Saturday, July 13, 2013

2 Things Black Folks Could Learn From The NFL

As many of you know, I am the Chief Marketing Officer for Around The Way app.  This app allows you to find the closest Black-owned business to your current location thus I am passionate about supporting Black-owned businesses.

Unfortunately, too many African Americans love showing other folks (mainly non-African Americans) how much money they have and how much they have to spend.  Black folks seem to love spending money with every other business on the face of this earth to show them that they can afford to eat, drink, wear and drive anything and everything that a non-Black vendor is selling.

It is my humble opinion that this attitude was a direct result of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.  During the Civil Rights Movement, Black leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. worked tirelessly to break down the institutionalized barriers for self esteem reasons and other reasons.  The fact that we can celebrate a President Barack Obama is a lasting result of the positive outcomes of the Civil Right Movement. Thus, every minority owes MLK a debt of gratitude.

However, with all of the benefits Civil Rights come some detriments.  During the movement, access to White-only restaurants and other societal amenities was seen as a gift.  Suddenly, if it was White, it was right in regards to where Black folks should spend their hard earned cash.  This attitude persists today among African Americans.  Black folks can't spend their money fast enough buying Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Hennessy and every non-Black-owned luxury item.

General Motors, AT&T, NBC and every major corporation in this country has a diversity and inclusion department.  Generally, this department is mandated to make sure that it's supplier makeup is reflective of society.  In other words, they want to make sure minority suppliers are given contract opportunities.
If General Motors had the diversity spending habits of Black folks, they would have virtually zero African American suppliers.

This is why I propose that every African American adopt a person Rooney Rule.  The Rooney Rule was a rule instituted by the NFL in 1993 to help the hiring of African American coaches.  The rule simply says that when an NFL head coaching vacancy becomes available, the team is mandated to interview at least 1 minority coach.  They do not have to hire that coach but they at least have to interview one.

The positive results of the Rooney Rule speak volumes.  In a 4 year span from 2007 to 2011 we saw 5 Superbowl appearances and 2 Superbowl victories by Black NFL head coaches.

2 Things Black Folks Could Learn From The NFL
(1) Your Personal Rooney Rule:  Before you spend your hard earned dollars have you considered an African American business?  You don't have to spend at a Black-owned business but make a conscience effort to consider it.
(2) Download and use the Around The Way app to support Your Personal Rooney Rule.

Would you adopt a Personal Rooney Rule to support Black-owned businesses?



Friday, July 12, 2013

Lawyers Got You Scared & Pimpin You!


For the past 235+ years that we have been a country, lawyers have earned their keep by fear. Let me explain. People naturally fear things that they do not understand.  The language of law is by nature cryptic.  I was watching a lawyer in action once and this partial lawyer said the following when describing a case that he was working on:
"Said suspect surrendered said vehicle at the location in question at fifteen hundred hours".
What does that mean?
He could have easily said "He left the car on the corner at 3 o'clock".

Laws Are Just Rules
We have rules for every facet of our lives but they are not as cryptic as the rules of law.  Here is a question for you all?   In  the board game Monopoly, what happens when you pass GO?  You know it.  You collect $200.  As a child, did you have a legal team to help you understand and interpret the rules of Monopoly?
No...
Why?
Because it's not cryptic.

Think about this blog entry the next time you have to seek legal counsel on something as simple as collecting $200 by passing GO.

What do you think?


Learning to Code

So, as many of you know, I am in the startup scene thus I constantly meet tech entrepreneurs and people who want to be tech entrepreneurs.  I constantly run into people who say "I'm learning how to code".  What? Then, I think to myself  "No, you're not".  Either you are a coder or you are not a coder.  Either you are working on a project or you're not working on a project.  Let me explain what I mean.

I am an old school coder.  Currently I dabble with javascript, PHP & CSS to build websites. I first started programming in BASIC (Beginner's All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) in 1982 on my Commodore 64.  The day I got the computer and the day that I opened the BASIC programming guide and wrote a few lines of code, I became a coder.

PERIOD...

Most coders like myself are self taught.  When someone says "I'm learning how write code" this generally means that they are placing the responsibility of becoming a coder on someone else.

In summary, don't "Learn how to code" just code!  Pick a project and just the best coding language to get it done.

What do you think?

What Does $1 Trillion Look Like?

According to Nielsen (leading global information and measurement company), it is predicted that African American's annual spend will exceed $1 trillion.  When I 1st heard this, I had to think about what $1 trillion looks like.  We've all seen a hundred dollar bill.  It bears Benjamin Franklin's face.  If I had a stack of one hundred dollar bills, $1 million would be about waste high about 3 feet tall or about 1 meter.  If I turned this $1 million stack on it's side and placed in on the ground, I could jump over with little effort.  Remember it's only 3 feet long.

Now, what would $1 trillion in hundreds laid on the ground look like?  Well, I live in the New York city area and this stack of hundreds would stretch from New York city to Philadelphia to Washington DC back to Philadelphia back to New York city and all the way to Boston, MA.  It would be more than 620 miles long.  That's a lot of damn money.  What do you think?