Why Big Corporations Should Be Worrying About Tech Startup Culture

Why Big Corporations Should Be Worrying About Tech Startup Culture

In case you missed the recent 500 Startups Unity and Inclusion Summit (Atlanta) at TechSquare Labs, we’ve got you covered. Moguldom.com was in Atlanta for the event, which provided a forum for some of the newest ideas around reversing inequality in tech. This is the third in a series of Moguldom videos from 500 Startups Unity and Inclusion Summit (Atlanta), June 10, 2017.

Attorney Tracey Pickett navigated away from a job in corporate and intellectual property law at a Fortune 5 company, and she went over to the startup side.

She’s the founder and CEO of Eboticon LLC, a creative design and entertainment media company formed to develop mobile apps, video games and character design/animation. The Eboticon mobile app offers urban-inspired animated gifs for text, email and social media communications.

Pickett spoke on a panel, “Building the Atlanta Startup Ecosystem,” at the 500 Startups Unity and Inclusion Summit (Atlanta). Moguldom spoke to her on the sidelines of the summit.

Coming from a corporate background, Pickett worked for three-plus years in corporate and intellectual property law at McKesson Corporation, a healthcare services and information technology company ranked fifth on the Fortune 500.

From her experience, she said, the issue of diversity and inclusion usually revolved around mitigating risk — how do we avoid being sued because we’re not diverse enough? How do we mitigate lack of diversity from a public relations perspective?

Now that she is in the startup environment, Pickett’s perspective has changed.

“Now we’re looking at the idea of creating diversity in the startup community,” Pickett said. “When you look at the startup community, it really is an opportunity because we get to establish what that environment is and what that culture is from the very beginning. We can decide what it’s going to be whereas in the corporate environment we have to undo something that has been systemically identified as a problem.”

“So that’s the perspective I have — that instead of looking at it as an issue that needs to be fixed, we can create something new and we can decide what it means to be diverse. It doesn’t have to be based on numbers of black people vs. white people or number of women vs. men. We can really focus on the value that is created from different perspectives.”

How do we know when we’re diverse enough?

“I know we’re diverse when most people don’t agree with my idea or my perspective on a particular issue,” Pickett said. “When that happens it means there’s a diversity of thought. People have strong opinions, people feel comfortable sharing those opinion and when you have that it leads to innovation. Innovation leads to business health and business growth. The startup side is creating something brand new and creating a culture that will lead to constant innovation and not just address the old issues that we’ve been trying to undo for years.”