The recent Uber controversy shows that diversity of talent should be high on your to-do list. It's not something you have to do, though. It is something that will happen with or without your company.
In the video below, Inc. asked me why all companies will have to become more diverse. Here are three reasons why:
America itself is becoming more diverse As 500 Startups Venture Partner Monique Woodard recently wrote: "By the year 2044, people of color will become the the majority in the US, making up over half of the US population, and within this group, 37% will be black or Latino".
It's not a sudden cliff, though: The numbers are already shifting. The average American will not fit the young white male stereotype still prevalent in Silicon Valley.
Customers are becoming more diverse As America becomes more varied, your customer base will begin looking different. As I shared with Inc., the biggest mistake we make as entrepreneurs is appealing to urban, upwardly-mobile young people on either coast - and in living all across the country, I understand how diversity not only represents color, but also orientation, income and needs.
Tomorrow's unicorns will be built on a broader base than today's hip demographic. It's not a coincidence that one of the biggest unicorns today, Slack, is built by one of the most diverse groups of engineers in the Valley.
Needs are becoming more diverse Conversely, as we focus on ways to avoid meals and other unessential tools, there are brilliant ideas that fit the needs of specific cultures. The examples are amazingly focused: A multi-million-dollar startup tackling minority-specific grooming, a strong company giving culturally-appropriate hair care to an audience that cares deeply about it, and so on. These are needs that people outside of a cultural group wouldn't know how to address, if not even know existed.
If the average founder is likely to scratch their own itch, then successful founders will need a diverse team - if not be part of an underrepresented group themselves - to find niches that are ripe for disruption.