I picked them up at the airport and started on our day full of introductory meetings. It was an interesting sight, me, 6’4 and Bill (with his cane), 6’6 or taller. The others were not as assuming as we were (and Brett had a short man’s complex). We went to Starkey, one of the world's largest hearing aid companies and headquartered in Minnesota, and US Bank before lunch. For lunch we had a closed meeting between the four of us. The bread and water came and the conversation started. Brett leaned over during one of his monologues and said, “You know,
Yes, I am focused on providing entertaining content on AfroLife.TV, but we have been shaken into an awakening that I credit the Donald for. I speak about that during the interview so please watch and share.
Don’t worry, this is not in place of my regularly scheduled post. That is coming shortly.
I had the fortune of meeting with someone last weekend who encouraged me to write about the real challenges of starting a business in the media/entertainment industry. Let me rephrase that, starting a game changing, impactful, and global business that will bridge and connect the African diaspora around content that is relatable. No small feat to say the least. So for this post, I would like to share some of my personal travel stories and real challenges that may shed light on what entrepreneurship is really like.
I was hired by the International Children's Heart Foundation, a global organization focused on operating on children with congenital heart disease around the world, as their President and CEO back in 2009. My immediate assignments were to fix, reorganize, and to build strategic relationships with organizations and governments around the world that would power the organization into the future. Dr. William Novick (one of the three men that I had great respect for, more to come on that in the coming weeks) and the board of directors had hired me.
The incredible importance behind this is that today content or media is an integral part of our world. If we as African Americans, Afro-Europeans, Afro-Caribbeans or Africans see ourselves on a medium that we hold at such high regards, it has tremendous effects on how we look at ourselves in the world, our brain development, and potentially our outcomes.
I was a sophomore in college in San Diego with my birthday and the Christmas holidays just around the corner in December. My family had already moved back to South Florida from San Diego to be closer to family. Since I was already launched in college they thought it was the best time to move. We'd all enjoyed California, it gave us kids great opportunities and showed us a very different life.
It was November 22, 2012, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and I was on top of the world, heading to the airport to catch a first class Delta flight back to Minneapolis after a business trip in Atlanta. I’d gone to ATL to meet with some investors interested in my new software company, Catena Inc., which was going to revolutionize the way refrigerated cargo was tracked and monitored while in transit.
“With the recent success of some properties in the OTT space, the Disney-Fox merger and Netflix spending seven billion dollars on content, the race is on to develop sustainable strategies that will incentivize users to subscribe to OTT platforms,” said Alberto Marzan, founder and chief executive officer of AfroLife.
I’m laser focused on building a global corporation not playing entrepreneur; it’s been an interesting journey which I am built for and the company has learned how to be more and more resilient throughout this journey which in hindsight I am forever grateful for. We’ve managed to not only attract strategic relationships with the likes of Google and studios of all sizes but we’re also in the conversation as innovators in the ever changing OTT space” says Marzan.