Lunch with: Charlton Cunningham & Kerry Abner, Millennial Startup Gurus

These two. 

I can't even BEGIN to tell you about these two. 

Charlton Cunningham. 

Executive Director at Startup Atlanta. I would call him like a super plug. Charlton is committed to making sure Blossom and all the startup founders in Atlanta win. Oh how I appreciate thee. 

Kerry Abner.

I'm trying to figure out how to describe this guy. Because he's more than the Founder of Intecoo. When it comes to marketing to millennials, no joke, Kerry is your guy. He knows sooo much to the point that Charlton and I told him he should actually charge people to have lunch with him. He just drops that many gems. 

Let me jump write into lunch with these two. We ate at Bartaco. If you ask me to choose the lunch location, I'm likely going to choose Bartaco, True Food Kitchen, a smoothie shop or Dulce Vegan. I'm in agreeance with you - I need to diversify my food choices. "Are these Black-owned" you ask? Sadly, no. I need to get better about this too. 

Back to lunch. I thought that I was inviting these two to lunch for a drink, some good tacos and some friendly catching up. Halfway through our time together I told Kerry he wasn't invited to lunch anymore because he was getting. me. together. I'm a Leo - I'm sensitive. 

So, I have a few good learnings to share with you:

  1. There's extreme value in A/B Testing. Mailchimp constantly reminds me of their ability to provide A/B testing support. I have yet to bite. And we at Blossom do not have an official marketing person so I'm the one that needs to take care of this. (And I will!) Now if you don't know about A/B Testing, it's like this: You have one newsletter but you need to test it out with two different audiences so you develop two different methodologies for sending. For example:
    1. A-test: Send out the newsletter at 10a with the subject line: Girl, you have to read this.
    2. B-test: Send out the newsletter at 10a with the subject line: Hey ________, did you know about this? The goal is to figure out which methodology works best and in order to do that, you have to do some testing
  2. Ask the person you want to be the advisor of your startup, to be the advisor of your startup. I messed around and told Charlton and Kerry that I was nervous to ask this man to be our advisor. They laughed at me. (This is probably when I decided to vote Kerry out of future lunches.) But I get where they're coming from. Regardless of of someone's job title, they. still. bleed. red. If you want something, ASK FOR IT. I tried to think of a phrase outside of "clothes mouths don't get fed" but I can't. 
  3. PROVE YOUR VALUE. Because we all have something we can bring to the table. We just need to show those we want to work with, what we can cook up. I know a lot about women of color and their content consumption behaviors and I've made it my duty to become the expert. When people need to know what the Black or Brown woman is building, I want them to come to me. *works on this*. 

I left dinner fulfilled because my bill was under $10 and that the three of us finally made time to gather. Cardi's album had just dropped so we were all pressed to get back into our cars for a listen. 

Charlton and Kerry are pretty easy to find and always willing to talk to those in need of real talk. 

Lunch with: Chidi Afulezi, Product Guy. Tech Insurgent. Teacher.

Lunch with: Marcellus Haynes, Sr. Developer