These Black tech creators are changing the domain
It’s been two years since the Google Registry team launched its #MyDomain video series, which highlights creators in tech. While we’re proud of the initiatives we’ve featured so far, we want to do a better job of representing all voices. In honor of Black History Month, we’re featuring six Black creators who are making waves in the digital space.
Dairien Boyd is a founding member and principal designer at All Turtles, a mission-driven product studio. He’s responsible for building experiences that are both fun and useful within mmhmm.app — a project born out of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new reality of working remotely set Dairien and his team on a path to design a better way to deliver presentations — one that works in an all-video conferencing world. They created a powerful presentation tool that provides immersive backgrounds and visual effects to help add a bit of fun to virtual meetings.
Benjamin Williams also found new sources of inspiration during the pandemic. A software engineer at Google by day, Williams launched floward.app — a journaling and creative writing application that encourages “imperfection” — as a way to cope with the challenges and stresses that come from being stuck at home. By providing daily thought-provoking prompts, users can get their thoughts down on “paper” within a simple UI that intentionally prevents going back and making revisions; this way, they stay in the flow of writing instead of fixating on what they’ve already written.
A writer and model by day, Rhianna Jones started a campaign for “Afrovisibility” as a true passion project. Her campaign, which pushes for more widespread adoption of natural hair emojis within universal keyboards (including Android and iOS), went viral. It wasn’t long before her domain — afrohairmatters.page — helped Jones connect with industry leaders. “The opportunity to collaborate only helps the culture move forward in a direction that better represents the rainbow of tech users,” Jones says. While it might seem small to some, the addition of natural hair emojis is a major step towards promoting Afrovisibility in everyone’s daily digital language and lives — especially for a younger generation that is all about ✊🏿 🤗 👩🏾 💕.
Michael Broughton, CEO of Perch, launched his credit-building app after getting denied a loan to cover the remainder of his college tuition while attending the University of Southern California. “I was told to get a credit card in order to build credit, but when I applied for a credit card, they said I needed to build my credit score first,” he says. “This made me realize how difficult it can be for individuals to develop their personal finances without already having a foot in the door.” Instead of feeling defeated, he channeled his frustrations into launching getperch.app, a service that helps others build credit history and boost their credit scores.
Edward Cunningham is cofounder and CTO of NXSTEP.app, a platform that allows high-school seniors to connect with current college students to get deeper insights into life within the walls of various academic institutions. By connecting with currently-enrolled college students, seniors can better determine the right college for them. It’s like matchmaking for higher education: helping students decide on their future alma mater based on personality, interests, and goals.
Adesina Tyler is our youngest creator in this month’s #MyDomain series. Tyler is a junior in high school, juggling the complexities that come with distance learning, schoolwork and extracurricular activities. As busy as he’s been, he somehow found the time to launch wondershop.page as part of his participation in Google’s technology program, Code Next. He built his website (an online retail store) as a way to better understand the basic building blocks of e-commerce.
Videos of everyone featured above are available at goo.gle/mydomain. Ensuring proper representation of all groups is crucial for everyone in tech. We all benefit and learn from hearing the full spectrum of voices — especially the voices of those who’ve been underrepresented for far too long.
We want to actively do our part in moving the industry in the right direction by celebrating all entrepreneurs, founders and creators. If you have a unique story to share about an .app. ,dev, or .page domain and would like to be considered for our next series, please fill out this short application form and help us produce and share content that better represents all of us in an industry that still has a long way to go.