On October 4th, Stacy Brown-Philpot served as an incredible keynote speaker for the Bootcamp portion of the conference. Brown Philpot, a former Googler, is now at the forefront of TaskRabbit--think a cleaner, better managed Craigslist for tasks and errands that you outsource to other people. Lending her experienced insight and wisdom, Brown-Philpot shared tips on how African Americans can better prepare themselves as leaders by taking ‘calculated risks’ in the tech space.
Mentioned by Brown-Philpot “I took a chance on an idea…a calculated risk [when leaving Google to join a startup].” She added “I reached out to a very good friend of mine…who explained that this was a head vs. heart decision”. Brown-Philpot stressed that a strong passion is the heart side of decision making, while the head side deals with understanding the market, finances, and other forces that have a direct impact on your life. “I believe in following your heart but the economics of the business need to be there.”
A huge point that was expressed by Brown-Philpot was that Black women tend to not want to seek or utilize help; employing the “superwoman” mentality. Kathryn Finney, who was leading the interview chimed in on that point, “There’s nothing wrong with having a nanny or a good housekeeper. Having these support systems are important.”
During audience Q&A an attendee asked about where those interested can keep up to date on movements in the tech industry. Stacy Brown-Philpot noted that paying attention to early stage tech blogs were great places to figure out what’s popular and stay abreast of the trends in the industry. Quoted Brown-Philpot, “Where the trends are is where the dollars flow.” Another question surrounded how to create an enriching culture within a startup. Brown-Philpot explained that culture will be created on its on if you’re not intentional on creating it yourself. “When i joined [TaskRabbit] it was very important for me to understand who was in charge of culture, what role I could play in the culture, and how we as a leadership team spend time thinking about how to reinforce the company culture.
From FOCUS 100: As an early Googler, Detroit native Stacy Brown-Philpot led the development of a variety of products and services for the tech giant. Now as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at TaskRabbit, she’s charged with operationalizing one of the Silicon Valley’s hottest startups. In this enlightening keynote, Stacy gives her thoughts on a wide range of topics–from tips to operationalizing your startup to how to communicate what you do (and we know it’s hard!) to family members.
Takeaway: How to operationalize your startup AND your personal life.
Managing Director, digitalundivided
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