Annie Lowrey in a provocative post for the New York magazine — Why disruptors are always white guys — points out that in “today’s media economy, we’re facing the “think entrepreneur, think white dude” problem.” She was responding to a gushing piece in the bible of vapidity Vanity Fair, which resides in a very monochromatic and antiquated society. Lowrey further writes that “there’s the problem of white dudes disproportionately being encouraged to and supported in founding businesses, a phenomenon that feeds into the first problem — of there simply being more white-dude founders, full stop.” The piece is ironic in more ways than one.
By repeating the “band of brothers” narrative perpetuated by the “brothers” she is inadvertently reinforcing the same charges she levies on others can be applied to Lowrey and this very piece. She safely ignored some minority media disrupters including two guys who arguably set the template for the Internet-native media company. Rafat Ali with PaidContent was the first to breakout and set-up shop. In 2006, I started my company. And two of us were not the only one.
There are other female media pioneers — my good friend Lisa Sugar (who along side hubby Brian Sugar) started PopSugar. Maggie Mason was working on Mighty Girl long before many could even spell blog! Sugar has established a business that rivals Code Nast in many ways — and yet, there is hardly a mention. A simple Google search should have surfaced these details. Perhaps, old establishments like New York magazine still have the good old Lexis Nexis for historical research. Hell, even a Wikipedia search would have done the job.
To be fair, I shouldn’t entirely blame Lowrey — and instead factor in the process of writing and publishing in the era if hypermedia. The rush to publish online without as much taking a deep breath and taking time to research and develop a “take” is what I believe is the core of the problem.
Before I go, the article only refreshed what has been in the back of my mind: unspoken reality of postindustrial society the color and gender divide in society is not obvious or overt. It is ambient. Like carbon monoxide it is invisible and deadly. Sadly, it is not going to change anytime soon!