Tag Archives: entrepreneurship

“Ghetto Uber” or When S%*t Works Out

I had meetings in Los Angeles last week and flew into LAX.

I didn’t make arrangements to be picked up like I normally do, assuming that I’d order a ride from Uber when I landed.  I was surprised and disappointed to discover that Uber cannot pick up passengers at LAX.

So, I did the next best thing – stood in line for a cab. 

As I stood waiting a young brother approached me and asked if I needed a ride.  He was neatly dressed in a black suit with a white shirt, armed with an Ipad and had an outwardly friendly disposition. 

I told him yes, I did need a car and gave him my destination. He plugged the address into his Ipad and quoted me a fair based on the 20 mile trip. 

“All Love and Respect will get you there right away Sir, and much cheaper than a cab.”

Meanwhile the arrival area at Terminal 7 was absent of cabs and I was the sixth person waiting in an ever growing line. 

I thought to myself, why not give the young brother a try? 

I agreed to his terms.  He grabbed my suitcase, explained that a client’s flight was an hour and a half delayed, led the way to his car and off we went. 

His Lincoln Town Car was immaculate and the complimentary bottle of water was a nice touch.  The a/c was on full blast and the dulcet tones of Anita Baker provided the soundtrack for our ride. I spent the 1/2 hour car ride on my cell and ended my last call just as we pulled up to my destination. I thanked Taylor for getting me there so quickly. 

I am not in the habit of getting into unmarked cabs and I am certainly not the trusting type.  This experience proved that you can never judge a book by its cover.  It wasn’t Uber but it produced the same results.  A young Black Entrepreneur focused on giving superior service. The right time.  The right place. A chance encounter.

“Ghetto Uber” that demonstrated “all love and respect”…or a perfect scenario when “it” worked out?



American Idol

“I’ve always thought that each person invented himself… that we are each a figment of our own imagination. And some people have a greater ability to imagine than others.” – David Geffen

If a hero is one admired for his exploits, David Geffen is one of my American Heroes.

With a relentless desire to succeed and laser precise focus, Geffen influenced American popular culture.

His is an American success story.

DVR Alert American Masters: Inventing David Geffen, premieres nationally on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 on PBS (check local listings).

If you are interested in reading up on David Geffen, I recommend the following books:

The Operator, Tom King, Random House
The Rise and Rise of David Geffen, Stephen Singular, Birch Lane Press
Arts and Letters, Edmund White, Cleiss Press
The Men Who Would Be King, Nicole Laporte, HMH

The History of the African-American Funeral Director and the Fight for Civil Rights and Racial Intregration

“To Serve the Living: Funeral Directors & the African American Way of Death” is not merely a book about the history of death.

It is much more.

It is a history of African-American entrepreneurship.

At its core, “To Serve the Living” is about African-American funeral directors.

They were pioneering entrepreneurs in a largely segregated trade, economically independent and not beholden to the local white power structure.

More importantly, their financial freedom gave them the ability to support the struggle for civil rights and to serve the living as well as bury the dead.

“These entrepreneurs had both the financial resources and the prestige as leaders of their respetive communities to stand at the forefront of the formative campaigns for civil rights…”

The financial and political clout of African-American funeral directors provided them with a stature that could coalesce the community on points of relevance ranging from voter registration to community empowerment. This is a testament to their resilience, fortitude and pioneering spirit in times when such qualities in African-Americans were challenged and often times resulted in bodily harm or death.

In a September 2011 C-Span interview, the book’s author Dr. Suzanne E. Smith points out the impact, viability and prominence of the African-American funeral director, from antebellum slavery to today

“…[P]rimarily, barber shops, beauty shops and funeral homes have remained largely segregated…[F]or the most part there is a loyalty in the African-American community to the African-American funeral director.”

Click here for the C-Span interview