Blavity’s Afro Tech Conference was a Very Woke ‘Lituation’

Afro Tech

This is one time that you definitely should have had FOMO. From swag surfing during the lunch break to Rodney Williams, the founder and CEO of Lisnr, expressing why it’s good to be petty, as a black millennial, this conference was everything that you needed and more. If you missed it, here are 10 reasons why you should have been there.

 

  1. Yes, New Friends

 

Immediately before the conference got underway, we were asked to cross the room and meet our neighbors. This was great because oftentimes in the black community, we are reluctant to talk to each other, as we hold on to one part insecurity and one part judgment, which feels like a wall on par with the Great Wall of China. But this action immediately opened the room up to conversation, transparency, and vulnerability.    

Blavity Image: Blavity

 

  1. Tara Reed’s Cheat Sheet on Apps Without Code

 

Tara Reed shared four very important major keys on how to create an app without knowing one ounce of code. Utilizing different tools and resources, here are her four secrets to developer freedom:

  • You can create an app in just a few weeks by using visual programming tools.

 

  • The very FIRST thing you should do is create a 25% project. This is to test and validate that the rest of the product is even worth finishing.

 

  • Stop listening to your friends. Instead, publicly promote your app, build a wait list and use it to get feedback that will save you time and money.

 

  • Get your personal toolkit and get started.

 

  1. Mandela Sharing All of Her Tweetables

 

The host, Mandela Schumacher-Hodge, was not stingy when it came to sharing the tweetables. In case you decided to drift off or check up on your Instagram likes during any of the panel presentations, Schumacher-Hodge readily recapped each of the panel presentations with onsite Cliffs Notes for your online usage.

 

  1. Jason Mayden Dropped Gems Like Stocks after Trump Was Elected

 

What is All. Of. This?!? I wasn’t ready, but he most certainly was. Jason, Designer-In-Residence at Accel Partners, hit the stage, in typical West Coast fashion to Kendrick Lamar as the crowd chanted, “We Gone Be Alright”, and he didn’t stop there. There are too many tweetables to name but my favorite was, “Get up out ya’ feelins,” as his grandma used to say. “If you feel discouraged, if you feel like you’re not able to do something, quit that, and understand that it’s worth it to try versus sitting back and wishing that you did.” There was so much knowledge left on the stage that midway through the conversation, he had to take a #DrakeBreak because that’s just what you do.

Jason Mayden Jason Mayden – Image: Blavity/Andre Pennycooke

 

  1. The Swag Surf Lunch Break

 

Team Blavity realized that the crowd might be suffering from the “itis” after lunch and decided it was time to take appropriate measures. Warren Jones of Toasted Life and JeShaune Jackson lead the audience in a gif-worthy, Swag Surf extravaganza, as everybody rocked back and forth to the beat of the Fast Life Yungstaz, “Swag Surfin’.”

 

  1. Yaaaasssss!! Because Building Hardware that Supplies Clean Power Through Kinetic Energy Isn’t Enough

 

If efforts to showcase the use case for her new product, Jessica Matthews, founder and CEO of Uncharted Play, pulled out a jump rope and in three-inch stilettos, proceeded to show the audience how Pulse, the energy harnessing jump rope, works. After, a few rotations and watching silver heels bling through the air, Jessica plugged the rope into Pulse Lamps that lit up like the Empire State Building on a New York City night. That, my friends, is what I call #BlackGirlMagic.

Jessica Matthews Jessica Matthews – Image: Blavity/Andre Pennycooke

 

  1. She Did That. Cheryl Contee Took the Stage with a Vengeance

 

Coming up on the tail end of, “Life After A Milli,” Cheryl Contee realized that there were no women represented on the $1 Million+ fundraising panel. During the Q&A, instead of asking a question, she decided to invite herself up on stage to discuss her experiences… and what’s even more surprising is… the Blavity team let her. Instead of ushering her off, they gave her the floor to express her perspective, as she made room for herself on the armrest of Rodney Williams’ chair. She spoke about her recent acquisition from Facebook and why it was difficult, but doable, being a double minority, raising funds.

Image: Black Enterprise/Sequoia Blodgett Rodney Williams, Frederick Hutson, Porter Braswell, Jason Towns Image: Black Enterprise/Sequoia Blodgett

 

  1. And I Quote, “I think there should be more black entrepreneurs” – Pinterest CEO, Ben Silbermann

 

When Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann sat down, the first thing that came out of his mouth was, “I think there should be more black entrepreneurs,” and I agree. Diversity has been a hot topic in Silicon Valley, but harping on it was not his focus. Instead, he provided actionable steps on how to become that entrepreneur that he, so excitedly, believes in.

  • “Do it or stop talking about it.”

 

  • “Tell your people where you’re going, and tell them how hard it is to get there. This way you know if they are all in.”

 

  • “Anytime someone doesn’t believe, give them repeatable, irrefutable examples until they get it.”

 

  1.  Take ‘Em to Church!

 

When all was said and done, in traditional Blavity style, the participants got in formation and spoke about why this conference was so needed, while giving their key takeaways. In addition, many of them discussed what they were currently working on. Just like Drake and Future, Blavity was definitely the plug.

One noteworthy testimony came from a 15-year-old audience member who came with his father and failed to mention that he was about to start cutting onions before he spoke. “There are a lot of us who are confused. We’ve been shown the wrong things in the media and we’re lost and I think you all are great examples of what we can be and I just want to thank you all for coming out,” annndddd my eyes just wouldn’t stop watering.

 

  1. Parties, Parties and More Parties…

 

Toasted Life x Blavity Coco & Breezy Image: Toasted Life/Victor Bashorun

 

There was no lack of entertainment throughout the conference. With a taco-filled mixer the first night and happy hour the second, coupled by drinks coined, #blacktwitter, the crowd stayed lit the entire time. And did we mention the after party, thrown by Toasted Life, and all its excellence? Origin was at fire code capacity, as Just Blaze and special guests Coco and Breezy, kept the party going all night long.

Can’t wait until next year. We know it’s going to be bigger and better.

 

 


Sequoia1Sequoia Blodgett is the Associate Technology Editor for Black Enterprise, Silicon Valley. She is also the founder of 7AM, a lifestyle, media platform, focused on personal development, guided by informed, pop culture.

Why the Funnel System Isn’t Cutting It for Your Mobile App

App

To live by the mantra, “If you build it, they will come,” is a dangerous gamble in the app world. With over 2 million apps in the app stores, competition is fierce—over half of all apps aren’t able to reach 1,000 downloads in their first year on the market. Yet, that’s exactly how most companies handle app development: a fragmented funnel that forces each team to work with very little communication between them. While the product suffers from this outdated method, it’s the customer who ultimately pays the price.

After working with over 6,000 apps at Apptentive—a mobile engagement software that helps companies listen to, engage with, and retain their customers—we’ve seen what development strategies do and don’t work. And the companies leading their industries are putting their customers first by placing them at the center of their app development strategy.

If you want to see better outcomes, I suggest you ditch the delivery funnel and implement a people-first approach to app development. The result will be a better product that your customers will love.

Here’s how to transform your delivery funnel into a delivery chain:

The Funnel: In Its Current Form

The mobile app development process is complex, and there are many factors your team must consider before you start building. But, the real problem—and the reason so many apps fail—is that the process of building most apps consists of a fragmented funnel, with each team operating as a silo.

Usually, the product team is at the top of the funnel. The product team consists of sub-teams, including user interface design, user testing, quality assurance, iOS, Android, etc. But even sub-teams get siloed. For example, UI designers might opt for what they think looks good, versus what the user testing team has found is the best design, or teams may simply work non-concurrently, waiting for the preceding tier to “hand off” the product instead of working in tandem.

Read more at www.businesscollective.com…

Robi Ganguly is the CEO of Apptentive, the easiest way for companies with a mobile app to listen to, engage, and retain their customers.

BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.

Government-Private Sector Partnership Causes Concern for African Americans

Spectrum

The FCC has a lot on its plate with privacy, set-top box, and the future of 5G, among other policy concerns. On September 7, Chairman Wheeler spoke  at CTIA Super Mobility 2016 about 5G and what can be done to spark what he characterized as not simply a technological advancement, but a revolution. He has been clear that winning the global deployment race should be a national priority, and the FCC is determined to do its part to achieve that, with its “proven formula” to “lead the world in spectrum availability, encourage and protect innovation-driving competition, and stay out of the way of technological development and the details of implementation.”

It makes sense that spectrum is first and foremost in the formula, because it is the cornerstone to mobile connectivity. Spectrum is the invisible airwaves that connect and enable mobile devices. Its availability is limited, and it can’t be created. As consumers become more dependent on their smartphones and the Internet of Things (IoT) ushers in billions of new connected devices, the demand for mobile data, and therefore spectrum, will surge dramatically.

Demand for spectrum could eclipse supply by as early as 2018, according to estimates from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), as reported by the Financial Times last year. The implications of a shortage include decreased reliability and innovation. This is particularly concerning to minority communities, as 19% of African Americans and 23% of Latinos rely on their smartphone as a sole point of access to the Internet at home. For these communities, their smartphone is a gateway to healthcare services, education, finances, and much more.

The FCC’s projection and the potential unintended consequences aren’t going unnoticed. The FCC recently approved an order to make a substantial amount of spectrum available for 5G, and it is currently conducting a complex auction that will ultimately repurpose broadcast TV spectrum for wireless broadband. These moves mark notable progress, but they aren’t expected to be enough to address the looming shortage.

Government agencies beyond the FCC also have an opportunity–some would argue an obligation–to bring more spectrum to market. The agencies wouldn’t necessarily have to give up their spectrum, but could potentially share it with commercial entities.

The conversation around government-private sector spectrum sharing has ebbed and flowed over the past few years, and it appears to be heating up again. When responding to a question about “what comes next” in a recent interview, Jon Wilkins, chief of the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, said,“[T]he big issue is federal sharing. If I could put a big star by one policy issue, it’s going to be: How does the federal-commercial sharing model evolve? … That’s going to be probably the hottest place for the policy wonks on the ongoing spectrum front.”

The FCC has an opportunity to begin molding the precedent for this type of sharing model, as it is now reviewing a proposal to auction mid-band spectrum for shared commercial use that’s currently used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Should the FCC move forward, the next step in the process is to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).

The wireless industry has expressed interest in this spectrum and has voiced support for the process moving forward to an auction. While NOAA raised concerns that the proposal could interfere with its operations related to weather data, the process should continue forward so all aspects of sharing this spectrum can be thoroughly explored by the public. In fact, one proposal introduced the concept of a public-private partnership in the 1675-1680 MHz band (the spectrum in question) which, if implemented, could deliver better weather information to a wider audience, not only NOAA users. To that end, the winner of the spectrum could be required to fund and build a modern, cloud-based content delivery network that will make the weather data more accessible, affordable, and reliable.

Certainly, legitimate concerns about the shared spectrum space must be addressed. But risk of incident in and of itself should not be a deterrent for companies to partner with the government to make swaths of spectrum available to more people.

Continued deployment of mobile broadband and services as well as reliable access to it are imperative to the welfare of all consumers, but especially to those from underserved, minority communities. To that end, it is critical that government leaders work with the private sector to bring new spectrum online and to build the infrastructure necessary to sustain the country’s wireless demand and the ushering in of 5G.

Hazel Trice Edney, an award-winning veteran journalist, is editor-in-chief of the Trice Edney News Wire, TriceEdneyWire.com.

Government-Private Sector Partnership Causes Concern for African Americans

Spectrum

The FCC has a lot on its plate with privacy, set-top box, and the future of 5G, among other policy concerns. On September 7, Chairman Wheeler spoke  at CTIA Super Mobility 2016 about 5G and what can be done to spark what he characterized as not simply a technological advancement, but a revolution. He has been clear that winning the global deployment race should be a national priority, and the FCC is determined to do its part to achieve that, with its “proven formula” to “lead the world in spectrum availability, encourage and protect innovation-driving competition, and stay out of the way of technological development and the details of implementation.”

It makes sense that spectrum is first and foremost in the formula, because it is the cornerstone to mobile connectivity. Spectrum is the invisible airwaves that connect and enable mobile devices. Its availability is limited, and it can’t be created. As consumers become more dependent on their smartphones and the Internet of Things (IoT) ushers in billions of new connected devices, the demand for mobile data, and therefore spectrum, will surge dramatically.

Demand for spectrum could eclipse supply by as early as 2018, according to estimates from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), as reported by the Financial Times last year. The implications of a shortage include decreased reliability and innovation. This is particularly concerning to minority communities, as 19% of African Americans and 23% of Latinos rely on their smartphone as a sole point of access to the Internet at home. For these communities, their smartphone is a gateway to healthcare services, education, finances, and much more.

The FCC’s projection and the potential unintended consequences aren’t going unnoticed. The FCC recently approved an order to make a substantial amount of spectrum available for 5G, and it is currently conducting a complex auction that will ultimately repurpose broadcast TV spectrum for wireless broadband. These moves mark notable progress, but they aren’t expected to be enough to address the looming shortage.

Government agencies beyond the FCC also have an opportunity–some would argue an obligation–to bring more spectrum to market. The agencies wouldn’t necessarily have to give up their spectrum, but could potentially share it with commercial entities.

The conversation around government-private sector spectrum sharing has ebbed and flowed over the past few years, and it appears to be heating up again. When responding to a question about “what comes next” in a recent interview, Jon Wilkins, chief of the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, said,“[T]he big issue is federal sharing. If I could put a big star by one policy issue, it’s going to be: How does the federal-commercial sharing model evolve? … That’s going to be probably the hottest place for the policy wonks on the ongoing spectrum front.”

The FCC has an opportunity to begin molding the precedent for this type of sharing model, as it is now reviewing a proposal to auction mid-band spectrum for shared commercial use that’s currently used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Should the FCC move forward, the next step in the process is to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).

The wireless industry has expressed interest in this spectrum and has voiced support for the process moving forward to an auction. While NOAA raised concerns that the proposal could interfere with its operations related to weather data, the process should continue forward so all aspects of sharing this spectrum can be thoroughly explored by the public. In fact, one proposal introduced the concept of a public-private partnership in the 1675-1680 MHz band (the spectrum in question) which, if implemented, could deliver better weather information to a wider audience, not only NOAA users. To that end, the winner of the spectrum could be required to fund and build a modern, cloud-based content delivery network that will make the weather data more accessible, affordable, and reliable.

Certainly, legitimate concerns about the shared spectrum space must be addressed. But risk of incident in and of itself should not be a deterrent for companies to partner with the government to make swaths of spectrum available to more people.

Continued deployment of mobile broadband and services as well as reliable access to it are imperative to the welfare of all consumers, but especially to those from underserved, minority communities. To that end, it is critical that government leaders work with the private sector to bring new spectrum online and to build the infrastructure necessary to sustain the country’s wireless demand and the ushering in of 5G.

Hazel Trice Edney, an award-winning veteran journalist, is editor-in-chief of the Trice Edney News Wire, TriceEdneyWire.com.

Technically Incorrect: Tech Needs Obama as Venture Capitalist

Venture Capitalist

The rumors have been flying fast and furiously: Post-presidency, President Obama may head to Silicon Valley as a venture capitalist (VC).

He set the rumors abuzz after an interview with Bloomberg, “The conversations I have with Silicon Valley and with venture capital pulls together my interests in science and organization in a way I find really satisfying.”

Obama Has the Proven Skill Set

The President has demonstrated the chops needed to be an incredible tech VC. As Tim Mullaney writes for Market Watch, Obama “boosted America’s economy in the short-term, while planting seeds that will invigorate it for decades.”

Obama’s presidential legacy will be one that future historians may view as a 21st century Age of Enlightenment, as it includes a federal push for science and technology arguably not seen since JFK pushed for space exploration. The Obama Administration launched a myriad of technology related programs and efforts in his first term such as Digital Promise; the National Robotics Initiative; expanded broadband access through the Recovery Act, and placed the power of online petitioning the White House into the hands of the people with We the People. His second term saw efforts such as TechHire, a federal program to prepare more Americans for high-tech jobs in the 21st century. Obama also urged the FCC to take a tough stance on net neutrality; that is, keeping the Internet open and not subject to the greed of data carriers and telcos.

A Boon for Tech Diversity

And, perhaps of most consequence, Obama would be a high-powered, highly visible man of color in the VC field, which desperately needs diversity. Minority founders have more trouble acquiring startup capital. Statistics show that VCs are more likely to invest in companies with founders more like them—predominately white and male.

“Early funding is often the most difficult for people with less access to influence and money–particularly people of color and women,” said Aaron Walker, the founder of Camelback Ventures.

That said, let’s hope these rumors about President Obama becoming a tech VC become reality.

4 Tech Solutions That Will Give Small Law Practices a Big Advantage

small law

At Transcription Outsourcing, we regularly interact with our clients in the legal industry. Our conversation often shifts to their business, and, considering we help them with their operations, I hear about other technologies they leverage.

We work with both large and small law firms, and I find that larger firms use SaaS and other tech solutions that help them streamline their business in ways that some smaller firms aren’t. Not only that, small firms don’t have fewer tasks than the larger firms. In fact, sometimes there is more to do, as there are fewer teammates to take on a share of responsibilities.

Just like with any other industry, if a law firm is overrun with administrative tasks, they’re taking time away from doing what makes them money: practicing law. While companies like mine outsource many of those tasks, there are tech solutions that small firms should also be leveraging that can help them improve operationally. Here are a few that have helped smaller firms compete with their larger counterparts.

Cloud-Based Legal Calendars

Easily collaborate with your team using a calendar system. There are several intuitive cloud-based calendar solutions that provide firms with an encompassing scheduling solution that even the most modern law firms would be proud to use. When a firm moves their calendaring to the cloud, it synchronizes across all devices, making it easy for teammates to view each other’s schedule and set meeting times for collaboration.

Practice Management Software

Practice management software enables lawyers to increase efficiency. Every law firm I’ve talked with that has invested in practice management software have been glad they did. An excellent practice management software platform enables firms to do all of the following administrative tasks from one single portal:

  • Create invoices
  • Manage cases and clients
  • Go paperless by putting their documents in the cloud
  • Pay vendors

Read more at www.businesscollective.com

Ben Walker is a CEO, entrepreneur, and visionary leader that enjoys helping others become successful in business. Ben’s company, Transcription Outsourcing, provides user-friendly and cost effective transcription services for the medical, legal, law enforcement, and financial industries for organizations all over the world. Ben is a sought after thought leader and has made contributions to publications like Entrepreneur Magazine, Built in Colorado, CoBiz Magazine, and LinkedIn. Follow Ben’s Tweets: @datatranscriber.

BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.

The Lean UX Design Method That Will Make a Real Difference

iStock_000056372854_Medium

When developing IT products, problem solving is often the top motivation. Developers identify a problem and provide a solution. Unfortunately, without considering the user experience during the design phase, finished products often fail.

Look at what happened with the iPod versus the Microsoft equivalent, Zune. One outsold the competition by more than 18,000%. Both products were pocket-sized portable music players with a fairly simple interface. The iPod simply did a better job of integrating intuitive usage, making it a more popular product.

By prioritizing UX design over hardware, Apple launched a product that killed the competition in the marketplace.

Overcoming Resistance to Good UX Design Practices

The challenge with UX design is often getting buy-in at the top level of an enterprise. You say you want to delight the customer by providing a seamless experience with usability testing, iterative design, and feedback. What the CEO hears might be something along the lines of delayed projects, pushed deadlines, missed metrics, and dreaded cost overruns.

So how do you demonstrate the value in human-centric design? John Whalen, a cognitive scientist, recommends using the right vocabulary to push past the initial hesitance. Essentially, point to the numbers.

“UX brings between $2 and $100 in return, and IBM plans a 1:10 return for usability testing,” according to Alex Avissar Tim, a UX Architect at Citi.

Read more at www.businesscollective.com

Heather McGough is co-founder, with Eric Ries and Melissa Moore, of Lean Startup Company. For five years, she has been providing education, tools, and partnerships to entrepreneurs and corporate innovators, empowering them to overcome challenges in building new companies and products. Heather develops new ways to support the global community of aspiring and existing Lean Startup practitioners for companies both large and small in any sector.

BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.

Why Startup Incubator-Hopping Is Beneficial to Launching Your Business

Venture capitalists Sam Altman and Jason Calacanis both wrote posts recently on the topic of startup incubator-hopping.

Altman says that participating in more than one startup incubator may actually decrease your chances of getting into Y Combinator, a goal many startups are vying for, whereas Calacanis says the question isn’t about Y Combinator—it’s about whether or not you should do an incubator at all.

According to his article, acceptance into an incubator depends on a scale of “seemingly invincible” to “desperate,” and takes into account the reputation of founders, strength of business, and market competition.

Our company, GiftStarter, a group gifting solution for e-commerce businesses (B2B), went through more than one incubator. We participated in 9Mile Labs in Seattle from August to November in 2014 and in 500 Startups in San Francisco from July to October in 2015.

We are in a space that’s filled with many gravestones and companies in purgatory, but the opportunity to grow a business in this space has been a personal obsession for over 10 years. We have formulated and rebuilt our hypothesis to arrive where we are. We believe this space is solvable, and that we will be the ones to solve it. Our experience in two different accelerators helped us get where we are now. Here’s why.

Read more at www.businesscollective.com

Arry Yu is the CEO and Founder of GiftStarter.com (Emotiv Labs).  Arry got her start advising world class brands including Microsoft, Google, and L’Oreal at the intersection of where business and creativity meet technology.  Arry is passionate about building businesses with an emphasis on corporate culture and innovation, using technology as an enabler.  She’s recognized as an industry leader in the services space and has had the opportunity to offer her expertise to both startups and major brands. Arry was recently profiled in the Puget Sound Business Journal’s special “40 Under 40” publication in 2014.

BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.

Want to Get Rich? Start an Uber or AirBnB-Like Company

The sharing economy is about to get more bonkers. Sharing services and apps that use the labor or property of everyday people to fulfill some consumer need are expected to make enormous revenue by the end of the decade.

According to a research report from Juniper, Uber, AirBnB, and TaskRabbit are forecast to triple their revenues by 2020, from $6.4 billion in 2015 to $20.4 billion by 2020.

TaskRabbit, a service that matches people with specific skills with customers’ needs, is the only such sharing economy type of Silicon Valley company headed by a black woman, Stacy Brown-Philpot. She serves as TaskRabbit’s CEO.

Sharing as Disruptive Force

As per the report’s findings, “the expansion of sharing services into emerging markets, coupled with growth in what are deemed more established regions, will drive a surge in returns for investors.”

Indeed, Uber has been pushing its service hard in China, which is a vast potential market due to the country’s population of 1.3 billion.

Sharing-economy services have hugely disrupted traditional industries including the hotel and taxi and limo industries.

The Various Types of Sharing-Economy Companies

Researchers break down sharing-economy companies into several different categories:

-         Transport: Includes services such as Uber and Lyft

-         Goods: Includes sites such as eBay and Etsy

-         Services: Includes companies such as TaskRabbit and Amazon Mechanical Turk

-         Space: Includes companies such as PivotDesk and AirBnb

-         Music and Video: Includes platforms such as Netflix and Spotify

-         Money: Includes sites for lending and crowdfunding such as Kickstarter and Crowdcube

The report states that the next sharing-economy model to take off will be shared manufacturing. For example, if you have an idea for a product or an invention, you will be able to crowdsource the design; have it built on-site by the platform provider; and then displayed on the site to get feedback.

One such shared manufacturing service already in existence in FirstBuild. It uses 3-D printers to produce parts for new products and computer-aided machinery to turn concepts into an actual product.

 

 

#AirbnbWhileBlack: Airbnb Sued for Racial Discrimination

On Tuesday, Airbnb earned themselves a high-profile lawsuit due to their  inability to adequately address complaints of racial discrimination from black customers.

The suit was filed by 26-year old Gregory Selden. After Seldon’s request was denied by a host in Philadelphia, P.A., Seldon created two fake profiles and used them to apply to the same listing.

Both of those requests were accepted. Both requests also happened to come from profiles with a white photo.

When Selden took to Twitter to share his story, timelines were soon flooded with others sharing similar stories, using the hashtag #AirbnbWhileBlack.

As BE’s Samara Lynn pointed out, a study from the Harvard Business School revealed that black Airbnb users are more likely to be racially discriminated against when requesting lodging. Requests from guests with black names were 16% less likely to be accepted by hosts.

Selden has said he intends to make his suit into a class action lawsuit.