There aren’t too many recognizable names of African American women making a digital dent in the technology world. GenJuice CEO Arielle Patrice Scott aims to change that and in the process become the next Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook CEO).
Scott got her start while attending the University of California, Berkeley, where she launched her first start-up, InternshipIn. The start-up failed but she is now bouncing back with the highly anticipated launch of GenJuice, which helps trendy 20-somethings stay updated with their favorite blogs and discover new ones.
Rolling out got the download from Scott on learning from her previous failure, why the nation’s traditional education system needs to be re-evaluated and how she manages to lead an effective team.
Your initial project while in college wasn’t as successful as you had hoped it would be. What did you learn from that experience that has made you a better entrepreneur?
I failed because I was too open to changing the business and quitting when things didn’t work out. I’d say the number one thing I learned is when to quit something. With GenJuice, we’re all in for a very long time to become the No. 1 content source for 20-somethings. Quitting isn’t an option anymore.
Education has played a critical role in your success. Yet, many students of color in public schools aren’t given opportunities to explore their skills in the world of technology. Why do you believe this should change?
What did help was the project-based education I had. I created my major at Berkeley to study the business behind start-ups. Every semester I had to create a new company. So, we need more project-based learning. There should be programs encouraging entrepreneurship in middle school and beyond. It teaches resourcefulness, confidence and trains young people today for the kind of work that’s expected from them tomorrow.
What is unique about the way that you run your company?
I am completely myself and I make sure it’s clear we are all in this together. I am always honest about my strengths and weaknesses with my team. I can be unconventional and inappropriate at times, but they know it’s me. At the end of the day, we all have an equivalent amount of skin in the game. My team trusts me to lead and hold up my end of the deal.