Better Product on Supporting the Black Tech Community
We built this podcast as a platform for leaders in the tech community, and we take that responsibility seriously. As a way to use our privilege for change, we added a special episode with Kelli Jones, co-founder of Be Nimble Foundation & Black Hatch Fund, to hear her perspectives on diversity in the tech space.
As an Indianapolis tech connector working to bridge the gap between the Black community and the tech community, Kelli sheds light on what’s creating this gap, what her organization has been doing to address it, and specific actions you can take towards creating long-term change.
Learn more about Be Nimble Co: http://benimbleco.com/
Learn more about Black Hatch Fund: https://blackhatchfund.com/
If you’re looking for help on affecting change please reach out directly to cohost Christian Beck at firstname.lastname@example.org
What's stopping you from just investing in funds that are focused on this work already? People that have spent so much time trying to raise their own funds or trying to figure out how to get these founders in the room, what is stopping anyone from helping to enable people that are already supporting those orgs as opposed to wanting to be the poster child for that?
I think you get more off of that than you may get from just being an organization that helps people of color or Black people.
Welcome to another episode of the Better Product Podcast. This episode was supposed to be Laura Borghesi from MongoDB and that episode is still coming, but given what's been going on recently in the country and really thinking about our own responsibility in the tech community, we wanted to add a special episode right now to address what's going on.
Anna and I have always been very passionate about representation in tech. And while this is a podcast that's primarily supposed to be about the world of product, we did want to cover something a little bit more relevant to what we're going through right now. And so today, we've got Kelli Jones who's a local tech connector here in Indianapolis and she's worked a lot with the Black community in bridging the gap between that community and the tech community.
And so it's somebody that Anna and I know really well and she has some really fantastic perspectives on the issues. And so while today's episode is not going to be covering product management and product marketing and product led growth, I think it will give a really good starting point for those of you who may have not thought about issues facing a Black community in tech or for those of you who have, she's got some really interesting perspectives on what to do next and turning a lot of the words that we've been putting out into action.
I highly recommend listening to this episode in full because what's to follow is a really great interview with Kelli Jones.
Better Product is typically focused on people building a product. And we've been kind of getting a little more flexible with that so we can cover other topics. Obviously, given everything that's been going on and just... I hate calling it everything that's been going on when this has been going on for years. I'll maybe just call it the reckoning that many of us are going, the awakening-
Yes. Exactly, like a capital A. Today, we're happy to be joined by Kelli Jones who's the co-founder and managing partner of the Black Hatch Fund. She's one of the most connected people in the indie tech scene. She's overseeing things like the [inaudible 00:02:49], the Black Hatch accelerator and then Fund, and also helped to get the Techstars Heritage Group Accelerator launched in 2019.
For me personally, Kelli and I have been working for the last few years and we both share a passion for the Indianapolis area. And she's really been a tremendous guide for me as I've tried to do more as an ally myself and so I'm really happy to have her here to talk about a lot of these issues that we've been talking about for the last couple of weeks.
So welcome Kelli.
Thank you guys.
So Kelli, before we get into the topics at hand, I'd love to get just a little bit of background on some of the things that you've been doing over the last couple of years and sort of where your focus is on the tech scene.
Yeah, absolutely. We launched Be Nimble and Black Hatch Fund in the last four years. We started in 2016. Be Nimble came first. We started with a series of fundraisers and events to help raise money for teaching coding and getting more people of color, Black people specifically involved in the technology ecosystem and that's through career, education and then also obviously startup and entrepreneurship support.
We launched Black Hatch in 2018 and officially started raising in 2019 as our first sort of fund so that we can directly invest VC dollars into the founders that we work with. Currently, the money that we give them is coming from our pitch competitions and things like that. And we really wanted the opportunity to give them more. It's one thing to give a onetime sort of $10,000, $5,000 prize, but it's quite another to be that first investor in their actual enterprise.
And I think one of the things that we saw as we were sort of examining what we wanted to do here locally is one, a lot of the companies that we work with don't really fall within what Indiana finds is what's most invested in, specifically like B2B SaaS software sorts of companies. A lot of the companies we work with are B2C, B2B2C, hardware, consumer driven. And so we really wanted an opportunity to provide capital and resources to founders that are doing tech high growth, high scale, solving big problems, billion dollar total addressable market types of problems, but are doing it in a different way using technology.
And there's been a gap there. There's obviously a gap in general with just investing in Black founders. In Indiana, it's essentially zero. I think there's maybe one or two that have maybe raised some venture capital dollars, but it's not been many. And a lot of that too is because a lot of the newer startups that you see here that are founded by Black Founders have been founded within the last three years. So it's also new.
There just happens to be room and space and opportunity for us to have a bigger impact. And that was the reason why we started doing what we do now.
In the time that you've spent with the Black founded startups over the last three years, what's been the primary challenge that you've seen as they've gone to raise capital?
Yeah. I think you start with the bird's eye view. In general, like across the entire country, I believe the percentage of Black founders who have raised VC dollars is less than 1% and that's a hundred billion dollars that is going out in private equity in VC every year.
And so we've seen some growth, we've seen some investments happen more. But as you start to look at it in a local ecosystem and a state ecosystem, those numbers are drastically lower. And so I think the first biggest thing that we wanted to do is how do we figure out what we need to do to make sure founders are ready to have VC meetings? So our first thing we want to do is just figure out like what are the resources, what are the things that they need, what is the mentorship, any type of wraparound services that they need to make sure the decks are great, their business models are straight, that they're investment ready, that they're filed as the right types of company.
It's all of that sort of backend stuff to make sure it works so that they can be prepared to go into meetings. And then I think the second thing that sort of arises from that is what I said before, a lot of it is business model based. The majority of our companies are not, especially when you're looking at local investment, they don't fit within the normal business models that I think are more heavily funded here.
And what are those in your mind? What is like a normal in that context?
The interesting thing is I think it varies depending on where you are. I think for Indiana, like I said, we're very agriculture focused. We're very bio and life science focused. And then obviously, most of our biggest companies here are the B2B software SaaS model. And that's what we're known for.
That's where most of our exits have come from. It's the reason why we have so much capital in the ecosystem with the number of exits we've had and then we've been able to start other startups and then those people go on to start funds. And because their knowledge and understanding is those types of businesses, obviously that's what they're going to fund.
So when you're talking about businesses that are one, founded by Black founders, most times, nine times out of 10, they're built to solve a very specific problem. Sometimes that problem is within the culture. Sometimes that problem is not. But it's a problem that a lot of times, some people may not see as something that makes sense for them or is investible for them.
And then the other thing is a lot of times when you go into these meetings, you're often not in front of people that looks like you and that's not new or weird. I think that's been the case for anyone. Working in corporate America, it's that way too. But when you're also in front of people that don't really understand what you're building, don't understand why it's important, maybe see all the numbers that show that it's important, but don't understand because there's no context, it becomes a lot harder to make those investments.
And so a lot of our founders, even though they've been able to have a lot of meetings, they haven't been able to make the capital raises for what they're doing.
Is there any example you can give of that where there's a disconnect between the problem being solved and the investors that you've seen that you can comment on?
I'll use a company that's been around for a while now. Givelify is one that I like to use a lot. They're an app based platform. That's one thing that I don't think we do a lot. We don't do a lot of app investments here. I don't see a lot of investments here. That might change sooner than later. But one, it's an app and also it's a donation tool. That's understandable but it's geared towards churches.
And for people that may not understand the Black church or people that may not understand all churches, most of them are behind when it comes to technology. They're still doing cash, checks when they're doing things tithes and offering and so them building a platform that was wrapped around, "Hey, here's an electronic way to get your tithes and offerings," going around to different companies or VCs may not... Is like, "Okay, I get it. But is this really that big of a problem? Is that really that big of an issue to solve? Is this..."
It's not B2B. It's kind of B2B, I guess. I mean, they sell to churches, but then the consumer is the one that actually uses the platform the most to make the donation. So there's also this tricky business model and essentially went on and couldn't raise any venture capital, ended up bootstrapping, which I think is great and today I believe is probably one of the most successful tech startups here locally.
I don't think people hear a lot of stories about them. I think that's by design. I think they focus on trying to just do the work, which I think is something else that is something that we tend to do a lot of. We just want try to be successful. We're not trying to do the press and be out there, but what's been striking during this time, especially with COVID and having to social distance and churches and organizations being shut down, they've been forced to move to online and forced to use electronic models.
And so even though they were already doing really well, they've seen a huge increase in just use of the platform. So I feel... That's one of those missed investment opportunities. That's one of those missed potential unicorns that we probably could have had or someone here probably could have had some investment in, but because maybe they didn't understand the market, maybe they didn't understand the founder. He's Nigerian, he has an accent. There could have been so many different things, that was just like, "No, we only do this." Or, "This is what we're focused on."
But because it wasn't probably someone in the room that understood or someone else that could go to back or so many other things that I can probably list, that deal got passed and they've gone on and have continued to be successful, but how many have been in those same places and haven't been able to go on and be as successful as they could have been if they'd have access to that capital.
I think something else we have to really think about too, especially when we're talking about Black founders is we also don't have a lot of the direct familial relationships that a lot of other founders have. A lot of people can go to their uncle or their grandfather and asked for $25,000 and that's not something that most Black people are able to do.
And so there's also just the need for just help and additional resources outside of just raising venture. So there's so many additional barriers in front of people that want to try to do super innovative things, but if there's no one really going to back for them, there's no one really fighting it, if there's no one trying to open those doors, there's no one trying to get them prepared or left to kind of figure it out on their own, and so we wanted to figure out how we could help.
And I think with my experience before moving back home to do this and the experience I've had since moving back and being able to build the relationships we've been able to build locally, it just feels like something that we can really do. So I think what's great about this time now is even though we've been ringing this bell for four years, we've been talking about this constantly over and over.
I've had bad days, good days, all of it and in and between, but now finally, it's like, "Okay, we have to do better." And so, as we're thinking about how do you do better, I want to help people understand how to do better in this space. And we can probably get to it, but the action I think is really important. And the action doesn't always have to come from the body, meaning a VC firm doesn't have to step out and say, "I'm going to invest in more minority founders." That's not enough and that's also not... It's an act, but how do we track that longer term?
Does that mean you're also going to hire Black analysts? Are you also going to hire Black principals? Are you also going to hire Black partners? Who are you going to use to get access to minority deal flow? Or the bigger question for me, what's stopping you from just investing in funds that are focused on this work already? People that have spent so much time trying to raise their own funds or trying to figure out how to get these founders in the room, what is stopping anyone from helping to enable people that are already supporting those orgs as opposed to wanting to be the poster child for that?
I think you get more off of that than you may get from just being an organization that helps people of color of or Black people.
I think that's a great segue because I think that the other part that we'd really love to talk about is yes, we understand that there are these power structures and there are these dynamics and there are these historical systems that are causing all this to happen, but there are also current problems that are being created. Like you said, there's network effects, there's family effects, but how can people help?
Action versus words. That's step one. Like thank you for acknowledging. I appreciate that, but what does that action look like after you've said the words? I appreciate that you acknowledged that the Black community has been not seen and there's been this air of inequality and I appreciate that you've given to bail funds for protesters and things like that. But as an organization, what are you going to do to make sure that you are living up to the things that you say you believe in?
Are you hiring more Black people? Are you making sure that you're helping to mentor more Black people? Are you making sure Black people are staying at your companies and you're not just recruiting them and losing them? When you say you want to make sure you invest in more diverse founders, how are you going after them?
Are you going after them the same way you went after anyone else? Who are you bringing to the table to help with that? And I think when we talk about action, it's one part what can you do? But I think the second part of that is I think another piece that I wrote is using your privilege to help others. I think when you acknowledge your privilege, it's one thing and then when you use your privilege to say like, because I'm privileged, I'm going to make sure that I try my best to hire more Black people or whatever that may look like.
The other part of that privilege is, for the people that have been already doing this work for a really long time and really trying to like get out there, really trying to figure out how do we help these people, people that have been on the ground doing the work, how can you use your privilege to help them?
We had Arlan Hamilton from Backstage Capital and we did like a little chat with our last week on Zoom. And she used this term augmented privilege. And she used it in a reference to herself, meaning... She told us the story. It's reference to her book, but she was telling the story about how she was young and she loved Janet Jackson and her mom bought her a ticket to the Janet Jackson concert, but it was not a great ticket, but she got there early because she was excited and her road manager or someone, I think actually it was her ex husband came and got them from where she was sitting and brought her front stage, like front center stage.
And she was like, "That was the best night of my life." So then she like fast forward, like obviously all these great things have happened and she tells a story about how she went to go see Janet Jackson again at this point. She's Arlin Hamilton, the VC and so probably has a little bit more resources and bought additional front row seat tickets and then gave them to some young girls that she saw sitting far back in the crowd.
And it's a very simple analogy, but the thought is like, it's one thing to just say, "We're going to give you the thing." It's quite another to say, because I now have... "Someone did that for me, so I'm now going to use the privilege and the opportunities I have to walk someone else through the door." And so that's what I mean when I say use privilege.
Yes, it's great. Definitely do all the work internally, but what can you do to help someone like me that's been working on funds and trying to figure out how to get our founders more help. How do you help put us in front of people that can help us and also align with your values?
So let me ask a really blunt question on that because you and I have talked about this a lot and we've had many conversations on this topic specifically. I think a lot of people, especially White people like myself would say to that like, "Yes, absolutely. I totally would do that." When they go back to the office and they think, they start making comments from a deal flow perspective like, "I don't have the deal flow coming from the Black community." Or if they're hiring, they're saying, "My pipeline is dry."
In my mind, there's a really big gap for a lot of people who have the right intention, but then go back and don't actually know how to go do that. And you hear a lot of times these objections like," I would hire more, if more came in front of me." I would love to hear your response to something like that because a lot of people don't see it, so they don't even know where to start. So how do you sort of bridge that gap?
That's such a great question. I think there's a few ways. I think one, it goes back to that privilege. I think you have to kind of get rid of the ego and say, "Okay, if they're not coming in front of me, maybe that has something to do with how I'm positioning myself. Am I talking to people that don't look like me and letting them know like, "Hey, we really want to do this. Let me know what I need to do." I think that's been my privilege. My privilege is that I have access to all these people and access to people that could get into these jobs. How do I then use that to help you?
And I think the scary part and the hard part, because I think there's also some sensitivities around this, especially now because there's... I see a lot of people saying, "It's not my job to teach you how to treat people better." You have to definitely get uncomfortable. And if you've never reached out to a person like me and you think this is something you really want to do, I will take the meet. I don't have a problem having a call with you and figuring out what you can do, but understand that it's probably going to come with some assurances.
And I don't think that's bad. I don't think that's a bad thing. But I think people should feel okay with saying, "I have this job." Or, "We have this role." Or, "This is a role we want to fill. We really want it to be a Black woman. If you can help us spread the word, that would be great." That is... We want to do that. I don't want anyone to think that we don't want to do that for you.
But I think it can't be a one-off. It has to be something that continues to go on. Right. It can't be just this one time. "So what happened to all the other people? What about all the other jobs you have open? Do you want to continue to make sure this is in front of those audiences?" I think it's just important not to be scared to approach people. I mean, it's a sensitive time, but the worst something someone can say is no. And I think you have to kind of bring that wall down and say, "I don't have the answers."
So as much research I can do, as many people I can get connected to, one of the things I've been thinking about putting together, just almost because of this question is if I look around at every state, who are the people like me in Ohio, who are the people like me in Chicago? And there are people like me in all these places that do similar work that I do and so how do we just put that all together?
Say if you are getting your Ohio and you're trying to figure out where the Black tech people are, this is where you should go. Or if you're hiring for people and you don't care where they are, it's fully remote, these are people you should talk to to make sure you get ingrained into those organizations.
If I can just recap what you just said, because I actually think that it's really dead simple advice, because you said it a few times in this and I want to reiterate, you're saying that there are people like you that are connectors that work to bridge the gaps between communities in pretty much every metro area.
You all have challenges, but what you're saying is don't... It's almost, if I were to think like you don't put all the burden on yourself as an individual if you want to affect this change. Actually maybe go start with the people that were already doing this. Can you support them? And can you sort of utilize them? So it's almost like waking up that hey, there's actually people that have been working on this for years and decades.
Yeah. I think that's important because a lot of... There's people that have been doing this longer than me and I feel like I've been at it for a while. And so when I look at those people and those are people that I look up to, those are people I look to to see what are they doing in Florida or what are they doing in Atlanta? And so when you see and I'm going to use the example of VCs for now but we've seen a few different announcements. Some, I believe were already intentional and were already happening, but there's some where I'm just like, "Come on."
Like I saw, I don't mean to put anybody on the spot. Hopefully no one's funded by these, but SoftBank I think put together a hundred million dollar fund for minority entrepreneurs in 24 hours. And that was the headline. SoftBank puts together a hundred million dollar fund for minority entrepreneurs in 24 hours. The fact that they were able to do that in 24 hours when people have been fighting for this for 24 years, I mean, especially when we're talking about tech and VC.
Like how does that happen so fast when under pressure, but it doesn't happen when I'm sure your door has been knocked down like crazy. And what stopped you as SoftBank to say, "Where can we find all of the VC partners that are focused on diverse deal flow? What can we do to help enable them?" There's so many different things that could have been done because now everyone's asking like, "Well, how do I get the SoftBank money? Is it going to only go to the internal great few?" That's not still a bad thing, but is it only going to go to certain Black founders that are only in the Valley? Is it going to go to my founders here in Indiana?
How do they go after that? And there's probably no real way to figure that out, but I feel like a bigger play for them really could have been how do you take the hundred million dollars and help infuse all of these pockets of tech ecosystem builders that are trying to build around diversity and help enable them?
That goes so much further. That has so much more impact. And I think that is the reason I think for 0.3 or 0.4 in my little rant where I was like, I want people to not focus on like, "I'm going to do my own diversity thing because I feel like I have to," I want people to focus on who are the people that are doing this work, how can we help enable them so they can do more? And I don't think enough of that happens. And a lot of that is because of PR and wanting their shine and they should have that, but there's a way that that can happen where you're still impacting a ton of people that may have never been impacted before.
That's really poignant. That's actually really helpful. I think the way you put it is really succinct too. And as I'm thinking about it, you think about just partitioning out the money. It's like, "So you always had the money?" I don't know that you solved the actual problem you had. It would be one thing if SoftBank had no money and then they went out and found the money and they're like, "That's the news story. They had it." So clearly they didn't solve the actual problem that was at play there, which is really all about those connections.
Yeah. All of the partners put in a number. But I think the thing that really gets me and I don't mean to just rant on them right now, because that's not the point, but it took 24 hours. It took 24 hours to do that. And I know that there has had to be tons of people that have tried to get... I don't know for a fact, but I'm sure that there's been tons of people that have been trying to get meetings with SoftBank or can SoftBank look at our stuff or what is SoftBank doing for diversity?
And this is all of a sudden, you can pull together a quick a hundred million. That's not an insignificant number, but how you utilize it could have been better implemented in my opinion. But a lot of that is probably just again, rushing to get it out and not really taking the steps to try to really impact the problem.
So as a queer person in tech, I think about this a lot of like infiltrating training networks, right? I think that's how we can make the change we want is by breaking up some of the old boys club or people just bringing their brothers or their cousins in and things like that. And what you said about just you don't have to do that all by yourself but you can find those people who are doing this work and literally connect with them, because I think the network effects of that is monumental just to say like, "I am now connecting with this person who's like a universe and they have a universe that I can then help."
So I have a big question. I've been trying to form it this whole time and I'm really curious your thoughts about this.
I believe that as people who work in tech, we have an absolutely ethical responsibility to have diverse people in the room. People who have different backgrounds, who have different lived experience, people who are Black, people who are queer, people who are different nonbinary, transgender, who don't necessarily fall in that gender spectrum because we create things that change the world and we create things that dictate what happens in the world.
I'm curious, your thoughts, you talk about VCs only want to kind of fund companies that solve their own problems. Do you think that tech is contributing to this systematic oppression by only solving the problems of White people?
Wow. That is such a great question. Absolutely. And it's at so many different levels. It starts with access to just computer science and coding and what that... I know for a fact, if I had known or if this was something I knew about way younger, I guarantee I probably would have been some type of coder of some sort. Because I've done nothing but sit in front of computers since I can remember. But I never had anything around that was like, "Oh, you should think about STEM. You should think about computer science."
I hated science. I don't like science at all. I love math and I love computers. For me, that's algorithm love. But I never could be a math major. I really thought about it too. I wanted to be a math major at one point. And I was like, "What do you do if you're a math major? Do you teach math?" That was all there was right.
Had I known that I could go and major in math and probably would be able to be an algorithm genius and start coding and doing Python in the back, who knows the types of things that I would have built? Right. That's one quick barrier, is a lot of times people like us aren't even a part of those conversations early enough. And then it happens and the boom happens and people are creating all these amazing things and then you have products and things coming out and most of those products coming out have all White teams or whatever that mix looks like.
Maybe it doesn't have much diversity at all. And then you have issues and products that don't appeal to other people of race or background or sexual orientation or whatever that may be. And when that's missing from the things that are being built, then those people are missing in the product. I think you miss it there when you don't have people at the table, you don't have anyone doing those things.
And then the third level is then starting things and building things and then trying to go after VC dollars after it. I think there's different waves and shifts as I've kind of done my history lesson on how venture capital works and what the tech sort of thing has been since the inception of the internet and it goes in waves. It was buying a bunch of URLs for a long time and selling them for a lot of money. And then it was a lot of like e-commerce stuff. And then we had a bubble and now it's like social media based and consumer based and then it was systems to fix problems that are already rampant. Airbnbs and Uber and all those sorts of things.
But one thing that I always see is that... And why I'm such an advocate for Black people kind of getting into this space is a lot of times, these are small problems that are then built to be scalable using technology. I like to always use Uber as an example of that. In New York Downtown, there's this thing called dollar cabs and they were created because people lived really far away from train stations. And if you lived really far, walking in the winter time is not an option if you're 15, 20 minutes from the closest subway. And so they started these dollar cab vans where you paid a dollar and the van just went from like a point in an area to a subway.
Then you got on the subway, whatever did the same thing going back. That's really early ride sharing. But it was created because the problem was older people or whatever in these more Black neighborhoods or underrepresented neighborhoods didn't have access to be able to walk that far or couldn't walk two-year-old kids in a stroller five miles to a subway station. So there's this quick solution.
But then when you put technology behind it, all of a sudden you have this fleet of cars and you have this Uber platform and you have gig economy created. Right. But when you really think about it from the beginning, we saw very small problems based on our circumstances. And then really can't... And a lot of this is just because of the information we don't have or resources we haven't had, can't quite figure out how to get it outside of just this one small solution to solve something.
And I think what tech provides and why it's important to me is the opportunity to create something that's bigger, that's scalable, that's repeatable, that could go across multiple markets. It's the difference between a dollar cab van and an Uber. It's the difference between having your beauty shop and then having a booking platform for all salon owners. It's the difference between those things. And I think that's what tech provides. And back to your original statement, because of what people find as should be fundable, certain things that fit within their backgrounds or what they know being problems, of course.
I mean, if I came to you and told you about dollar value and how I want it to turn it into a scalable app, you'd probably be like, "What does that have to do with taxis?"But it's different when it comes from someone else. It's put together differently because their thing is like, "We're just trying to figure out taxis. We're just trying to figure out how do we get rides quicker. We're just trying to figure out how to get our people from one place to another simply." And I think that's the...
And that's a mindset thing a lot of times. We spend a lot of time with that. A lot of our founders, when we get them early, they're too early, a lot of it is me trying to help them take like, "This is a great idea," but how do we make it an idea? What's the difference when a one-off, a quick fix and something that could help multiples of people is the difference.
But I think the way that you hopefully solve that problem is you have people in the room that understand other types of problems. And I think that goes back to the original point. How do we make... If we're excluded from the room, if we're excluded from the companies, if we're excluded from building the products, how do you then create things for the entire world and you can't.
And I think it's as simple as that. And I wish people could see that plainly. Is America only White people? Because it's not. There's so many kinds of people. There's so many different kinds of people. So how do you not get input from others? How do you not think about the problems they need solved? I mean, honestly it could be the problem, the way we're in social justice issues, it could be the way that we're in... It could be the way that we're in issues that are really playing us all but we see as problems that only affects certain people.
Yeah, that's really well put. I think it makes a lot of sense. It's taking traditional problem of scale with tech, but a different starting point that is not a starting point that a lot of investors understand, but I think your advice makes a lot of sense. The way you both were sort of talking about it, of having the diversity around the table really helps make those connections.
And Anna and I always talk too. We're both in tech, but we take a very human oriented side of tech. If I sort of wrap some of this up too, I think if there's some underscore theme in tech, is that I think if you have the human in mind, you get exposed to so much more opportunity to understand how we're very different and it yields a lot of different opportunities.
When you get too focused on the tech, you start steamrolling and start ignoring a lot of these things and you end up with these, well, I will put somebody on blast, you end up with a Facebook that is just like plowing through without any regard for anything. If we can understand that human element, I think that there's greater opportunity to kind of make those connections.
This has been a fascinating conversation. Kelli, thank you so much for joining us. I really hope that the words that you're saying here resonate with a lot of people and I think you've always been a really great guide for myself and for Anna. And in our years here, hearing you verbalize a lot of these distinct actions and in hearing it in this way, I think is really impactful to help give people that are well-intentioned right now the guide, at least a starting point to say, "Okay, after the words have been spoken and after things have been acknowledged, here's where you start doing it." It starts with activity reaching out and finding people.
So I really appreciate the time that you've given us today. So thank you for being on the show.
So that was a great conversation with Kelli Jones. We really appreciate her perspective, her willingness to talk to us about how we can all be more active allies of Black people, not only in tech, but really as tech creators.
So our next episode, we are going to be returning to our series on Product Led Growth with Laura Borghesi, from MongoDB. As always, thank you so much for listening to this episode of Better Product.
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And I'm Anna and you've been listening to Better Product. Drop mic.