On Monday the first-ever cohort of founders will apply to enter the Deceleration Zone (DZ) in Omaha. DZ as it is commonly referred, is a national recognized chain of decelerators that offers classes and mentoring for over-exuberant founders –individuals that are highly motivated, talk a lot, have started numerous large companies from scratch, have a huge international network, and a proven track record for making a ton of money. At a time when everyone is focused on accelerating individuals with big ideas that lack a proven track record, DZ Omaha will focus on educating founders that have built multiple unicorn companies.
Sheila Danville is the director of Decelerate Zone Omaha. According to the press release, DZ Omaha is actively recruiting applicants from across the middle part of the country. We traded emails back and forth with Mrs. Danville because, you know, Covid, and according to her last email “decelerators offer founders the chance to slow their roll and not hustle. Many of them have been working so hard for so long that unless they decelerate, they are going to hit the proverbial wall or in the most severe cases rock bottom. This could cost them millions. The program motto is DDT – Don’t Do That – because most of our members have done whatever they want for years.” She went on to reiterate accelerators are different from decelerators, “Founders are all different and have unique needs. Accelerators jump start companies and help business grow often thru early stage funding, mentorship, and network access. Our founders are at the end of their journeys. They don’t need help getting companies off the ground, they need help dismantling the soul crushing monolithic companies they founded, settling lawsuits from years of unethical behavior, and finding conservative country clubs to join that have private plane access.”
Nebraska has unofficially been specializing in this kind of deceleration for years but has only recently begun to own it. The state tourism motto was changed to “It’s not for everybody” and Omaha has been buoyed by a few billionaires for the better portion of 50 years – a true commitment to deceleration. One only needs to look at the governor as an example of how to slow improvements and prevent progress – common deceleration themes. “Anyone can grow a new business, it takes an ecosystem-wide effort to truly slow the growth of wealth and enjoy it,” said Danville. The future is bright in Omaha and that future includes the Deceleration Zone.