Posts Taged soledad-obrien

Proud to Be Named to The Black Enterprise “10 Black Innovators to Watch” List


Black Enterprise Magazine names Navarrow Wright as one of their picks who could emerge as the Next Steve Jobs. Wright joins a select group of people makings moves in technology.

Read the whole story here

No Wack Demos: The Importance of Seizing An Opportunity

If you have seen the latest Black in America documentary on CNN, then you have seen the scene where the entrepreneurs had the opportunity to pitch at Google’s HQ on the first day of the program. None of the entrepreneurs were ready. Later that week I hosted a dinner with them and started to discuss why it was such a big deal that they were no prepared. At that dinner as you see below. The “No Wack Demos” phrase was born and became their motivational slogan for the rest of the program. After you watch the clip below i want to explain in more detail what i mean by the phrase.

When we have the opportunity to disrupt the status quo we have to understand that we see obstacles from all sides. Just people seeing that initial failure immediately people to say that we are not ready for a seat at the table These unique challenges require four key principles.

No One Wants To Talk About The “Minority Issue” In Tech


In the second Installment of my Interview with Soledad Obrien for Black In America we talk about why I feel no one is will to address the disparity in the number of minorities in the technology space.

Achieving Diversity in Silicon Valley is Not About Recognition, Its About Having A Plan

Whenever issues of diversity are discussed in certain areas our first response is usually to be angry at the fact that we are not being recognized for our current efforts or position in that current industry. When the harsh reality is that is were fully recognized or truly successful in having a significant impact in that given area the question of diversity would not have come up. So instead of being angry we should focus on what the plan is to solve the issues.
This has come up most recently due to the recent Black in America documentary I was involved in. People have been up in arms about the media and people in the doc not recognizing minorities in tech past in current. But I believe focusing on that is short sided. we should look to use these opportunities to create plans on how change the current status Quot. How to put an plan in place that puts more of us in the pipeline to be able to attain these jobs. A plan that educates our youth on how to turn their ideas into real products using themselves as the resource. These type of actions will create real change. So don’t tell me your upset about the lack of diversity unless your committed to being a part of the plan.

Why I Challenge Critics of the Latest Black in America Documentary

Host a screening party of Black in America and I’ll answer your questions on


Sunday Nov, 13th at 8pm the next installment of Black in America airs. I was blessed to be a part of this doc because the topic is African Americans and Technology, two topics i’m passionate about. I’ll be live tweeting on during the show. Tell me where you hosting a viewing party on Sunday below in the comments and I’ll shout out your party and answer your questions during the show.

A Tale of Two Job Markets: Black America and Silicon Valley


If you see the news today you should know that that we are still in the midst of an unemployment crisis. Even though things have improved since the height of the recent recession, unemployment levels still are at an all time high. The areas that appear to be the hardest hit are places with high populations of minorities. North Carolina has seen unemployment rates as go as high as 15% and African leaders have declared that we are in a state of emergency .  I can honestly say that this high rate is not due to minorities not trying to find employment and  people have even said that discrimination is now playing a part in minorities ability to find employment.  But whatever your opinions are about the reason, the fact is that the problem is real and is not going away and even though many people try to ignore  the problem. It is a part of our everyday lives.

On the other hand there is another job market that many of you may not follow as closely, the tech market.  There is a significantly different phenomenon occurring there, a resource crunch.  In this market companies can’t find resources fast enough and offer lavish compensation packages to woo candidates to jump ship from one prominent internet company to another. If you ask anyone is this market they will tell you it’s a sellers market if you have tech skills.  If you ask anyone hiring  in this market their immediate response would be ” Show us the person  with the skills and we have a job for them!” So you may ask why i mention this two markets together, well there are several reasons:

  1. Are they really looking everywhere? i recently met Tiffani Bell, who was a participant in the NewME Accelerator, a program that place African American internet company founders in Silicon Valley to learn from the internet’s best and brightest  and attempt to bridge the race divide in the technology start-up world.  This program will actually be profiled by CNN’s Black in America series in November.Tiffani is a technical founder who is a fluent coder in several languages who would be a great addition to any internet company. But tiffani lives in North Carolina, far away from where these companies typically recruit. So the first question is if the crunch is so severe, why not widen the search outside your normal patterns?
  2. Why not create  a workforce? While i understand some heavy technical positions require unique expertise there are many others that people can do with a decent amount of training and opportunity. So my other question is why don’t some of the tech giants who are in a crunch set up shop in places like North Carolina and train some of the thousands people there in the skills they are looking for? It would actually end up being cheaper for the company, they would acquire  loyal employees and  continue to grow their business.
  3. African Americans there is an opportunity here: While i do believe there are things these companies can do to extend the opportunities I also have to push us to seize the opportunities ourselves. It is easier today to get up to speed in technology development today than it’s ever been. And there are people that look like you making strides in the tech world. And they like me are willing to point you in the right direction but you have to take the first step and be willing to learn what’s required.

Here’s to hoping all three of these things change for the better soon.