The title is a statement that stands and you would need to be retarded (in the literal sense, I mean that you were actually born with emotional/cognitive impairments) to read “You Don’t Know What Definitions Are…“ and think that it’s some sort of endorsement. I’m aware of your magnificent manner of meme-inventing and creating a false narrative about me that is fueled by your own idiosyncrasies surrounding obsession that helps rush blood to the fragile, “Make America Great Again!” shafts (nh) that much faster.
Unfortunately, for the large majority of Silicon Valley’s resident angel investors and venture capitalists: this isn’t 2000 or 2008–and this instance, I’m speaking directly in reference to Reid Hoffman. Ever since then, America had made the decision to twice-elect a celebrity, the notion of what a man could/should be–the Ultimate Avatar For Our Hopes; thus Obama, and along with his acolytes, ushered in Trump. Barry O paved the road and showcased for Trump how you can exhibit constant disregard for the citizenry and rule of law which is precisely why Trump’s ascendancy has happened.
In 2000, I was just one year removed from high school graduation and was pretty easily coerced [under familial circumstances to be “staunchly Democratic”] to vote for Gore. What a mistake that was (seeing how Gore turned out with the “climate change” campaign), but “luckily” (snicker) he lost.
In 2008, I did not vote because at the tender age of 28, you could no longer step to me and tell me that my “ancestors” (snicker) died so that I would have the “right to vote”. In addition to that, unlike the many denizens whose eyes were glazed over in awe of Barry O, I, on the other hand, did not trust, instinctively, Obama and his cult of followers [Reid]. I was not wrong about my instincts. Barry O is abysmal as presidents go, his administration participated in the 2009 overthrow of Honduras, and worse, that same administration if overly-protected by a media whom are only interested in curating his image (his likeness), not criticize it in the manner that true journalism is supposed to do.
It’s 2016. We’re in an era where the Low Information Types are out-smarting the self-proclaimed “Smart Set”, I definitely don’t give a fuck about a Trump; and I definitely don’t care all that much about a Clinton. Nothing’s changed since graduating high school as far as governmental politics goes. Hillary is under criminal investigation by the FBI and she’s the presumptive nominee for the Democrats. That’s outright sickening: she should be disqualified from running for office. Bernie was economically-challenged. If I were to tell him that the United States, unlike Sweden, is comprised of 1,539 separately-functioning economies, he would stare at me for fifteen-minutes straight and then go into cardiac arrest. Trump is repugnant and can’t even count to ten.
No logically-thinking person is going to vote for Clinton or Trump. I have to tell myself that at least 87 times a day, but, I would be intellectually dishonest with myself if I were to ignore the obvious and regret to acknowledge that this planet belongs to Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp and Twitter; anything that resembles normalcy has been ceded to a scene that looks like Reid Hoffman’s face when he’s forced to interact with someone who harbors a diametrically-opposed state of mind.
Quite a few will read this blog post and “feel” that I’m the one who’s envious of my so-called “competitors”, who, by the way, are all funded and yet HL™ is still without funding. Me, envious? That’s not the case. How can I be envious of the non-starters the likes of 6SensorLabs, Clear Labs, Allergy Amulet, DOTS Devices, etc., when I’ve personally been touting HL™ for the past 4+ years?
This is the era where people pine for “diversity”, which of course, in actuality means “we are women, hear us roar!!“. That’s what “diversity” means; just ask Reddit‘s former interim CEO, Ellen Pao. Seriously, in the previous paragraph, out of the four aforementioned “competitors”, three of them are women-led. That’s 75%; an overwhelming majority. Now although, I’m not advocating the idea that Project Include is equivalent to blatant racism, but one would have to be blind to not see the exclusion of hetero-normative Black male entrepreneurs from the entire picture of entrepreneurship. Black men are not minorities; white women are minorities; gay white men are minorities; Asians are minorities….see where I’m going with this? The name, Project Include, is indicative of the exclusion of Black men, particularly the hetero-normative Black man–and perhaps, when you go back and read my post from March you can see why I placed so much emphasis on hetero-normative. And to think that it only took this “new movement” two months to respond in the form of putting together some “diversity initiative”. The movement is dumb and poorly executed; and it indirectly associates Black men with being stupid and poorly-skilled in decision-making. Such an association is no more racist than exoticizing young, Black people and their supposedly dysfunctional locales. Formulations in the manner rely on the same reductive reasoning; both have significant social currency among proponents of colonialism and subsequent systems of repression, and both tend to place “whiteness” as normative and morally correct. Any so-called “movement” that represses opportunities for Black people is a vehicle of white supremacy.
One would assume that such a movement the likes of Project Include would also be inclusive of the following: child molesters, both the current and formerly incarcerated, rapists, throat slashers, card-carrying members of the Ku Klux Klan, corrupt police officers, corrupt district attorneys, corrupt politicians, Rudolph Giuliani, Jonestown survivors, cross-dressers, climate change-proponents, Al Gore, the designers of Stephen Hawking’s go-go cart, paraplegics, emetophobics, “turd burglars”….the list goes on. I mean, the whole definition of the “movement” behind Project Include is to include everybody, right? And how on Earth does a “movement” the likes of Project Include get any more diverse than the list of degenerate-trash that I just listed? If you’re going to love everybody, then it’s imperative that you love everybody, bitch–and you’re going to give money to everybody–with the exception of hetero-normative Black male founders. Because, you know, we’re “bullies”.
For those of you reading this blog post, I want you to do yourselves a favor–I want you all to write down the following eight terms because I’m going to go in detail regarding the meaning behind such phrases, words and expressions:
- “change the world”
- “people of color”
- “collective I.Q.”
- “pattern matching”
Let me ask you something: how, exactly, does one incorporate “multidimensional” with “diversity“, and, at the same time, attempt to drive the point home?
Allow me to inquire something else: why would a group of female-humans consider that diversity is also multidimensional?
Truth of the matter is that miscellany and diversity aren’t derivatives of either the same nor similar definition. Multidimensional, in and of itself, implies an extremely wide range of chaotic events. You really cannot apply a definition to it. That’s simply just how out of hand it really is. As an example of its rampant misuse, an employer sees a particular employee who works-to-the-bone harder (nh) than any of his/her fellow co-workers. He/she multitasks more than anyone else and as the observer (employer), you want to bring order to the chaos that beholds before you (i.e., “Employee of the Month”), when, in reality, the observer has brought even more chaos into the fray (i.e., undisclosed envy from fellow co-workers when before the observer took action, got along with each other). The output now is that the supposedly “multidimensional” employee is disheartened from his/her work and no longer exhibits the behavior that was once favored by the observer. Multiply that by the multitude of “diverse” peoples on Planet Earth (when, in actuality, the majority of Earth’s inhabitants are of the elusive “people of color” persuasion) and tell me what do you get in return?
Answer: A whole lot of chaos.
A group of individuals can never be multidimensional because they’re each within their own little dimension (or, “lane”).
A group of people, who are diverse, in every manner of the word, who also are one accord to build, can be a mimesis of multidimensional but never truly multidimensional since no one will ever be able to organize chaos.
A single person cannot be multidimensional since a single person is just, well–1. A single person is complex, and yes, it is compatible with “being in a state of multidimensionality“, however, “being” is chaotic in its implied definition, and in this case, it implies a particular state of “being”. For instance, the human body is the most complex object in the universe. More complex than black holes and quasars, however, the person inhabiting that body of complexity (i.e., the “you” part) is a “substance that can be defined” (e.g., the fact that you know that “you” will eventually die). Yet, where the degrees of separation fall into play are the unique characteristics that comprise the definition. “Being in the state of multidimensionality“…you would have to liken that to, say, a certain type of cancer, virus or bacteria, albeit tangible, yet multidimensional in how that certain type of cancer, virus or bacteria “interacts” with the unique characteristics (i.e., blood chemistry, brain chemistry, body chemistry, biochemistry, etc.) that makes you–“you”. Cancer, for example, is complex, difficult to quantify, and so forth, in addition to the multidimensional aspects of how it breaks the body down over time. How do the various forms of cancer “interact” with the unique characteristics that makes you–“you”?
Answer: No two people on Earth have the exact same blood chemistry, brain chemistry or body chemistry.
We’re not talking about blood types here. Those are not multidimensional; hell, they’re not even unique characteristics that can be attributed to the “you” within you. Chaotic behaviors of cancers, viruses and bacteria (plural) give them that “multidimensional kick”; the aforementioned unique characteristics amplify the multidimensionality. Ever wondered why I proclaim that “medicine is not science“? The reason why is because you cannot make prediction as to how a particular medicine will effect an individual due to the varying unique characteristics, specifically speaking, one’s blood chemistry (mainly due to diet and/or other (detrimental) factors, such as recreational drug use) and brain chemistry. This is not some convoluted thought experiment; this is observation of a peculiar chaos that extends itself from a non-categorical and how said “peculiar chaos” plays-out in a material reality.
There’s a certain characteristic that stands out that is tantamount to being an entrepreneur, and that characteristic that one would have to harbor–deep within your every fiber–is having thought patterns totally opposite of everyone else. The late Tupac Shakur once stated (and I’ll paraphrase) that you will either have to “change the world” or being changed by the world. Tupac knew that it takes revolution in order to “change the world“. And what exactly is revolution?
Answer: Somebody, something, some business, some company, some old establishment, etc., has to die.
So, how does one orchestrate the methodologies (plural) that are to be utilized in the implementation of the instruments that will direct us during this supposed “revolution“? In order to accomplish this feat, you’ll need to know what you want to achieve post-revolution. How do you perceive the world to be after you’ve successfully “changed” the world? If the world around you is static, you have to make it dynamic in order to change it. That’s a first-order approach to your methodology regardless of how intelligently-orchestrated your strategy is developed. Revolutionary implies that you intend to kill-off the “old guard”; if not, you will be the one to die. An example of this would be this recent nonsense about the city of Atlanta (a Black-majority city) having a high AIDS rate among the Black population [in the city of Atlanta]. Understand that this is a tactic more widely known as an underhanded scheme of gentrification. You create The Lie™, then you act out on The Lie™ in order to substantiate the principles that will perpetuate and support The Lie™. This is methodology in action, or at the least to say, a methodology employed to usher-in the mechanisms that are to “change the world“. But, “change the world” to benefit who?
The aforementioned instrument of “change” [gentrification] obviously does not benefit those it effects detrimentally; it only benefits those who reap its after-effects. To “change” is to go from one static state to another static state; static implies permanence. In a materialist sense, “change” is not temporary, however, ever-changing means that there is room for constant altering between differing states. In laymen’s terms, I guess you can say that “change is not meant to change“; it is consistently cyclical. Better said, it is a seemingly “perpetual” battle between opposing forces. You all don’t find it to be a bit ironic that change essentially has a standardized definition that, when removed, doesn’t alter that standardized definition?
In other words, nothing changes.
Let me ask you all something: what mechanism of influence is, concurrently, the most widely used instrument of “change”?
This is a point, in this blog post, where we are now reaching a new definition for the expression “change the world“; and I say that because, here, in the Western world, this [American] society, expressly, sees technology as the means by which the world will “change“–and we’re gullible enough to believe that we’re doing so to “change the world” for the better. Really? How exactly are you utilizing the instrument of technology to “change the world….for the better”?
There are approximately 6.8 billion people on planet Earth, correct? You do realize that out of the estimated 6.8 billion people currently on planet Earth, 2 billion of the people on planet Earth do not have running water or electricity. That’s 29.4% of the total population. That’s 29.4% without access to Facebook, Google, etc., so, with that said, how exactly is technology going to the be the foremost instrument that will “change the world…for the better” when technology isn’t even being utilized in manners to address the absence of some of the most basic necessities for those who are getting left out? Twenty-years from now, let’s say the population is now 10.2 billion–that 2 billion without running water and electricity is now 4.42 billion. Damn near half of the total population. All you see is that there are more with running water and electricity but fail to see that with the incremental “jump” in total population, there are more who cannot afford to participate in varying economic levels. To them, what you denote as “change” is really the same as it ever was (i.e., conditions).
In other words, nothing changes.
One condition that has been altered is this so-called “tech” industry. Under any other normal circumstance, a startup whose mission is steeped in the grips of developing a new technology would qualify as a “tech-based” company. Nowadays, damn near every single startup consider themselves “tech-based and it’s a spit-in-the-face to those who truly are “tech-oriented”. For instance, a startup who develops software so consumers can access a mobile app, order brownies and have them delivered to their doorstep by no later than 7:36 p.m. is labeled as a “tech” startup by media outlets and the like–but that’s not technology–in fact, that’s merely a technological aspect of a service, not a product. Perhaps I’m talking to the wall here, but, I always figured that a “tech-oriented” startup is a company that’s actually developing new technology with the intention of selling that new technology; not a startup that’s developing an innovation only to utilize said innovation inclusively with an accompanying business model (i.e., food delivery, etc.). Essentially speaking, your startup isn’t “tech” nor “tech-based”; you’re selling brownies. Maybe it’s the location that gives the general public the perception that the nomenclature fits the culture; and the culture associated with “being an entrepreneur” creates this ambiance that, in turn, saturates any and all startups that call Silicon Valley home. But, it’s not exclusively an SV-space that has birthed this “Go For It” era. Every city in the U.S. incubates the mindset of “Go For It“, and I’m not necessarily knocking it, however, you do have to stand aside and question the sudden drive for individuals who connect with one another and pursue the pot o’ gold at the end of every rainbow in sight. As I’ve re-iterated countless times here on Arheliean, what makes you an entrepreneur is your harboring of thought patterns totally opposite from everyone else, therefore, when you proceed with starting your company, you won’t be following down the same wayward path towards Failure City as all the other pseudo-entrepreneurs did. Why do you think quite a few startups are beginning to regret the decisions that they made?
Answer: They violated the three laws of business.
What are the three laws of business?
- You must produce a product or provide a service that is in demand; and
- The product or service you provide must be of the highest possible quality relative to price; and
- Your product or service must be competitively priced
With that said, why should the demise of any business matter to the rest of the world? People reading this may not understand my disdain for “Thielism” [my little fancy nonce word]; a fabricated school of thought on economics and libertarianism based on the wanna-be philosophic Peter Thiel. Pseudo-economists borrow their train of thought from 19th century philosophers and would-be physicists (this is how Peter Thiel develops his straw man-arguments) who based their theories on “equilibrium states of perfect competition”. Aight, I have something to tell everyone reading this: competition is not a “state”. Rather, competition is an influence, and competition is always dynamic. It is never static.
There are two things that drive innovation: need (i.e., demand) and competition.
No business can violate any of the three laws and succeed, without external support, and that external support always comes in the form of government regulations and/or subsidies. So, how does this apply to the so-called “tech” startups of today? It ain’t hard to tell that I, personally, am against startups dedicated solely to mobile and web apps. Firstly, it encourages mediocrity and a different kind of gambling. It used to be that the very first milestone that startup founders looked forward to was filing their first tax return. Now, most mobile and web apps consider their first milestone when they hit the “Submit” button on the Apple app store or when they get seed funding. The “app” startup culture has really encouraged people with very limited skills to dig for gold when what they’re doing is analogous to launching an oil company and hoping to be the next Shell.
Secondly, the fact that there are [currently] 2 billion people on planet Earth who don’t even have access to running water and electricity, those absent means of necessity command so much more attention than your meaningless internet experience. As long as there is a city with little-to-no affordable housing, public transportation that doesn’t arrive on schedule, inefficient power grids and a decline in population, then there is more to be done for the world than introducing the varying populations to Instagram or Snapchat.
Technology is developed to make work easier; not displace the worker.
Almost every single one of these so-called “tech” startups getting funded these days by disillusioned venture capitalists lack real initiative and a healthy ounce of imagination. Those are the two main ingredients in developing new technology, or “tech” as the kids say these days. My observation leads me to impart that too much dependence upon “collective I.Q.” is largely at play here. See, when you have communities from which the parties comprising most of these startups (i.e., Stanford, MIT, UC Berkeley, etc.), you’re looking at groups who are emotionally dependent upon each other. It’s a strange anaclisis where the utopian mentality is stemmed from a “collective I.Q.” that is a shared creed that’s never to be fractured into disparateness (i.e., “no one shall separate themselves from our order“). I’ll try and simplify this as much as I can: have you ever wondered why so many of the founders of these startups tend to always hail from some Ivy League-background, regardless of whether or not they graduated? Birds of a feather flock together, but that’s getting a little bit too cliché. Those who think alike were born in the same house. This train of thought has extended itself from the corporate world to the entrepreneurial realm.
Scenario 1: You’re being interviewed for a position at an investment bank. The interviewer states that you didn’t attend [insert name of their alumni] and questions your interest in wanting to work for their firm.
In spite of your qualifications and your ability to do the job, that’s their way of showing their disregard for you because you are not a part of their “collective I.Q.“. Can a scenario similar to this be applied to the entrepreneur?
Scenario 2: You submit your executive summary to an investment firm via e-mail. One week goes by, you don’t receive a reply back so you assume that your startup doesn’t quite their investment “criteria” and therefore, your e-mail was disregarded. Of course, that’s your assumption.
To clarify this even further, (this actually happened to me) an investment firm out in Silicon Valley “followed” me on social media [Twitter], and naturally, in response, I submitted to them a copy of my executive summary to them–out of “excitement” that I was “followed” by the firm on social media. A couple of days go by and I decide to contact them to ensure that they did indeed receive the e-mail. I come in contact with one investor’s “assistant” who states to me that she did not receive any e-mail from me. Okay, so how about I re-submit the e-mail. I sent the e-mail directly to this “assistant’s” e-mail; she informs me that she “doesn’t see anything in her inbox from me“. She figures that the e-mail went directly to her junk folder and didn’t feel obligated to retrieve the e-mail out of fear that it may contain a “virus”. I inquired as to why she felt the way she did, seeing how I was offended by her reluctance to do a simple task: retrieve an e-mail. She then proceeded to ask me what exactly is the “nature of your startup“, as if she could determine if the investor would be interested in the business proposal. Needless to say, I was beyond upset and she inferred that I should never call “her” again. I obliged–well, nah, because I intentionally harassed the bee-eye-itch several times days afterwards. But anyways, you see the kind of treatment you field-in when you’re an outsider; the kind of treatment you receive when you’re not a part of the established “collective I.Q.“.
I.Q., or “intelligence quotient” is a farce; it’s meaningless. It’s a numeric tied to a fantasy; an idealism. For those of you who have been reading this blog since I began working on HL™, remember that failed “partnership” I was in back in 2013? Well, my so-called “business partner” use to harp on about his “147 I.Q.” [“super smart“, in spite of him being a high school dropout] and his “friends” would exalt him for being so intuitive with how he wanted the “allergy app” to be developed (he was so “super smart” but I was the one doing all the work while he and his son ventured-off to New Orleans to find the house he wanted to buy with allllll of the money he was going to make). It didn’t hit me then, but I know better now, that I wasn’t included in this convoluted guild of the “collective I.Q.“; my “business partner”, the magistrate judge; the big-booty white chick/real estate investor…I didn’t “fit-in”. Want to know who’s other circle I didn’t quite “fit-in”?
Back in December of 2014, I’m in the elevator of an office building in Atlanta, on my way to meet-up with a colleague of someone else whom I met in Washington D.C. earlier that same year (March 2014) in regards to acquire some funding (that is to say, my all-intent purpose of going there). In the elevator, I press 4 to journey to the fourth floor and I quickly discover that the button was malfunctioning–really, the button wasn’t functioning at all. A young woman steps into the elevator and I inquire her if she’s aware that the “4” button was not working. She asked me: “Oh, do you work for the FBI?“, in which I dismissed with a quick “No..”. “Then you can’t go to the fourth floor. Who did you come here to see?” I soon realized that I must’ve entered the wrong building (of course, I entered the wrong building…it’s the other building…the one across the street…that looks just like the one I’m in!). After a furious skedaddle across the street, I’m finally in the “right” building, in the elevator, en route to the fourth floor–with no surveillance by the FBI [I supposed]. The person I met opened the door to their office where I see two individuals in one room [with no lights on] and around the corner is a small round table where I was seated with my “colleague’s colleague” and that colleague’s friend, Mr. Al Burroughs. Mr. Burroughs, a musician who use to play for the S.O.S. Band (before my time), is also a “small-time” investor–as well as my “colleague’s colleague”, who, by the way, stated that I didn’t come-off as a “people person” and she couldn’t see how anyone would be outright interested in my proposal. It goes without saying that I didn’t get any money from her. I wasn’t expectant of any investment from her especially after taking visual note of the self-hatred placed atop her head (everyone in the room was Black).
Realize this: they will look like you and yet not be like you, nor be of you. This is integral to the “collective I.Q.“; it’s part-and-parcel of how they operate; it’s how they function. This tactic is indeed steeped in operation based on discrimination (i.e., racial, age, sex, etc.); but these people are doing more than just trying to keep a clean portfolio. Not being a “people person” serves as an example, and mind you, that is immaterial to developing a product for the sake of launching a new company. The most heralded, socially-validated entrepreneur [of our time] is Steve Jobs. Was he a “people person”? No, he was an outlier. He didn’t “fit-in”; he wasn’t a piece of the “collective I.Q.” puzzle [when he was alive] but the “collective I.Q.” has succeeded in claiming him. What about Aaron Burr? Did people like him? Perhaps, today they just might, especially if there’s a Chase debit card taking up space in their wallets. Social validation is the acceptance of the “collective I.Q.” by the outwardly expressed utility of their legacy (i.e., paying homage to their icons such as thinking of Steve Jobs while you purchase an iPhone®)–and most of you [consumers] participate in the social validation every chance you get. This is a ritual.
Aside from the fact that they’re still practicing animal sacrifices to this very day, you’re exposed to a ritual everyday. Not a routine; a ritual. Getting hired; that’s a ritual, in fact, the entire hiring process (interview, background checks/E-Verify, etc.) is a ritual. Going to college; that’s a ritual. Getting a new smartphone–every god-damn year–that’s a ritual. Being a Black man having to adapt the mundane, Eurocentric approach in order to get a job, to get a mortgage/loan, etc., is a ritual. Registering your business, annually; that’s a ritual. Participating in the high school/college/university graduation ceremony; that’s a ritual. Paying your bills monthly; that’s a ritual–and not only is it a ritual, it’s also a necessity, so you can see that there are certain rituals that you cannot avoid or withdraw from committing your participation. You want to work at an investment bank where you’ll be hired to “babysit” supercomputers, “code” (snicker) and crunch numbers while solving partial differential equations and be compensated a remuneration tied to a base salary of $210,000 USD? Then you have to go through the ritual of obtaining either a Master’s or a Ph.D. How about working for Goldman Sachs? Oh, you have to go through the ritual of getting your Master’s or Ph.D. from one of these Ivy League schools, not Georgia Tech, and now not only do you have to abide by the requirements of an establishment but you have to acquire the tangibles set forth by the conditions of the ritual. You and I, as practitioners of rituals, that includes the masters of the ritual, have little-to-no recourse; but unlike most of you, I, Desmond, have the option of “being disobedient without having to become an exception to the rule“. When you become an exception to the rule, you graduate from mere mortal to martyrdom (i.e., acceptance). Harboring the desire to be accepted is a fatal character flaw for any entrepreneur. Truthfully speaking, acceptance really only surfaces after martyrdom or self-sacrifice has taken place–and yes, I’ll include actual death in reference back to the recent animal sacrifice. Acceptance is a ritual that is imperative for your inclusion within or by the community of the, say, “collective I.Q.“.
As far as “being disobedient” goes, you have to harness some form of power either by way of leverage (from an entrepreneurial perspective) or by force (as a competitive threat). With HL™, I’m armed to the teeth with both: leverage and force. The HL™ Family coming into the fray of the startup culture with a working prototype [developed with no money, mind you] in less than twelve months of the startup “revamping itself” (from the untimely death of Robert Kulver in late 2014); that’s leverage. Our method of development that will permit me to “murder your business” (competition); that’s force. These are the characteristics of “being disobedient” that damn near every entrepreneur should hold dear to them, but they don’t; they’re too busy being obedient, rather, they choose to oblige the “say-so” of investors. Did you know that there are startups out there that are getting funding to develop a prototype but my startup hasn’t received a dime and we actually have a working prototype for PIR? Maybe it’s because these other startups are obedient and conduct themselves and “grow” in accordance to how investors want them to evolve. That saps the life out of those startups, they “grow” quickly, get more funding to do nothing more than go on a hiring frenzy and all you hear afterwards in various news articles is how [insert startup name here] is getting bought out in a “fire sale” (Fab.com); so-and-so was acquired by [insert big name company here]; so-and-so laid off 15% of their staff; and so forth. It’s difficult to maintain sustainability if you’re too dependent on others, who claim to have more “experienced with running companies” (snicker), to order your steps and “advise you” on your every move as the founder. That’s not what an investor is for; although, [American] society is pampered; you elevate being pampered. Seriously. Case in point, I’ve been watching quite a few videos on YouTube featuring some venture capitalist sitting onstage in front of an audience full of entrepreneurs [and/or highly-impressionable college students] at–you called it–Stanford University (90% of the time), and the audience will laugh, giggle and clap their hands at the end of every sentence uttered-out by the investor, as if he or she is a celebrity. That’s hero worship–which, by the way, is a ritualistic practice.
You see, a coward devotes himself to something that’s temporary, fixed and finite. Capital is fixed; it’s finite. Cowards chase capital; entrepreneurs focus on getting the capital they need. Cowards enrapture themselves in delight by being in the presence of venture capitalists. They’re not entrepreneurs, they’re impostors and they only put on the mask of an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs live and breathe this lifestyle. They’re not motivated by “passion” (snicker); obtaining freedom from the mundane rituals is their motivation. To them, an investor/venture capitalist is nothing more than an ATM machine–and you don’t go to an ATM to get advice. Likewise for an investor/venture capitalist. See, nowadays, entrepreneurs have allowed themselves to be shoved forcibly to the back; you’re no longer the “star of the show“, the investor/venture capitalist has taken that spot. And how, exactly, did we get to that point? It wasn’t entirely the fault of the struggling entrepreneur, god-damn it, you need capital, correct? Of course, so you go to the source, but now you have the option of crowdfunding, so, supposedly, you can forego the institutional investor/venture capitalist, right?
That’s a shame too, because, you know, that would be a sure-fire way to avoid the ritual of having to appease the taste (nh @ “appease the taste“) of an investor. Explain exactly how a startup the likes to HL™ would appeal to those who gravitate towards the fairly “leveled” playing fields of equity crowdfunding? HL™ is a scientific R&D firm–that commands loads of cash. We’re not developing some widget that’s typically funded by Curious George-minded backers that doesn’t propel this technology-enthused generation forward. They just want something incredible to hold in their hands. You won’t be able to hold PIR in your hands; it’s software. Who funds software-based startups?
Answer: Angel investors/institutional investors/venture capitalists.
There’s an admitted reason as to why I pursue capital, from all ends (nh @ “all ends“), even the failed attempts at raising capital via crowdfunding (Kickstarter back in 2014, and recently an attempt by way of SeedUps). Speaking of SeedUps, I want to take this time to give a resounding shout-out to one of their founders, Michael Faulkner. Ladies and gentlemen, I would like for you all to know that this man [Faulkner] was kind enough to not approve the would-be crowdfunding campaign for HL™ back in January of this year (2016) due to bigotry despite the fact that I began putting together the campaign by myself for nearly a month-and-a-half the prior year (2015). The average startup would normally go through five business days of rigorous checks-and-balances before approval can be determined; it took the folks at SeedUps over six weeks before they would even consider providing feedback. I didn’t receive an official ‘yes or no‘, instead, I had to call-out Mr. Faulkner on social media (Twitter) for his willful neglect [and accompanied bigotry] to provide a thorough check on Hexagon Lavish. People, this isn’t sour grapes. Faulkner, an acerbic, bitter, sociopathic, sexually repressed four-star General Save-A-Ho who’s addicted to suicide hotlines has successfully revamped himself as a sycophantic eunuch; the kind of sycophantic eunuch who’ll browse the wide aisles of a local Whole Foods grocery store and come across a lithe female with spina bifida and immediately be smitten to the point of visual and auditory hallucination with fireworks, classical symphonies and visions of a supremely queer middle-class California wedding reception complete with self-written vows, a cupola constructed of granola bars and a filthy hippie jam band playing a psychedelic on “Here Comes The Bride“. I bet this mawfucka has emotionally-charged spats with his sock puppet.
That was a classic case of “pattern matching“, but let’s understand the invisible hand at work dealing the cards in this game. Pattern takes on a whole ‘nother definition, better said, aspect. There use to be a time when entrepreneurs would take a .45 and push an investor’s wig back for acting stupid but we currently live in a pusillanimous society, so those days are long gone, however, sentiments of that nature still takes up residence in the hearts of every entrepreneur. You take a gander at someone’s executive summary, you see the potential but then neglect to move forward with them, yet, when you take a look at that entrepreneur’s competitors, they’re doing the same thing–and most of them are funded. Care to explain that phenomena? Let’s take a wholehearted look at the situation here to see if we can dissect the parameters of any so-called “pattern“:
- Allergy Amulet–founded and led by a woman
- 6SensorLabs–founded and led by a woman
- DOTS Devices–founded and led by a woman
The outlier would be Hexagon Lavish; founded and led by a [Black] man. Let us continue.
- 6SensorLabs–secured an investment of $4.8M in 2014
- DOTS Devices–secured an investment of $8.5M in 2015
- Allergy Amulet–Participated in a MassChallenge Accelerator
- White Lab–Bootstrapped (somebody’s lying)
- BioFront Technologies–Funding not stated online
- Aimmune Therapeutics (formerly Allergen Research Corporation)–$80+M before recent IPO
So far, we have narrowed-down two distinct patterns; (1). three of the aforementioned startups have a female-lead; and (2). some of the startups are funded by external investments, some participated in accelerators (meaning that they’ll eventually be funded by external investments), some are “bootstrapped” (snicker) and some have their funding “unlisted”.
For those familiar with the definition of “pattern“, in the context described in the second installment of the Watson i/j Theory, you can see that the definition utilized in this blog post is totally distinguished from that definition. Here, I’m not determining the patterned characteristics as “two principles compromised into a relationship that repeats itself“, rather, “multiple similarities that are closely paralleled as events occurring in a relatively short span of time“, is the definition of pattern as it relates to the topic at hand. Staying in context, you see how tangible the definition is because it is associated with a physical, observable event (i.e., seeing your competitors get funding and you ain’t) and you also can take a gander at how manipulative the pattern can be; both the pattern itself and the associative parameters as they apply to you. “Pattern matching“, as it relates in its more visible context, regarding an adopted methodology in which is used to exclude “the undesirables” from hiring and/or making a choosy investment, stems from outright bigotry and racial bias [under the guise of “selection bias”]. Understand the “multiples” behind selection bias–depending upon its strategic use, it is both a means used to exclude as well as be inclusive. Intel Capital can exclaim how proud they are to devote $300M to “create a more diverse company culture” all they want (multidimensional); but what is the end-result (the tangible)?
Answer: Still very few hetero-normative Black men being hired and/or having their startups funded.
I’m not discriminating against women at all, but, in reference back to Project Include, I highly doubt they’re going to be on the lookout for the “Brothas”, unless the “Brothas” are willing to compromise themselves. Hopefully, I’m wrong, but I have a hunch that “pattern matching” is a considerable mainstay practice when it comes to dishing out equal opportunity employment. Again, I’m not stepping on anyone’s toes here, but, a woman-led company will look out for women. Better said, “we’ll look out for us, but you can go elsewhere“. See, that’s being inclusive (i.e., to their gender, race, ethnicity, age group, etc.) while simultaneously excluding someone else because of their associating characters (plural) without revealing it as so. Ever received an e-mail from an employer that you had submitted your rèsumé to for a position that you know you’re more qualified to do? That’s “pattern matching” without being directly discriminatory. Ever submitted an executive summary to an investment firm only to never receive any feedback? That’s “pattern matching” combined with selection bias–and here’s where the invisible hand comes into play, you’re the only one who will interpret the inaction [the recipient of your e-mail never addressing you] as a form of discrimination, especially if the inaction was stemmed from a racial bias. Do know that if you ever intend to take someone to court on the basis of discrimination upon the foundation of racial bias, the laws that be make it incredibly difficult for you to provide proof of the based allegation. Where’s your evidence? What, inaction by way of non-communication via e-mail? The invisible hand has prevailed.
There’s more to “pattern matching” than what meets the eye (i.e., so-and-so went to Stanford, has a startup funded by investors who went to Stanford and so forth); you’re looking at an established network comprised of family, friends, associates, associates of associates, etc. Some of the investors I’ve made references to in the past (Reid Hoffman, Peter Thiel, Max Levchin, Sam Altman, etc.), they all know each other, which, by the way, you’re already aware of that. Most of them belong in a conglomerate I’ll call “L.O.M.C.“, an acronym for “Lack of Moral Compunction“. To the general public, it might seem cool that quite a few of these venture capitalists are starting to wake up a bit and pour money into a “tech” outfit that has a deeper meaning behind their mission statement and what have you (this seems more visibly amplified on behalf of Chamath), however, the laws of Economics have already taken hold of the capital and it’s moving westward–from California onward to Asia. So, what does that say about the startups here in the U.S.?
Answer: It’s a global economy. The game at hand here is that you have to sell to everyone–the world over.
Some investment firms are motivated to focus attention on “diversity”, but it’s a forced effort and, if you pay close attention, again, you’ll take note of the implementation of “pattern matching” in their decision-making–and it doesn’t take all that much to see the one key element–the immediate disqualification of the hetero-normative Black male entrepreneur/founder. But, there’s a more exclusive use of “pattern matching” that I’m getting ready to reveal to all of the readers. If you will, take notice of how, in such a short span of time (from 2013 to present), quickly all other “allergen detection” startups have been funded–also, catch wind of those who invested in said “allergen detection” startups. But, I’ve never denoted HL™ as just an “allergen detection” startup. “Allergen detection” (in reference to HL™) was always followed by more multifaceted core functions whenever I pitched the idea [this is before the working prototype was developed] to investors (of course, via e-mail because they’re “busy bodies” and won’t pick up the phone). The value proposition is transparent, but apparently, investors still seem lost in translation, so I have to develop another means of approach. The problem is that appeasement has never been my strong suit because I’ve never felt the need to “water down” any of my approaches, plus appealing to authority is not my forté. This isn’t meant to be disrespectful towards venture capitalists but with entrepreneurs following in the footsteps of former-entrepreneur-turned-famed-venture-capitalist, something’s bound to go wrong. All startups aren’t created equal; some are better than others, some aren’t, some have ideas, some have ideas jotted-down in the form of a business plan (which is meaningless), some have an idea for a prototype–and then you have some startups that just so happen to be located within the same vicinity of a venture capital firm. My startup doesn’t fit-in with any of the former descriptions, but unlike the aforementioned trash-menagerie, HL™ is exceptional.
Right now, somewhere over in a recently gentrified district of Oakland, California, there’s a group of five middle-class white college kids, all huddled together in a structure that was freshly redesigned from an abandoned, decrepit building into a warehouse loft that functions as a coffee shop, where overpriced gourmet coffee beans that were once imported from Ethiopia, Tanzania and South Africa now make their way from the grounds of Mexico into the mouths of privileged pasties who sit Indian-style with their $1,800+ MacBook Pros on their laps as they smile in each others’ faces while echoing “We’re a unicornnnn!” throughout the place. They have no financial projections, no business plan, no idea how they’re going to penetrate the “market”….nothing, but they have an Instagram account, a Twitter account, a Facebook fan page, they’re all over the [social media] place–and, get this–they are acknowledged by venture capitalists–when they have nothing. But Hexagon Lavish, we have to possess ownership of a solid idea, value proposition, financial projections, a well-constructed business plan, a good team, a working prototype, documentation on how every single penny of the amount we intend to raise will be utilized….all of that—and still, no acknowledgment. By “acknowledgment“, I’m referring to the fact that HL™, a scientific R&D startup, began, in 2014, with only three people: myself, Zheng Zhai and the late Dr. Robert Kulver; each hailing from our respective ethnic backgrounds (this is what the morons, in 2016, call “being diverse”), gradually had to go through “re-creating itself” throughout the first-half of 2015, with a new team that has developed a working prototype in less than six months afterwards (as of January 2016)–and all of this was accomplished with no money on the table. The team, comprised of those who possess their Master’s and Ph.Ds, is led by a founder who only possesses a high school diploma (and a few years of college experience). How many startups can say that?
Answer: HL™ is the only one that I can think of at the moment.
And yet, no one [looking in from the outside] has said anything in reference to the growth and development of HL™ to this day except for me. No acknowledgment has been bestowed upon us, but, society will do more than acknowledge the “hard work” (snicker) of any other founder (white/Asian male, an Asian woman/man, a white woman, etc., these are your “minorities”). The accomplishments of Black inventors/scientists/engineers always go without proper acknowledgment–the only exception to the rule–is that the Black inventor/scientist/engineer is “accepted” by the dominant society–and the only way that happens today is if you have people [from the dominant society] impose themselves as investors/venture capitalists and “reach out” to the poor, little disenfranchised “minority”, or “underrepresented person of color”. Venture capitalists the likes of Freada Kapor Klein–I have nothing against her–but her approach to leveling the playing field for “minorities” reminds me of the white abolitionists of the 19th century (who themselves were racist paternalists/maternalists)–thinking they’re doing a favor to those who are “underrepresented” in the entrepreneurial realm. The intersectional method of helping out those who are “underrepresented” has never produced anything positive for Blacks (especially for the hetero-normative Black male entrepreneur). All of these “minority-oriented” programs, government grants for the “underrepresented”, none of these benefit Blacks–and people have the nerve to get all up in arms when I title my blog posts “…only a hetero-normative Black man can put together a startup like HL™”. It’s suppose to hurt your feelings; all-encompassing truth is bitter to the taste. Deal with that as you may.
Seriously, think about it: how on Earth does someone only possess a high school diploma and yet, that same person can influence other people with more education behind them to work alongside with him and develop brand new technology that no one else has the “brain power” to even conjure up? Would that not make them, altogether, an anomaly? So, by comparison, what does that make me in light of my so-called competitors?
Answer: That makes HL™ stand out a bit.
Another thing that comes to mind, you know since I’ve already referenced allergies by way of “allergen detection”, you all are cognizant of the fact that [food] allergens affect more Blacks in the U.S. than their white counterparts, right? Well, since that’s the case, if an entrepreneur, who just so happens to be Black, moreover, a hetero-normative Black male entrepreneur, who has put together a team of scientists, engineers, programmers and mathematicians to design software for allergen detection, you don’t think that’s a qualifier to be acknowledged? I ask this because the other day, I ran across an article for one startup based out of Lebanon that has developed a hardware component for tracking “aerial” allergen particulates. Now, again, this isn’t sour grapes. Their approach to “allergen detection” isn’t new; it isn’t an approach to introducing brand new technology, which, by the way, is the absolute definition that qualifies your startup as “tech-based”. Detection of “aerial allergen particulates”? Sounds all too similar to D.C.-based Gentag‘s “environmental genomics” project(s). It requires hardware components. It’s more than beseeming that HL™ is intentionally being looked over by various media outlets. It’s one of the main reasons why the Kickstarter campaign we had back in 2014 failed. Likewise, with the prototype we have. Practically no one is aware that we have developed one, yet there are other startups that do not have a prototype because they require funding in order to develop a prototype, which is a tell-tell sign as to how important it is to do magic to construct a working prototype. Just ask SoftTech VC’s very own Stephanie Palmeri (@stephpalmeri).
I’ll lay it out like this: let’s say that I’m an investor and I’m looking for the “next big thing” in technology. I work for a venture capital firm, and one day, in walks these two entrepreneurs; one has an “idea” laid-out in detail in the form of a business plan; and the other entrepreneur has a small team behind him and they have developed a working prototype that exemplifies their splendid idea. Which entrepreneur would I be more interested in: the one with the business plan; or the one who possesses a working prototype?
It’s that simple to comprehend. For real, you (the entrepreneur) come to me (the investor/VC) with nothing more than a business plan, and I’m suppose to get excited over some Word document describing how you plan on running your business; meanwhile, another entrepreneur (along with his team of Ph.Ds) has presented a working prototype for a product they soon will market to the general public and yet I’m expected to invest in the entrepreneur with nothing more to offer other than a pristine business plan? You’ll have to explain that one to me. In fact, if an entrepreneur with a working prototype can supply an accompanying business plan I still wouldn’t be interested in reading it thoroughly because my socks were knocked-off by how efficiently the working prototype functioned. No lie, I’ve been on the phone with investors who’ve told me that they wouldn’t even look at my business plan; they wanted a visualization (they want to see) of this “idea” that I was seeking capital in order to fund its development. That’s how real investors (purportedly) “get down”. Now obviously, this doesn’t represent the methodology as to how all investors analyze business proposals/potential investment opportunities or even how they conduct due diligence, but wouldn’t it be amazing if they did it that way? Perhaps, perhaps not–not all entrepreneurs [with ideas]/entrepreneurs [with business proposals]/entrepreneurs [with working prototypes] are created equal.
Of course, that’s just me, and, although I would relish in the idealistic understanding born out of the back of my own perspective, I have to show some respect to the investors that actually take time out of their day to respond to my presumable impatience. Two of those investors happen to work for one particular investment firm that I have–in the past (and recently)–“gnawed” on viciously–and that’s Andreessen Horowitz. Leave it to me to believe that any and all initial introductions of oneself needs to be exclusively professional–and formal–I had sent an e-mail to the aforementioned firm’s general inbox, however, it took a chance-approach, of all places, on the social media platform we call Twitter, “tagging” one of the firm’s co-founders, Ben Horowitz (@bhorowitz) on April 30th after being prematurely inspired to do so after reading a reference posted in an article written by a curiously aspired job seeker who made his way to the Bay Area. Said curiously aspired job seeker referred to how Ben Horowitz regarding how the firm [a16z] was “actively” looking for Black founders. Needless to say, I decided to go to the source himself:
Don’t fret. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, then you should know by that I can be quite brash but it’s only because I’m straight-to-the-point.
Special thanks to Ben Horowitz and Frank Chen for being attentive and for their straightforwardness.
Straightforwardness–a rare trait that you’d be hard-pressed to find in most venture capitalists these days; some of the investors whom I have reached out to via e-mail (and, in-person) largely depend on employing the lesser-known, esoteric skill of “psyche origami”, better said, confusion [or, at least how confusion can be used to “fold your spirit” in the manner of their choosing]–leaving you practically feeling absent-minded without a hint to their presumed interest as to whatever it is that you “pitch” to them.
Some entrepreneurs are built with the wherewithal (unrelated to “money“) to stick to their guns and remain who they are to themselves; pseudo-entrepreneurs cower and position their whole entire frame of body [yeah, their actual bodies] to worship at the altar of VC–throwing all self-respect out the window. Why is it so difficult for people to be themselves, even in the presence of those with more “money” (snicker) and “power” than them? It’s as if they can’t cope with reality as well as deal with the “psychology” of disapproval and/or outright rejection. Me though? I have no other choice; I’ve been through the trials-and-tribulations including the two recent entrepreneurial “baptisms of fire” (Washington, D.C. in 2014 and NYC in 2015). I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end (nh) of rejection after rejection after rejection. Hell, even if A16z says “no”, HL™ will have to carry-on as usual, however, I parallel “rejection” with “…they had a proposal bound for failure“. Then again, I abide by the three laws of business, so that’s not the case. Nevertheless, in spite of some of the seemingly “ill-made” decisions that a few investors/venture capitalists make (regarding the startups they invest in), you have to give them a smidge of credit for investing “faith” [in the form of capital (cash, credit, etc.)] in these startups you hear about, but it’s imperative that you realize that only a few venture capitalists know how to hedge their “risk” because people don’t pay a lot to hedge their “risk” yet few are informed and experienced in knowing what amount of “money” to pay in order to deal with uncertainty. I mean, how can you? “Money” is not physical.
All right, it was just revealed to me (today, May 16th, 2016) via e-mail that the team at Andreessen Horowitz, although impressed by the value proposition, has decided not to make an investment at this time. For realzees, man? Hmph, aight.
I guess you can’t convince them all. I’ll be respectful to A16z for doing something that none of the other SV-based venture capital firms whom I approached would do–and that was take the time to evaluate our proposal and prototype.
With that said, the HL™ Family will be making their way to Silicon Valley–to “pound the pavement” in seek of capital, not to relocate. In 2014, I made way to D.C. to do the same; in 2015, New York City was the destination. What’s the excuse not to do so in 2016? There’s no “money” in Atlanta–oh wait, there is–nah, hold up, I was right the first time, there isn’t.
Look, a startup comprised of Masters/Ph.Ds, led by a founder who only possesses a high school diploma, that has developed a working prototype under a mission of introducing brand new technology to the general public through a means by which they already use on a daily basis is hard to ignore.
Some would inquire on why it’s so “hard to ignore“. The reason why is because no one else but Desmond J. Watson has the influence to pull this off. No other founder living in Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, New York City, Austin, Chicago or Boston can lead a team of Masters/Ph.Ds as we develop technology that no one else can. Damn near all of my detractors have told me that,
“…you need to get the capital first“
“…don’t even try to put a team together just yet“
..and, to the ne’er do wells, that comes-off as if it’s sound advice, when in actuality, it’s negative. That’s like telling someone to not think differently from you because you’re the sage example and everyone should follow after your every footstep since that will lead us all to the Promised Land.
It’s only a matter of time before we cross paths with the right “ruler of law”; the problem is that exactly where does this supposed “ruler of law” reside; where does this supposed “ruler of law” eat; where does this supposed “ruler of law” sleep [“ruler of law” = investor/VC]? I would assume that this supposed “ruler of law” is an individual investor; someone whose decision-making isn’t played as a game of circle-jerk along with others; someone who isn’t indecisive and regretful by way of “investor’s remorse”; someone who is not a “Mister Charlie”. The reason why I’m betting on an individual investor is because [after Andreessen Horowitz’s prompt decision] it’s apparent that your more “established” institutional investors make their assessment with outdated viewpoints, more or so, ethnocentric and politically naive viewpoints.
The direct opposite of what’s established is what gets “hated on”; and you had best believe that institutional investors stand on the “other” end of the spectrum from the individual investor. The individual investor gets “hated on”. At times, the individual investor will be seen as a “notorious criminal” [by American media outlets]. The individual investor does not like having abide by substantiated principles that one would typically have at an investment firm. An individual investor will have more degrees of freedom in how they assess a potential investment opportunity. They don’t have to rely on “group think”. These individual investors are a rarity; they’re difficult to find, however, it’s like setting a trap to catch a mouse–the “cheese”, in this case, would be our brand new technology that we’re developing that will lure the mouse (investor) out–and far as “diversity” goes, both white mice and black mice love “cheese”.
Also, another reason for making our way to Silicon Valley is, with all of the notoriety that SV has gained over the past five or six decades, do you really think that a world renown-locale (Silicon Valley) is going to let themselves get outshined by a relatively “unknown yet superior” startup based in Georgia? Realize that regardless of the convoluted “campaign for diversity” and all, there are various “collective I.Q.” communities who still look down on other communities whom are principled by parameters that are alien to theirs. An entity hailing from outside of parameters familiar to them is seen as either a challenge or a threat [“and/or” is non-mutual]. What this means is that when HL™ receives an external investment, not only does it help to get our product development “off the ground”, it also signifies how much of a challenge or threat we are truly perceived to be. Thing is, emerging on the scene with no money but with a “representation of a threat” to the marketability of whatever the fuck it is that our “competitors” (snicker) tend to sell to consumers is “unusual”, and our progress is something that the established “collective I.Q.” communities cannot keep track of–and that scares them. To add insult to their self-inflicted injury, the threat that they’re able to apperceive is a Black-led competitive threat that they did not put money behind.
Keep in mind, all of our competitors regarding “allergen detection” [in spite of the fact that our software does detection distinction, classification and analysis] are all funded–and we’re not–yet, to these venture capitalists, all is fair in game and war. However, all of our competitors are under control–HL™ is not; we still manipulate all degrees of freedom.
The trip to Silicon Valley will be an interesting one, to say the least…