Finding Meaning In A Terrible State Slogan

2 years ago
Finding Meaning In A Terrible State Slogan Image

Thoughts from our founder + CEO Brad Weber

I’m not inspired by many of our state slogans. Although I tip my hat to “The Land of Enchantment” (nice job, New Mexico!), too many other slogans focus on a single characteristic like a prominent landmark, animal, or plant. The most important thing about Utah is beehives according to their state slogan. That just doesn’t seem right considering the gorgeous landscapes and all the state has to offer.

I grew up in a state with an obtuse slogan. Missouri is the Show-Me state. As a child, I didn’t understand it— and I was not alone. There are numerous legends regarding its origin. In a 1989 article in “Rural Missouri”, author Phyllis Rossiter attributed it to Missouri’s U.S. Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver, who served in the United States House of Representatives from 1897 to 1903. In a speech in 1899, he’s credited with saying, “I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me.” (1)

I don’t think “Show-Me State” is license plate worthy. But history lesson aside, I have found meaning in the slogan for my own career. Over the years, I’ve learned that showing is much more powerful than telling. I am not comfortable promising to customers what I am not sure I can deliver. And for me, that proof comes in showing.

For my very first customer over 25 years ago, I created an entirely functional desktop application to show them what it might look like before I had the courage to ask them to pay. And many times since, I (and our team at InspiringApps) have won business and earned client trust by building something to prove that it can be done— perhaps focusing on a key high-risk feature— before a client commits to a project.

I have enjoyed decades of success, following these simple steps:

1. Build something noteworthy
2. Tell (but more importantly show!) people
3. Profit and repeat

The order matters. I see others stumble when they flip steps 1 and 2 and only do the telling. They are quick to promise without the certainty of a successful outcome. I find that the same lesson applies to job applicants. Invest the time, especially early in your career (or even pre-career) to do, to create, to build. Showing is so much more powerful than telling. After all these years, I can finally thank Missouri for a state slogan that makes (some) sense.

1. Rossiter, Phyllis. “I’m from Missouri–you’ll have to show me.” Rural Missouri, Volume 42, Number 3, March 1989, page 16.

Working with the right people makes all the difference

Passionate. Determined. Crazy talented, yet humble. All words that describe the mix of people that make up the team at InspiringApps. We’re an inclusive group of employees who care deeply about what we do. Our team is the not-so-hidden treasure behind our success.
Recent Posts

Business & Strategy

From Frustration to Funding: Your Guide to Launching Your Dream App

Originally published: February 2018. Updated: April 2024. You’re scrolling through your phone, desperately searching for an app that solves a nagging problem. Maybe it’s finding a reliable babysitter at the last minute, splitting a restaurant bill with friends seamlessly, or finally organizing your ever-growing to-do list. But every app you find falls short. “There has to be a better way,” you think. That’s the spark of a brilliant app idea! But then reality sets in: how do you turn that spark into a reality, especially when funding feels like a major hurdle? Entrepreneurs take note: Hold on to your fantastic app idea! This comprehensive guide equips you with the knowledge and resources to navigate the app funding landscape and turn your app dream into a thriving mobile application.  Before We Dive In: Building a Strong Foundation Two key elements, the minimum viable product (MVP) and business plan, will be your cornerstones for attracting investors and securing the capital to launch your dream app. Before we delve into the various funding options, let’s solidify the foundation of your app’s success. The MVP Advantage Many successful apps started as an MVP. This basic version focuses on core functionalities that solve your target user’s problem. The MVP allows you to test your concept with real users early and often. This valuable feedback helps you refine your app and ensure you’re building something people actually want before sinking a ton of money into development. Business Planning: Craft a Compelling Roadmap Having a solid business plan is crucial for attracting potential investors and securing app funding. It demonstrates your understanding of the market, your competitive advantage, and how you plan to turn your app into a sustainable business. Essential sections include: Executive Summary Market Analysis Competitive Analysis Product Description Marketing & Sales Strategy Management Team Financial Projections Many online resources are specifically designed to help entrepreneurs write business plans. Check out SCORE (https://www.score.org/) or the Small Business Administration (https://www.sba.gov/) for free templates and guidance. App Funding Options for Aspiring Entrepreneurs Having a brilliant app idea is just the first step. Transforming that idea into a reality requires funding. This section will equip you with a clear roadmap to navigate the diverse financing landscape for app development. We’ll explore various options, from bootstrapping with your own resources to attracting external investment. By understanding the pros, cons, and ideal scenarios for each approach, you can make informed decisions to secure the capital needed to launch your app successfully. 1. Bootstrapping: Building Your App on Your Own Terms This is where you use your own resources to fund development. It might involve dipping into your savings, taking on a side hustle, or bartering your skills for services you need. Bootstrapping offers complete control over your business but requires careful budgeting, resourcefulness, and a willingness to wear many hats. Here are some tips for successful bootstrapping: Prioritize ruthlessly. Focus on developing the core functionalities that deliver the most value to users and postpone fancy features for later. Embrace open-source tools. Many free and open-source development tools and libraries are available to help you build your app without breaking the bank. Consider a side hustle. If your budget is tight, a side hustle can provide additional income to accelerate development. 2. Friends & Family: Your First Cheerleaders (and Maybe Investors) Your friends and family can be a fantastic source of early-stage app funding, especially if they believe in your vision. However, it’s crucial to approach them professionally. Communicate your vision and investment goals. Create formal agreements outlining the terms of the investment,  including the amount of funding, repayment terms, and ownership stake. This protects everyone involved and avoids misunderstandings down the road. 3. Crowdfunding Platforms: Unleashing the Power of the Crowd Sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo allow you to raise capital from a large pool of online contributors. These platforms offer a unique opportunity to gauge market interest in your app before launch and potentially secure app funding from early adopters who are excited about your idea. Here are some key considerations for crowdfunding success: Craft a compelling campaign. Hook potential backers with a captivating video and story that showcases your app’s value proposition and potential impact. Be transparent about how you’ll use the funds raised. Offer enticing rewards. Incentivize backers with tiered rewards that offer early access to the app, exclusive features, or branded merchandise. Be a marketing machine. Use social media, online communities, and relevant blogs to spread the word about your campaign. The more people who know about your app, the higher your chances of reaching your funding goal. Remember: There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to app funding. Consider the stage of your idea, your comfort level with risk, and the amount of funding needed when deciding which option is best for you. App Funding: Setting Realistic Expectations Be prepared! Launching a successful startup requires hard work, perseverance, and a bit of luck. Unfortunately, many app ideas don’t make it to market. Here’s a reality check: Market Research Is Key Don’t just assume your app idea is brilliant. Conduct thorough market research to understand your target audience, existing competitors, and potential challenges. Focus on Value What unique value proposition does your app offer? Why should users choose yours over the competition? Define Your Target Audience Who are you building this app for? Understanding your target market demographics, needs, and behaviors is crucial for success. Success Rates & Challenges  While success stories abound, it’s important to acknowledge the competitive nature of the app market. Statistics show that only 10% of startups succeed [insert source here (optional)]. This emphasizes the importance of a solid foundation, a well-defined target audience, and a clear understanding of your challenges. Each funding option comes with its own set of challenges: Bootstrapping: Requires financial discipline and may limit the scope and functionality of your initial app. Friends & Family: Potential for strained relationships if things go south. Ensure clear communication and have ironclad legal agreements in place. Crowdfunding: Reaching your funding goal can be difficult and requires effective marketing. Beyond the Basics: Exploring Additional App Funding Options As your app evolves and gains traction, you can explore additional app funding avenues: Angel Investors These are high-net-worth individuals who invest their own money in promising startups. They often provide valuable mentorship alongside funding but expect a significant ownership stake in your company. Venture Capitalists Venture capitalist (VC) firms invest larger sums of money in startups with high growth potential. Securing VC funding is a significant accomplishment but often requires a more developed business plan and a proven track record. App Funding: The Path Forward Each funding option has its pros and cons. Carefully consider your needs and priorities before pursuing a specific type of app funding. By incorporating these actionable tips and realistic expectations, you’ll be well on your way to transforming your app dream into a reality.

3 days ago

Business & Strategy

Engineering Success: Leading Digital Solutions Through Culture

Boulder, CO—A well-executed digital strategy can set industry leaders apart, and culture is the backbone of that. Take it from us at InspiringApps. Beyond the standard “move fast and break things” mantra, we prioritize a finish line, every time guarantee, combined with an ethos of curiosity, which we believe are key to an adaptive and winning digital portfolio. Brad Weber, Founder and CEO at InspiringApps, shares his insights into our culture of leading digital solutions.   Embracing a Shared Vision for the Future InspiringApps aspires to create an inclusive, inventive, and future-proof culture. Every team member knows the value of finishing projects and taking them across the finish line. To foster this culture, we encourage our team members to speak up and be comfortable asking “why” while critically examining requirements. This mindset helps us seek the best user experience and guarantees the highest quality of development. A standout facet of our culture is our commitment to valuing each team member’s unique skills and experiences. This, coupled with the collective intelligence we’ve garnered from building numerous web and mobile apps, forms a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Diversity of knowledge enables us to anticipate and navigate tech challenges holistically, ensuring that our digital solutions are second to none. Curiosity Is Your Business’s Best Ally At InspiringApps, we are ardent believers in pushing boundaries and championing curiosity. We know that asking, “Why?” can often differentiate a satisfactory solution from an exceptional one. This deep dive into understanding opens avenues for transformative solutions that suit your business’s needs. One of our long-term clients, Scott, poignantly noted that we don’t just fulfill requests; we dissect them, aiming to understand context and purpose. Embracing this ethos, our team endeavors to redefine the standards of digital solution development, ensuring our clients receive best-in-class products. Building the Digital Future Together We envision fostering an environment that’s inventive, inclusive, and on the cutting edge of technology. We are proud to create a culture where team members feel encouraged to share and lean into their unique insights. We value diversity of thought and action. We believe these differences bring us closer to curating the best user experience. There’s a shared satisfaction in ushering a project from ideation to completion as we craft solutions that drive business growth. A key part of this process is nurturing the confidence to question, investigate, and redefine in our teams. Because, at heart, we’re in the business of solving problems. Embracing Digital Evolution: The InspiringApps Way At InspiringApps, we believe in keeping curiosity and innovation at the center stage while continuously tailoring our diverse collective experience to exceed client expectations. Our signature approach imbues every project with these values. As we strategize for the future, we remain committed to our mission to provide our clients with exceptional, cutting-edge digital solutions. We are eager to contribute to your journey to excellence in the ever-evolving world of technology. Get the insights you need straight from thought leaders at InspiringApps and beyond. Read the full article on Built In. 

3 months ago

Blog Categories
App Design
App Development
App Marketing
Business & Strategy
Client Projects
Culture & Innovation
Digital Products
Events
InspiringApps News
Mobile Industry
Technology
Webinars