Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Kansas City Entrepreneur Cures Couch Potato Syndrome with Local Ruckus

Facebook.  Twitter.  LinkedIn.  It's difficult to imagine a day without these social media sites. They help us connect with the world, unwind, and live our lives with a click of a mouse.  But could these social media sites actually be "bad for us"?

Perhaps.  Although social media promotes networking, connecting, staying in touch and getting involved, it also promotes one of the most enjoyable activities of all: laying on the couch.

Couch potatoes everywhere rejoice in the name of social media!  Now there is a way to never leave the home, yet still connect on a daily basis with friends, family and the community (and what's even better: you don't have to walk across the living room to dial the phone!).

But, as we all know, this is a problem.  Just because you're being "active" on Facebook doesn't mean you're maintaining great relationships with friends.  Just because you're tweeting twenty times a day doesn't mean you're contributing to community discussions.  Just because you've LinkedIn with five new people this week, doesn't mean you're making strong business connections.

Kansas City entrepreneur Adam Arredondo saw this as a huge problem...as well as a fantastic opportunity.

"I was annoyed with the amount of time I wasted on Facebook," says Adam.  "I was equally annoyed with the little interaction I had with my friends.  So, I decided to create something that changed that."

Cue Adam's creation of Local Ruckus.

"Local Ruckus is one place to find everything happening in the community," explains Adam of his business venture.  "It gives you a reason to get off the couch.  It is a technology to get people to interact in more active ways."

How so?

Local Ruckus posts and promotes local events going on in the community.  It displays events, live music, volunteer opportunities, food and drink specials and coupons.  It's Groupon meets community board meets happy hour meets volunteer organization. And it's the number one social network that fights against couch potato syndrome.

According the Adam, current CEO and founder of Local Ruckus, the online site does three different things:

  1. It's a social media platform geared toward businesses and their content (rather than the individual such as Facebook or Twitter).
  2. It gives a bigger voice to charity and volunteerism.
  3. It gives a bigger voice to music, artists and smaller local businesses. 
But all in all, Local Ruckus is all about local discovery.

"Local Ruckus gives people the opportunity to find what they want, when they want it," says Adam.  "We're not reinventing the wheel here.  We're trying to open people's eyes to the things they don't know they're looking for."  

Currently, Local Ruckus is in Beta launch and is in undergoing the PRISM process with Kansas City's startup accelerator, Think Big Partners.  The site is also currently experimenting with the coupon and volunteer opportunity sections and is reaching out to the public to submit ideas to help give the site maximum impact (submit your idea now!).  

"I just want to have an impact on the community," says Adam.  "I want to create something that matters. I'm interested in these kind of opportunities and I love being able to capitalize on them."  

Adam has been through a lot of ups and downs in order to make his entrepreneurial dream a reality.  Learn more about Adam's Local Ruckus venture in the Q&A below:

How did you come up with the idea for Local Ruckus? 

"I ran Coffee News, a weekly event column for restaurants.  When running it, I realized I had to go to 12 different sites to find the information I was looking for.  It was ridiculous!  Then, it clicked.  That's when I saw the opportunity."

Why go into entrepreneurship in the first place?

"I never really had another thought other than to go into entrepreneurship.  The corporate world put a bad taste in my mouth.  I wanted that innovative, small business feel.  I wanted to go into something that I was motivated by.  In order to have that, I found out I had to do it on my own." 

What has been the hardest part about starting up Local Ruckus?

"It takes an unhealthy amount of confidence in yourself and in the idea.  You have gut checks all the time!  Also, entrepreneurship makes you come to financial realities.  That's a bit scary."

What about the best part?

"Getting launched and hiring our first employee...but it was also terrifying!  Also, I really enjoy the day-to-day conversations with our programmer.  It helps me learn how the product works and it helps me make my decisions."

What is one piece of advice you would give an entrepreneur?

"Don't half-ass anything.  Be 100% committed.  You can never research too much.  Don't jump into partnerships.  Product development is most important.  I guess that's more than one...haha."

How do you Think Big?

"That's the only way that I think!  I want to do something that has a major impact.  I think of things in nationally viable terms.  Success is a national product.  Kansas City is just a stepping stone for us."  

Follow Local Ruckus!  @LocalRuckusKC
Follow me! @AllisonThinkBig

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations Adam!! The presentation is pleasing to the eye and informative. Good luck.