Tech Companies need to Be more like Teaneck, New Jersey — Here’s Why: My Response to Chris Sacca’s TechCrunch article “A Greed Case For Diversity”


This morning while I was doing my normal Saturday Morning routine; catching up on ESPN “SportsCenter”, eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch while reading the latest articles on TechCrunch.


I came across a pretty interesting article by Silicon Valley’s (By way of Lockport, NY) own “Chris Sacca” who happens to be a former employee of Google & who invests in multiple major Tech Startups such as Twitter, Uber etc.


Not to mention his newfound role on ABC’s own Reality Venture Capital show “Shark Tank”


The headline for the article read:


“There’s a greed case for diversity”

which stuck out to me, being the fact that I happen to be a minority co-founder.


The headline also caught my attention immediately… why?


Because for one I thought it was pretty interesting coming from a well versed investor… who just happens to be a white man, that wears embroidered cowboy shirts.


I felt that his unorthodox writing style in this article, is the exact same type of approach that the tech industry needs in present day, as well as the future of Tech.


The Next thing that stuck out to me in the article, was how much quantitative information that he used to back up his argument. He could’ve easily just stated his opinions that most would agree with already, without valid proof.


This isn’t a letter to the editor from a black man, that is here to co-sign the article in hopes of getting attention. I actually think that would be the easy way out.


I feel we as individuals of this nation; Owe it to the future, to take on the responsibility of making this nation a better place — than how it was given to us… I feel Chris is demonstrating what it’s going to take, from us — to change how we think.


I am a born resident of Teaneck, New Jersey (Racially Mixed). If you have ever lived here, or have driven through the small town next to the George Washington Bridge, you would know; the culture doesn’t get more diverse than it does when you get off that 70-B exit on the NJ Turnpike.


“Staying on one side of the street will never evolve your perception”


We need more open minded critical thinkers like “Chris”, as it will bring awareness to all respective demographics.


Chris went on to use Twitter as an example that greed is still a factor in Tech.


“Of all the people that are on the Internet, 23% of them are on Twitter” stated Sacca. He also went on to explain that of that 23% :

  • 28% are Black
  • 28% are Hispanic
  • 20% are White.

Chris gave greater depth to explain that Twitter has black users over-indexed on the platform (A.K.A “Black Twitter”), while having 0 blacks in upper management.


I am a young aspiring minority tech entrepreneur with big dreams of creating the next big “thing”.


I happen to see young black entrepreneurs writing their opinions on blogs such as Medium & Twitter everyday regarding how they feel and what they have encountered along their journey.


One thing that is for sure is that Venture Capital and funding definitely has a higher success rate for white entrepreneurs, coming from white investors. So why as a minority founder looking for funding, would you ever want to mention things that could potentially blackball your barrier to entry in Tech.


Some of the blog topics I read are rather sensitive in today’s society. The comments that I see from from white peers are even MORE bias than opinions of the blogs that I read daily.


How could we as a nation ever evolve with this mindstate?


“Everything you feel, doesn’t have to be explained” My mother used to tell me.


I feel sensitive topics like this, need to be addressed in intelligent innovative ways. Intelligence over comes all and could ultimately push the envelope for diversity, much easier than “Guerilla Social-fare” I like to call it.


If we keep separating ourselves and making seem as if we can’t co-exist, then that’s what will ultimately be the outcome. We have seen it before in history. We need to take more responsibility on changing the outcome instead of pointing out what’s wrong with Tech.


I am not naive, and understand that it is an uneven playing field for minority entrepreneurs. But if we can keep breaking the mold and deliver undeniable products, while defying perceptions; the potential for tech will have a new ceiling.


Quick Facts from Chris Sacca’s Article:

  • According to Mckensey: Businesses can experience a 15% increase in financial performance making your company gender diverse. “Diversity perspectives bring us into markets we didn’t know existed” said Sacca.
  • Ethnic & Racial diversity at the leadership and board level leads to a 35% greater financial performance.

I say all of that to say this:


“To push the envolope of diversity it’s going to take participation & persistence. As we progress and evolve as a nation; we will acknowledge how essential diversity can be. Technology brought us this far, but diversity can bring us further.” — Alfonzo Smith


BE MORE LIKE TEANECK.


I included a song by Sam Cooke that can explain the Tech Industry, much better than I ever could. “CHANGE IS GONNA COME” — Sam Cooke


#DisruptingSocial

• Written By: TOMOfonz

4/30/16

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