I decided to do several things in the real world regarding what I write about here. I had to do the real world for a minute because when you try to reach people to make moves, the majority of those people are only as good as the channel. So if you write, you attract readers. If you speak, you attract listeners. If you present, you attract attendees. But if you demonstrate the problem and execute on the solution, cats will realize the problem and believe they can also provide the solution. This is why I spending more time in the real world, taking a break from the African-American readers, listeners and attendees we got running around here on the Internet that basically on some follower bullshit. In the real world, I done some volunteer stuff here in Atlanta working with 7th graders on STEM, worked with a group on entrepreneurs on tech and programming and also briefed new recruits on current and future technologies and business models we will be pursuing. From the kids, to the entrepreneurial meetup and my staff, once I showed them technology and potential and opportunities and solutions to existing problems – all of them, especially the kids were amazed and awed at what I demonstrated and explained. And there is a reason for that. The reason cats become amazed and awesome is because they see what true empowerment and freedom look like when you embrace STEM into your daily method and goal planning and strategic planning. The ability to define the problem from a scientific and mathematical standpoint and remove the emotional shit from the problem definition – some of us black folks still want to act emotional and shit saying irrelevant shit like “man, that’s messed up” and shit like that. But, having skills to architect and structure a solution around the problem definition and the talent to execute the strategy is true power that you have with STEM no one can take from you. Once you have STEM knowledge, it cannot be taken away. Not only it cannot be taken away, it makes you immortal like Elijah McCoy or George Washington Carver or Granville Woods and they will be forever known for their STEM contributions that solved a problem or created a better way to get something done. And you can go wherever you want and work wherever you want and almost do whatever you want. That’s true power you create for yourself and you are extremely appreciative of who you are, what you can do and what you can contribute and no one can take that self-love about you as you know you are capable of winning. In fact, you see your enemies start to back away and start hiding from a distance and you fold your arms and curl a smile knowing your awesomeness is being awed by your silent haters. Nice to go to bed and wake up making waffles knowing you got silent haters. Let’s cover some components and aspect of STEM that is not really discussed that show how cats get down once they have embraced skills. Now, there are two types of jobs – task-orientated and solution-orientated and it is self-explanatory. Task-orientated people got a routine to do to complete a task and they work mundane activities like delivery and pushing papers and these are the cats talking about they hate their job or think talking about someone else having a job is a putdown and stuff – lame cats who need to shut up and finish up their fucking tasks at work. Solution-orientated people solve problems and allowed to think up solutions and implement them and find self-reward in developing the ability to acquire the skills and knowledge to keep understanding the problem and creating the solution. In the world, people pay top dollar for those creating solutions and tip chump change to those performing tasks. This is why you want to focus on STEM and focus on creating solutions for empowerment, freedom and getting the money up and realizing your talent and gifts can make a difference. Here are some components of STEM I would advise cats to pay attention to: Digital and Physical Experiential Science – This is basically “experience” that you bring to a person or people interacting and engaging. So some of the terms you should see are UX which stand for user experience which is how a user interact with a device from a robot to a touch screen kiosk to a self-checkout station or a food ordering application. CX is new and this stands for customer experience and what retailers want to drive customers in the store to compete against online retailers like Amazon. Another new one is called FX for events and sports technology and stands for fan experience – having experience for fans to engage with their sports team and event before, during and after the event. The Blockchain – the real actual “blockchain” is nothing more than a one-way hash. If the first block is “send jeff $5” and you call the hash function to get 12344, then the next line inserted is “buy sneaks for $50” and call the hash function to get 86784, then you hash 12344 + 86784 to get a number like 47473 and that is your blockchain. No one can alter the records and if they do, it breaks the hash so everybody can download the ledger (distributed ledger) perform the hash and validate 12344 + 86784 = 47473. This is the core of establishing trust knowing the data has not been manipulated. And the real system allow a trusted platform where settlement can happen faster. What is important for African-Americans to understand is not focus on the white male hipster crap of “decentralization” and “anonymous” which is hipster stuff – focus on creating trusted platforms that speed up settlement. The minute I know you wrote your e-signature to a blockchain ledger and I know it won’t be altered is the minute I can trust your ass to do business with you – that is what you are after with the blockchain technology. Platforms – these are foundations and frameworks you create to corner the market. Facebook is an example of a platform for micro-blogging, they cornered the status update and aggregated their users to their platform. If you create a sneaker exchange platform, your goal is to corner the whole business of buying and selling sneakers online. The biggest benefit of platforms is they created a segmented community and that is more valuable than the business itself. This is why you seeing headlines of stuff like Trunk Club and Dollar Shave club being sold for over 100 million or over a 1 billion is because they built platforms. Story Development – Agile is the solution methodology of developing user stories and fulfilling user stories instead of talking about what kind of big project we need to undertake to solve a problem. The goal of story development is understanding the customer and what they truly want from their perspective and then deliver to that story. Over time, we don’t have leaders or major projects or special people to admire, we have stories that are fulfilled. Now, everything can’t be a user story and those are projects like building infrastructure and that requires the work of an engineer with talent and vision who have to own the complete story. Continuous Improvement – This is the one that makes haters mad as hell. See, haters want to talk about you messed up or you failed and stuff like that and thinking they got you while you down. In STEM, you learn how to fail and learn how to improve. Even if everything goes right, you focus on continuously improving. For example, people can try to copy what you do but as long as you outdate what you done and come out with new features, they cannot keep up with you and that's the mistake - they should be continuously improving themselves instead of trying to copy whatever you put out. Getting Money. STEM cats can negotiate salary at start-ups and firms around the world and that is what good headhunters are. Not tech recruiters just moving bodies, you want a real industry headhunter that know how to negotiate 3-4-week vacation, moving expenses and even pay 6 months’ rent in advance and bonus payments as well as perks like free dog walking for your pet Rover and shit like that. Other cats be talking like they glad to get a job while you arguing with your new job to let you work in Belize remotely and video conference in the meetings. I knew a cat, but he was the shit and he negotiated the job pay his landing fee for his airplane he flew in to the regional airport to show up to work. My man tried to put me on a sailplane tricking me talking about if I wanted to fly with him, but he was going to tow me in the air on a sailplane, funny ass dude. Dating. Brothas and sistas with STEM careers major problem with dating is having too much money coming in and having a job they like where they create solutions and they dating lame, self-hating brothas and sistas who try to undermine them – I seen this more than enough in my 20-year history of this tech industry with brothas and sistas in STEM. Most STEM cats have to accept the fact they have to marry/date other STEM professionals who gets the hustle. Most entertainment professionals like actors, singers and TV personalities and radio hosts find themselves more at ease dating STEM cats also so trust me, I don’t publish everything online and will keep it at that except the sex is pretty lame with most of these women celebrities, I’ll stick with my hood chicks. But even further, the dating pool is extended internationally because STEM has a global reach and that’s where the power move like a sistas dating a brotha from the UK and they both have rental properties throughout the Caribbean and Spain and stuff like that. Meanwhile, lame brothas and sistas are passing around relationships memes on Facebook and Instagram and shit. Internationalization. STEM is worldwide, you can work in developing nations all around the world and even help uplift emerging nations with your STEM work and contributions. You can be boots on the ground or you can create a cloud service. You then learn about international markets and you can contribute to people overseas solve their problem – this is an extremely rewarding and satisfying experience that many people can tell you they done and it helped defined them as a better person. Maybe you want to work in Paris or London or in Ghana or South Africa or maybe in Brazil or Columbia. You quickly get colleagues and global respect and when some low-level cat wants to come at you and see you got people all around the world that got your back and know your skills, that’s real power and influence right there that STEM brings to the table. Over the years, I cannot express how much a STEM career took my life to next levels and also empowered me to have the ability to properly understand the problem and creatively architect and execute the strategy to deliver a solution or an answer. Skills is everything, fuck all of the talking, awards, celebrity status and followers – skills like Serena William two-handed backhanded ability is what you have in this world that you know set you apart from others and make you truly understand your purpose with the life you got. Being worldwide and global is the best – the people you meet, the global problems you solve and just caring that you made a difference is a reward in itself that is fulfilling. The pay is very well but this is not important, doing what you love like making a difference and solving problems is the real reward. Once you got the knowledge, no one can take it away from you. STEM is awesome and the life is amazing – embrace it.