Terri talks with Micah Brown about his early days in South London where he learned how to hack the processes that screened out people like him.
Terri talks to Micah Brown about his early days growing up in South London, becoming Mr. Banker Man while working at Barclay’s starting at age 16, and how learned to hack the processes that screened out people like him. This is the first of a two-part interview where he gives us the background that eventually led to starting Film Fundr and Centiment.io.
Who is Micah Brown?
Micah is a self-proclaimed visionary technologist with an intersection of skills consisting of data and algorithm understanding, HCI-centric digital technologies, financial services, financial engineering and media services. He has over 10 years of experience (up to the SVP level) across companies like Aon, Barclays, NBC and Viacom. Micah has a deep technological understanding and a strong commitment to social causes; at the center of Centiment and FilmFundr is the need to level the playing field in media for minorities.
- Micah talks about growing up in South London in a very Christian, strict and sheltered household with his dad who was a pharmacy technician and his mom who was a hairdresser
- Micah’s dad was a trained pharmacist in Jamaica and had his own pharmacy when he met Micah’s mom and proposed when they first met. Eventually she said yes and because his mom had dual citizenship, after they married, they moved to the UK.
- Terri tells the story of her dating and dumping her husband three times starting in 8th grade and how they eventually got married when they were 26 and are still married 21 years later. They met when they were 10 in the 5th grade (or so her husband remembers as he met both Terri and her identical twin sister Sherry on the same day).
- Micah talks about his early work days and earning money to learn how to code that eventually led to working at Barclay’s Bank as a cashier at 16, being called Mr. Banker Man and how he ended up in credit risk at 17.
- He kept getting turned down for a Barclay’s job because he didn’t have a degree and found a different way to be seen as a person, and not just a number, to get the credit risk job.
- Micah talks about how the tech incumbents create mental moats around fairly simple things seem impossible for women and people of color. There is mythology around these things that makes these people think that it’s too hard and impossible, and not for them and this needs to stop.
- Terri talks about how the check-the-box criteria perpetuates the problem associated with screening out a diverse candidate set because the checkboxes tend to only allow in one set of candidates that all fit the same mold. It’s not about lowering the standards; it’s about changing the requirements to introduce a new and more powerful dynamic.
- Micah talks about the cognitive dissonance associated with how the hierarchical society is supposed to work versus how it actually works here in the US.
- We end abruptly with Micah talking about how he counters some of this with raw intellect and data which he explains in detail in the second part of the interview.
References in the Podcast
- Centiment: https://centiment.io/beta/
- Film Fundr: https://filmfundr.com/
- Piloting Your Life episode 26 with Chris Brown: http://www.terrihansonmead.com/podcast/pyl026
- Portfolia: http://www.portfolia.co/
Micah can be reached via Twitter @MicahAPBrown
You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at www.terrihansonmead.com or on Medium: https://medium.com/@terrihansonmead.
Feel free to email Terri at PilotingYourLife@gmail.com.
To continue the conversation, go to Twitter at @PilotingLife and use hashtag #PilotingYourLife.