By Allen Lamb | Fast Company | December 19, 2019
When I authored my MIT Sloan master’s thesis, “The Online Obstacle: A Study of African-American Enterprise on the Internet,” nearly a decade ago, it spoke to the fact that not one runaway blockbuster success of an internet company à la Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, and other brands that have generated billions of dollars in intergenerational value has had an African-American founder.
Part of what inspired me to take up this study on the absence of blockbuster digital consumer concepts founded by black entrepreneurs was that there had been a Pew Research report that found the digital divide was closed. African-Americans as a group had experienced a notable increase in access to the internet via mobile devices. I contested this takeaway on the basis of distinguishing the access modes of consumers versus producers.