Valence

Social network for black professionals

Valence aims to unlock the global combined power of black professionals to create massive economic and social progress. From industry titans to up-and-comers, their members include the best Black talent in Tech, Media, Finance and Entertainment.
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Would you recommend this product?
Paul Parsons
Bot builder.
I feel this could be taken as a racist platform TBH. Imagine if this was a social network for white professionals? it would be scrutinized. It shouldn't matter about colour! Period!
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Ryan Hoover
Founder of Product Hunt & Weekend Fund
@paulparsons1981 community and representation is so important for all types of people. At its core, Valence is on a mission to support a group of people – some of whom might be your friends or current/future teammates. We shouldn't view their efforts as zero sum. I.e. You and I aren't disadvantaged because of something like this.
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Thomas Groutars
Software @ Product Hunt
@paulparsons1981 They're trying to close a gap. Creating a platform only for white people would only make the gap bigger. Do you see the difference? In one case you're solving a problem, in the other you are the problem.
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Paul Parsons
Bot builder.
@rrhoover I completely get that, what my comment was highlight is the double standard of if this was positioned differently, how would it be taken.
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Paul Parsons
Bot builder.
@thomgroutars The best way to close the gap is to not isolate groups, but include them and shine. My point was about if this was the other way around, it would be called racist, which is not fair and the number of upvotes on my comment shows I am not the only one who sees that.
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Stephen Robinson
Digital Marketer 🚀
@rrhoover @paulparsons1981 Except it's not a double standard. There's a valid reason for one to exist and not the other.
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Lanre Akinyemi
Hunter
Biz Dev & Sales @Product Hunt
Interesting to see the rise of niche communities like these. As a mid-career black professional it's exciting to see the success of professionals who look like me who I can learn from.
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Fajar Siddiq
👨🏻‍💻🇸🇬🏝️ Serial Entrepreneur, Singapore
@lanre_akinyemi this is exciting, congratulations on the launch!
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@lanre_akinyemi Wouldn't call black people a niche community.
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Lanre Akinyemi
Hunter
Biz Dev & Sales @Product Hunt
@joaosardinha Black people in tech - especially senior positions is niche
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Joseph Ini Basseyi am a digital entrepreneur
@lanre_akinyemi @joaosardinha black people in tech is something we look forward to. I have to agree it’s a niche too.. we can be celebrated differently..
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Aaron O'Leary
Community @producthunt. Chef.
This is a fantastic product and it's so exciting to see the rise of these communities as @lanre_akinyemi mentioned. People of Color alongside other minorities are grossly under-represented in many industries including tech, it's time for a change and Valence is trying to provide it's own solution to this.
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ross macfarlaneHead Honcho at Cookt
Lol - this is a really weird product to be launching - and 100% racist. If you ain't black you can't sign up? C'mon man - this is 2019 get with the program :)
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Stephen Robinson
Digital Marketer 🚀
@therealrossmac If you knew the statistics behind the bias towards black professionals you would understand why this exists.
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ross macfarlaneHead Honcho at Cookt
@xstex Then kindly share your statistics. I'm fully aware of unconscious bias, and white privilege. Maybe I'm in no position to comment, what I do know is segregation is a backwards move. There's much better ways to solve the problem than creating a platform exclusively for 'a certain race of people'. 'A certain religion' maybe, but a certain race, c'mon man.
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@therealrossmac "this is a really weird product to be launching" This guy would never say that publicly at an all woman group launch. I don't see anywhere you have to be black to sign up though. i wouldn't agree with that. Where'd you get that impression?
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Temi ADesigner
@therealrossmac No, if you ain't black, you can't sign up. Would you expect to be able to join a female-only group or would you consider that "sexist"? Or is the notion that something is for black people only distasteful to you? There's a reason why these communities exist. Some existing structures, communities and systems are either downright noninclusive at worst or unintentionally shut women and minorities out at best. Therefore, when it comes to these specific groups being able to engage in knowledge exchange, learning from peers or simply finding the support etc, the means to do so can be more difficult. They might, and often do, overwhelming feature one type of people (e.g - white men) whose experiences may differ in significant ways. Frankly, POC, women and other minorities groups have long had the burden of explaining things like this, to people like you, who disparage, belittle or generally disrespect our need for community due to exclusion, which you either wilfully refuse or don't care to acknowledge in the first place. Let's be real: you can do this research, find the stats etc for yourself on experiences of POC, black people in leadership etc, if you were remotely invested in doing that work. If more people like you actually did do the critical thinking for themselves; challenged their biases, took a hard look at how current systems/communities that are filled with a powerful majority can shut others out, then found ways to proactively tackle that (instead of "organically" expecting it to resolve) then maybe there wouldn't be a genuine need for us to create communities and safe spaces like this. But based on this thread, will be a very familiar microcosm of society to many POC, women and other underrepresented groups: those with the privilege to be the "status quo" questioned or challenging the need for a spaces and being put in the position to explain or deliver "proof" for people who are already very represented in many facets of society and can easily find all types of communities that they can be part of without question. People crying if this were about connecting "white professionals" then it would be racist. Take a harder look a professional networks and spaces. You'll find the vast majority of leadership groups are already "white" (and male) leadership groups by default.
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Corey G ™
Software Engineer & Designer
@xstex @therealrossmac "Maybe I'm in no position to comment" - then don't. :)
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Younghwi Cho
Co-founder and designer at HUNT
So funny that only "white" people saying this is a "racist" product. What's the difference between this one and "black professional" subreddit? Will the subreddit be considered as a racist too? Sometimes white people too much overacts 🤣
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@andrew_cho Yup - some people need ALL the privilege 🤦‍♂️
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Edison EspinosaFounder @ Foxie, & EJ
@andrew_cho well the excluded group does say it's racist because they are excluded. I feel excluded and would be inclined to say the same. All of this talk of inclusivity going on, yet we exclude others :D
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You guys saying this is racist. Just look back in the time and will see who's the racist. Thanks to that, communities aimed to black people has to be created, because there's still racism going on. I am a Spanish/Italian guy and I am a very brown skin guy, is just my pigmentation. I had issues finding work because of it. Even being asked if I had my documentation updated or if I was illegal... So yeah, I take my hat off. Congrats on the launch guys. Good luck with everything.
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YurixApprentice
Wtf, what need is there for such a solution? It is racism in every way...
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DJ HuntleyI'm about that action boss..
@yurix You not seeing a need for the platform, at the very least, shows your disconnection from even the slightest insight into the community in question. This is a situation where it would benefit you to ask questions rather than making a statement. If you don't understand something put in the effort to find a path to understanding v.s. drawing an ill informed conclusion. (especially if you plan on speaking on it prior to enlightenment) You not finding value or necessity in this product (or any other product for that matter) doesn't mean that there isn't any. More importantly, in this situation, the answer to why its existence is important is in the answers on this very page. I suggest you take a look.
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ShopéBrand, Marketing, Communications
@yurix @andrei_nedelcu @nartydev @therealrossmac I'm really confused by the negative comments. Currently only 3% of Silicon Valley’s workforce is black. There are only three black chief executives in the Fortune 500, and only 0.0006% of venture capital funding goes to black female founders. Finally, black people make up 13% of the nation’s population, but only hold 3% of the nation’s wealth. It's a fact that black people are systematically disadvantaged in professional life. Have any of you read Blink by Malcom Gladwell or heard about the IAT test? The majority of people who took that test instantly associated black and black faces with words such as 'bad' 'dumb' 'dangerous'. Combine subconscious bias with nepotism/ 'pattern matching' and you've got a dangerous mix. Nepotism is how a lot of business deals are done / promotions are made. If the vast majority of power (power = wealth + professional seniority) sits with white people, how do you think this stacks up for black people? Subconscious bias against black people is a recorded fact. So Valence is a brilliant tech solution designed to level the playing field. I'm not sure what is 'racist' or 'stupid' about it?
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Edison EspinosaFounder @ Foxie, & EJ
@shopedelano you can't say all of that and look at the consumption culture of hip hop that almost never promotes investing within the black community. Rather let me spent my racks at the strip club and buy chains and a european car :D City Girls promoting hot girl summer, but instead should be promoting get an internship in tech or finance during the summer and progress in life! This is the same argument that I sort of give undocumented immigrants and the whole immigration topic (there's rules when you go to a country). These are self inflicting wounds our people create. Also, know that when a group of people feels excluded how can you not see that as reverse racism which is what those individuals are arguing.
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Andrei Nedelcu
Growth hacker and product guy.
@shopedelano I am not disputing any of the facts you mentioned. I'm disputing the way they are promoting the platform. Had they promoted it as "an inclusive platform" or a "non-discriminatory platform", that would have been great. However, they are promoting it as a platform for black people, and this is the opposite of non-discriminatory. By definition, racism means discriminating a group of people in a certain context based on something which is completely unrelated to that context. If you make skincare products for black people, that is not racist, because you are discriminating based on the relevant characteristics of black people's skin. However, skin color has nothing to do with entrepreneurship or business. So discriminating in business or entrepreneurship based on skin color is racist. You might as well make a platform for businessmen who like cats. To touch the essence of your point, I don't think we necessarily need more black people in business. I think we need more competent people - and if they happen to be black, green or violet, it doesn't matter. So if we really want to fight discrimination, instead of saying "we need more black people in business", we should say "we need to make sure that people advance in business regardless of race, and if we do that, we will get to whatever the natural ratio of black vs white people is, in business". Incidentally, I don't think that would match the ratio of black vs white people in the general population - but not because of skin melanin. Because of cultural differences which exist between groups. In other words, you are unlikely to get to a uniform ratio when taking any two distinct groups of people. This is because you are comparing it with two theoretically random samples of the population.
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SarrahGeeking out about marketing & good UX.
@edisonjoao6871 This is definitely the most racist take yet. Congrats.
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ShopéBrand, Marketing, Communications
@edisonjoao6871 Would love to better understand your argument, but I'm a bit confused. There are problematic behaviours within every community. How does this negate my above argument? Are you suggesting that black people who 'spend racks at strip clubs' are contributing to the reason why black people are systematically disadvantaged?
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SteveCurator, Essential Outfits
The comments on the post are baffling. It's a proven fact that tech, specifically in Silicon Valley and surrounding areas, lack African American talent. To say that this platform is racist implies that companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc., are racist as they've created the problem for why this product even needs to exist.
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Swann Polydor
Nomadic Frontend Developer
@sjackson They might be. Do you have some proof that Google selects its employee using racial criteria?
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Edison EspinosaFounder @ Foxie, & EJ
@sjackson Steve, you have to see both sides. We talk of inclusivity and wanting to be a part of the board and decisions etc but then we exclude others (me) from this platform and other people. Have you heard of "Black Twitter" ? people form their own communities on those platforms either way. Every platform is racists and excludes other's in every way.
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SteveCurator, Essential Outfits
@soueuls absolutely not. Regardless of what there criteria is, it has created a problem of minimal ethnic diversity. Products like this and initiatives like CODE2040 are needed to bring a highlight to a large population that is looked over.
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Swann Polydor
Nomadic Frontend Developer
@sjackson so you don't have any proof of Google favoring certain races over others? Then you can't claim they are racist neither voluntarily nor involuntarily.
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SteveCurator, Essential Outfits
@edisonjoao6871 good points. I absolutely see both sides. Ultimately I think all jobs should hire with blind testing as someone else suggested in this thread. Hire on talent, not on race, gender, etc.. For anyone to feel excluded from this platform because it's targeted to black professionals just doesn't get it IMO.
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kerianWeb developer and mobile developer
I don't see the point, it's racist and if you're white you can't register?
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Stephen Robinson
Digital Marketer 🚀
@nartydev Do you also want straight pride? If you knew the statistics behind the biased towards black professionals you would understand why this exists.
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kerianWeb developer and mobile developer
@xstex Why not use arguments instead of leaving us in the dark?
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Edison EspinosaFounder @ Foxie, & EJ
@xstex @nartydev when you have no arguments just ask a question I suppose.
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@xstex @nartydev This information is readily available in many forms. Research, don't expect others to do the work for you.
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kerianWeb developer and mobile developer
@xstex @ashley_porciuncula1 No? It Is not my product and I do not have to convince myself that it's a good idea, it is something that can justify the fact of closing this community only a group of individuals. This is the kind of information that needs to be repeated, especially since it's a good argument.
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