Tomorrow is the big day. CNN Black In America 4 airs about the NewME Accelerator and our experiences in Silicon Valley. If you have seen any of the preview trailers/commercials you can tell there are some very controversial, intense moments. You have the whole Michael Arrington situation and personally there my comment/rant where I mention President Barack Obama. Let me explain the “CONTEXT” of the situation.
First here is what I said,
It’s very sad, it’s 2011 and we have a black President … AND, he’s not putting no money in my pocket right now directly, so what do we got to do? Play the game to be successful
Here is what happen and what I remember, (I think) it was a long summer and that sound byte was around June 2011. Heck, I forgot I even said it until I saw the commercial. Regardless is was a warm summer night in Mountain View, CA at the NewME Accelerator startup house. One of our guest speakers was Professor Vivek Wadhwa was sharing his experiences as an entrepreneur and they were vary deep. Some of his stories were sad and shocking. Everything from his comments about getting a, quote “white boy” to be the face of our startups to his stories about his partners trying to cut him out of his company while in the hospital. It was a very, very emotional night. The CNN camera crews where on hand and I was feeling part mad, part sad and part shocked.
With that being said I believe the question and/or comment I was asked was about how do I feel right now, and/or what do I say to people why the NewME Accelerator is needed etc. I can’t remember if I was asked directly about President Barack Obama but I do know some of the blog comments and conversations I read or was told was about how some people were saying race doesn’t matter in Silicon Valley, and in 2011 we have a black President and we should fine, etc. You get the picture.
So, Mr. President Barack Obama, my comments were not anything negative directed towards you but more towards people who were/are saying we don’t need the NewME Accelerator when we know that not only do we need a program like the NewME Accelerator but we need multiple NewME Accelerators setup across the country to help not just minority entrepreneurs but entrepreneurs of all kind.
If you haven’t seen the CNN Black In America 4 commercial, watch the video below. My rant where I mention the President is at the one minute mark.
As for the playing the game to be successful part. Once you learn what the process is not matter if it’s pattern matching or referrals or living up to the Silicon Valley standards, then as an entrepreneur do what’s best for your startup that you feel is what’s right and you can live with.
Watch CNN Black In America 4 this Sunday 8pm EST on CNN and then go to your computer to watch the official after Black In America 4 online live video panel and discussion with Mario Armstrong called “Innovation Nation:Startup Success”. Join us in the live chat, google hangout and more as we’ll talk about Black In America 4, Silicon Valley and more. We’ll also take questions from the online audience. When tweeting about the online live broadcast use the hashtag #bialive. The Black In America 4 hashtag is #blackinamerica. For more information about the live broadcast visit: http://www.marioarmstrong.com/on-air/innovation-nation-the-official-live-webcast/
One learning lesson out of all this to remember is to always and I mean always be careful what you say when media/cameras are around and when you’re upset, just be quiet… #lessonlearned