He's the Founder of Technologists of Color. He's a Sr. Developer and he's committed to ensuring people of color are awarded the opportunities they deserve. (I'm a witness!)
A few weeks ago, I met up with Marcellus at The Gathering Spot after a few attempts of trying to actually schedule lunch and/or a quick meetup if we both happened to be at TGS. For entrepreneurs, trying to have a meeting when we happen to see each other is SO unlikely, I don't even know why we tried.
Meeting with Marcellus was important because I needed to catch him up on what's been going on at Blossom so I could get his opinion on what we needed to be doing from a developer's perspective.
For the startup founders, here's what I learned and here's what he reminded me to do:
- Focus on building the product. After telling him some of our challenges, all Marcellus said was, "Just build it." Whatever is needed to create a better experience for the users must be priority. And it's true. If the customers aren't having a solid experience, nothing else matters. Which is why that's 100% my focus. Every week at Blossom, we're doing what we can to ensure the experience on our platform is heightened.
- Remember the fundamentals of business. There are millions of books on how to do business and I will admit, I'm guilty of delving into more than a few of them (hoping that I'll become some sort of super entrepreneur). There's also a million more books about how to scale your startup. But at the end of the day, good business is about pleasing the customer, rooting yourself and your company in what you value, focus and get to the money. Thats. It.
- Get involved with the Tech Women Network when looking for a technical employee. Finding the right technical person to add to our team has been like trying to Find Waldo or Carmen SanDiego so I've been looking for advice everywhere in every person I talk to. (The Tech Women Network was a good call, Marcellus!) The organization calls itself a digital cafe for the tech-savvy and I am one of the newest members! I haven't taken full advantage of my membership just yet but I'll keep you posted. I'm just happy to have been reminded about this network that was started by a Black womannnnn, Jumoke K. Dada. I got to meet her at SXSW.
My time with Marcellus concluded with a reminder to keep working hard and to keep my head up. When I tell you this journey is hard, I mean it with everything that I have. I don't know that it will ever get easier but I do believe that I will become better at managing it.
Be sure to connect with my guy, Marcellus Haynes on LinkedIn.