Everette Taylor, Founder and Marketer.
What do you do in tech?
I am currently the CEO and Founder of the marketing firm called MilliSense. My company focuses on helping startups’ reach product market fit and also getting initial users and traction to for mostly startups and tech-related companies.
We help them grow regardless of whether they are at the initial stage or if they have been in business for 3-5 years. For me it’s about finding creative ways to not only grow my own company but to also grow and scale other companies.
It’s kind of maddening if you think about it trying to do both at the same time.
Also, I currently serve as a growth marketing strategist to Microsoft for some new projects they’re working on right now.
Wow! You seem extremely busy; do you have time for anything else other than your business?
Yeah, I try to take at least an hour out of my day to mentor young minorities in tech supporting their projects. We need diversity in the tech industry and I am a strong advocate for it.
How are you able to build those tractions in so many startups, including your company?
Work with different types of companies.
There isn’t a playbook when it comes to marketing but when you look at the data and have worked with a variety of companies you can see trends. Improve what works already and optimize that, then look for the low-hanging fruit.
What made you decide to do marketing & growth especially with the tech industry?
Honestly, I just wanted a job (laughs). I have always been interested in tech.
I had a good sense for marketing so I started there but to never aimed be part of the tech industry although I went to a technical college and studied in the technical field. I tried to be an engineer and all those things because I thought, “show me the money.” But I realized that it wasn’t for me and that I was more interested in marketing. Before entering into tech I was consulting and running marketing campaigns for celebrity author Neil Strauss. That’s when I linked up with Sean Ellis who really got me into the tech industry.
He reached out to me and I was like “Hell yeah.”
What is your experience as a POC in tech?
I’ll be completely honest with you. I remember when I was younger trying to break into the tech industry and having a LinkedIn profile. I knew I had more experience than others coming right out of college. I was so excited about this account, like it was a gateway for my new career. I was smiling at my resume; sending my application out to all the tech companies. But I wasn’t getting any responses.
So I created a whole new LinkedIn account with the same credentials but with a stock photo of a white guy. Seven out of the ten applications I applied to responded back. That’s when I realized how biased things can really be. That’s when I realized how biased people can really be.
What was your perception before entering the industry and what is it now?
My perception of the tech industry is the same as I felt about it in college. Its just as exciting and interesting as it was back then. Before I went to college I understood I was going to a predominantly white school; however, I didn’t realize how white until I entered campus. I feel it’s similar to tech because it is filled with predominantly white males.
In the tech industry you can work hard and do what you can but it’s really tough to break through.
I thought the tech industry was a magical place where you just needed to work hard but I didn’t realize the obstacles that I would confront and the politics that were involved.
It was definitely a big dose of reality for me.
But I will say that if it weren’t for the tech industry, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Because if you are able to break through and take advantage of all the opportunities, your career can escalate very quickly.
What advice and tips do you have for young people who want to enter tech?
- Have thick skin and be able to take rejection. It’s not easy to break through but don’t let it discourage you.
- Have a strong network that you can trust that supports you!
- Be relentless and work your ass off.
- Stay true to yourself! Choose the right company culture for you! Do not sacrifice who you are for anyone.
- Make time for things that make you happy.