Black Business Struggles
It’s a Monday afternoon and I find myself yet again guzzling down a liter worth of Cafe Bustello expresso ground coffee, no cream, no sugar, while trying to tackle the problem of gaining traction in the fast paced tech world.
Here’s the thing, I know I am failing to interact with the Startup community in the traditional way they are familiar and comfortable with. The fact is I find the startup environment too contrived and full of contradictions. I absolutely detest the advice given by out-of-touch entrepreneurs who believe that everyone has access to seed funding from their friends and family. The numerous entrepreneurial articles that suggest that strategy as the primary first line of attack every entrepreneur must take to build their initial MVP is laughable when I think about the financial situation for generations of minorities.
As I engage my target audience and retail partners on how I can make their experience on our platform better I’m reminded by my newsfeed how oversaturated our society is with impracticality. I find myself scoffing with derision as the media around tech clambers to cover Twitters announcement to allow more than 140 characters.
As the established investors who make up the much lauded 1% of the highest earners in America continue to invest into revolutionary technology like Angry Birds (side eye), and many of these pseudo-liberals who make up the space eschew the level playing field that is tech begin anew to lament the possibility of a repeat of the dot-com era “tech bubble”, I continue to watch with increased pessimism as many of my fellow minority entrepreneurs struggle to attain the funding that will help our companies expand.
Examples of underfunded minority led innovation include people like Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green, Assistant Professor at the Morehouse School of Medicine whose research into cancer treatment using lasers rather than chemotherapy is groundbreaking. Or consumer facing app services like Pigeonly that allow it’s users to easily stay in contact with their incarcerated loved ones. A variety of practical “purple cow” innovations left to languish unattended as Silicon Valley chases the ever elusive, and fanciful “unicorn” .
But what do I know? I’m just another lazy, entitled millennial who should spend less time working, and more time hacking my way to the pockets of elite investors at every opportunity. I guess me and the collective minority community have naively worn our idealism on our sleeves hoping that Silicon Valley would one day begin taking a genuine practical interest in minority solutions rather than the PR and ineffective government policy led pandering that usually induces them to take reluctant action.