

Marketplace had a great story on the rise of food delivery services, those services’ effect on restaurant carryout orders and thus the effect on a chef’s menu. At first it just got me depressed about the lack of delivery services in ICT, but then I found Fetch Neighbor. I tried them out for a simple grocery run and I’m pleased with the results. I asked for four specific items from QT, and they were delivered to my door in about 40 minutes for about $14 total. 

Mohammad, a friendly Fetch Neighbor delivery driver.

Mohammad, a friendly Fetch Neighbor delivery driver.

For a few years, we canceled our home trash service. Instead, we had 12 laundry baskets which we used to collect all of our recycling. We would then haul them ourselves to Miller’s PRO-KS Recycling located in a non-descript South Wichita warehouse. I was not aware until this week about how influential, industrious, and inspirational the Miller’s were.

Politics-turned-statistics blog FiveThirtyEight published a feature about the startup turnaround in St. Louis. The data shows that 20% of metro areas with the highest rate of startups are in Missouri. Then later this week, Fortune and Silicon Prairie News wrote about Alibaba’s indirect acquisition of KC startup Eyeverify. There’s no doubt that things are happening startup-wise in Wichita. Just this week, it was announced Miguel Johns, founder of KingFit, is presenting his Wichita startup in Silicon Valley. But why is his story unique? Why aren’t there 10 stories like Miguel’s and other stories announcing acquisitions of Wichita companies? Why isn’t Wichita on that FiveThirtyEight’s list? The Chung Report website has a lot of information and research on that topic. A great place to start is the freshly released Power Breakfast feature with Mayor Jeff Longwell and my friend Seth Etter. They talk about open data, economic development and leaving Cleveland in the dust. I’m not sure there’s one good answer. I’m not sure there are thousands of mediocre answers. But if we all start rising to the occasion, maybe we’ll see progress. 

One reason Wichita seems to be lagging in startups might be because startups are hard. Derek Thompson, founder of Startup Runner, is making his way through the country talking about building a profitable business. One stop will be in Wichita on September 29th. If you’re interested in starting your own thing, or if you’re neck deep in a startup now, this event could be something you need.

Meanwhile on Reddit, a visitor to the r/wichita subreddit posed what has become a common question there. “Got offered a job, would have to move to Wichita. Do I take it?” Answers were mixed, but one struck a chord with me. It starts, “A good phrase is "Wichita is what you make it." Then I stumbled on to the new shirts in the We Are Wichita store, and well, support this site and buy one. (I don’t get paid either way, but you’re here aren’t you?)

I got to see my friend Jenny Wiley present at 1 Million Cups this week about her new project, Field Trip Wichita. I know the feeling of burnout, and I think Jenny’s idea is great on two levels. First, you get to explore your own city. Second, it removes the burden and stress of planning your own time to be calm. She has two events coming up. One is sold out, but the other still has tickets available.

To that end, if you need some things to do this week, maybe the planning is already done for you.
I told you last week about Wichitalks. Well it’s tonight
Preview the Half Marathon course for the Prairie Fire Fall Race Series
Celebrate Star Trek’s 50th anniversary with screenings of two Star Trek movies
Watch Dan Dunn paint to the symphonic stylings of your own Wichita Symphony Orchestra
The Finishing School for Modern Women is offering The Great Brain Tune Up for Laser Sharp Memory
Enjoy Autumn and/or art at Autumn & Art
Up your coffee snobbery with instruction from the fine folks at Reverie