Diversity and Technology: Do you see color?

Dexter Moss
6 min readDec 6, 2021


Between the years 1914 and 1924, Ford Automotive was only producing black-colored Model T’s. Then, according to a grad school case study that I had reviewed, the company started an incredible marketing schema where it released a new car color every year to create a frenzy and a FOMO (fear of missing out) relationship with consumers. We have also seen this with orange juice and McDonald’s ice cream machines. Please follow the video link for the scoop. This article is going to talk about how consumer behavior and technology go hand-in-hand and how the tech industry can help change our behaviors.

“ — you were outdated or “missing out” if you owned a model from the previous years.”

Our behaviors dictate our patterns, our patterns become psychological and then we bring all of those behaviors with us to work. Consumer behavior patterns are the buying & spending habits and the psychological emotions that affect those transactions. Don't believe me? Search ‘consumer behavior patterns in ${your zipcode}’ and see what information it suggests about people who live there? The extremely detailed reports may cost but the free stuff is still worth looking through. As a master in business, I find it quite interesting that there is a correlation between consumer behavior patterns and diversity in tech companies.

For instance, when you first see a commercial for a new phone and it looks innovative, bright, and just the right size for you, the natural thing to do is to want to buy it immediately, however, you may just end up visiting the store or clicking through the website for more information. Also, you wouldn’t get hired at a tech company as an engineer and start writing code without first understanding what variables and functions were being referenced in the app or console.log() everything to figure out what the data was.

Declaring key elements and questions to pose when making decisions are quick ways that the consumer’s mind can work to keep humans moving forward and feeling together when thinking of making a purchase.

Those key elements are our individual references to what we have stored in that variable (using let to declare variables in the examples below). And our minds processing strategies are our functions (using function notion: () to declare functions). It seems the same when writing code, as you must first declare a variable and define functions that are references to stored information in the computer’s memory. When you are first looking at the source code or deciding on a new tech device you wouldn’t really know what was being referenced unless you ask more questions (or run more functions).

Statista (a leader in aggregated global statistics) reports ~7.5 billion of us are smartphone users. I'm almost certain that you are one of those users and have taken into account a few key elements when you acquired your latest device i.e.,

  • let Apple or Android,
  • let new or used, and possibly,
  • let color, and,
  • let size of the screen matter.

These key elements are essential when buying tech as it is what the general consumers' mind has logged as “what's best for me.” Little did you know that when we are defining those small key elements from above we are also creating functions in memory,

  • what are the networkingCapabilities()?
  • is this a phone that can handleMyCurrentPace()?
  • Does that color match myStyle()?
  • And possibly, is that a trendyPhone()?

We would then use those same variables or key elements and pass them through our functions later. While working in the tech industry I find the process to be similar to consumer behavior patterns. It's like walking into an authorized dealership like T-Mobile or Verizon and the sales team presumes because you're tall and BIPOC (black indigenous person of color) you would want a specific phone and color. In reality, it should not work like that.

Marketing ads, company logos, targeted emails, food samples, and people talking keep us informed on what is current in trends & technology...

Tech and Inclusion: What is your ROI?

When talking about diversity in tech, ROI should be returned on investigating. Yes, investigate. As a full-stack developer with an MBA in management and operations, people are my gift, and generally not aware that they are the key factor for moving a product from a zero to a hero in a few months! Constantly caught off guard when they hear that because it differs from what has been logged in their memory for someone who looks like me as their customer, partner, or colleague. Marketing ads, company logos, targeted emails, food samples, and people talking keep us informed on what is current in trends & technology and people tend to buy into what they see and hear most, according to the statistics being provided. Which is not a good thing if what you have stored in your memory is outdated and needs to be refactored. Keeping consistent with the pattern above:

When working in tech as a BIPOC I have noticed companies would pose the question with an argument first when considering diverse markets whether during hiring events or sales initiatives? For instance, we may declare these variables (or key elements to consider) as a const versus let from before:

  • const Apple or Android,
  • const new or used, and possibly,
  • const color, and,
  • const size of the screen matter.

and therefore setting an unchangeable element in memory, both in the computer and the consumer's mind. And then require them as arguments in the question, i.e. functions, which means it must match these parameters first to be passed in as arguments and pass the test, inadvertently creating variables and functions that are exclusive and specific in what is acceptable as diversity both at work and in the market:

  • is that a trendyPhone( const Apple, new, size )?
  • what are the networkingCapabilities(const Android)?
  • is this a phone that can handleMyCurrentPace(const size )?
  • Does that color match myStyle(const color )?

And so our products are reflecting our behaviors because our behaviors are reflected in our products. Thus we have missed many opportunities for business. I think it's fair to highlight that some presumptions in the market are outdated and need to be updated when considering diversifying your companies market. On the shorthand, working in tech I realized the potential for companies to reach more consumers and help change the human race — by dissolving the unconscious biases from consumer behaviors that could be affecting the tech industry employees because we are consumers as well.

“refactoring antiquated data from old code is the same as reprogramming the mind from old traditions.”

Our behaviors dictate our patterns, our patterns become psychological and we shop and buy using these learned patterns. If we could view the targeted demographic as a whole versus small pockets of intersectionalities within our organizations we would shift consumer awareness and begin to normalize inclusion globally because then we would inadvertently affect everyone!

Technological advancements for all!

The tech is still not as diverse as it could be. A CBRE report was recently published. West coast is not as open-minded as people are saying they are. Here's the report and in a snippet:

What Tech Markets are the Most and Least Diverse

For underrepresented race/ethnic groups, the most diverse tech talent markets were Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Nashville, Atlanta and Rochester. The least diverse markets were San Antonio, Greater Los Angeles/Orange County, Austin, San Francisco Bay Area and San Diego.

CBRE 2021

This report highlights some significant improvements and for me key indicators that the industry and the world for that matter are changing. With the advancement of AI chips for the brain like Neuralink, living on the moon, and invisibility cloaks now coming to the market, here's our chance to help the human species move into our new evolution. Inclusive and conscious of our behaviors. Can you see that? I hope I explained that well. Please leave comments for follow-ups if you would like. Thanks for reading.



Dexter Moss

| MBA | Healer | FullStack Engineer | Social Butterfly