Family Dinner with Konda Mason

Feb 27, 2020

What is your deepest purpose?

Every week, a new entrepreneur comes into our space to share their story and the lessons that they have learned to inspire our Residents during our weekly Family Dinners. This typically takes the form of sharing their journey to where they are in their businesses today. Last Wednesday, February 19, Konda Mason turned that formula on its head. Instead of sharing her how, a truly impressive story that tracks along Grammys, many startups, and the creation of Impact Hub Oakland, she shared the why. She asked our Residents “What is the deepest purpose? Why are you doing what you’re doing? What’s your motivation? What’s your intention?”

To Konda, these questions are key in business.

No true innovation is going to happen if the next generation is building things for the same reasons and with the same motivations as the generation before. True meaningful innovation comes from a change in thinking about the issue, not just changing the current practices. At the beginning of Impact Hub Oakland, Konda was against its creation. The impact hubs that she had experienced prior were primarily populated by white males. That wasn’t the tech innovation space that Konda wanted to create. She wanted a space that looked like the world she lived in - that supported everyone.

Konda’s advice for the Residents was to “build a team that looks like what you want to create. Diversify your team from the very beginning.” Konda ended her talk by asking all of the students one final question, “what is your deepest purpose?” She argued that it is within that answer that success is born.

A student then asked what she sees as a marker that a project will be successful. Konda’s answer was short and sweet, “passion and tenacity work.” Konda reminded us that by doing what you are truly compelled to do in your core, you will innovate for the good of the world and be empowered to work as hard as is necessary to make your idea a reality.

Konda’s talk left students feeling extremely introspective about their projects and re-inspired to continue to fight for what they believed would make this world a better place.

Charlotte Oxnam ’23 is a Biomedical Engineering major from Easton, MD. She's a non-tech aide at The Garage and part of the Propel program. Her favorite thing about The Garage is that it's giving students the chance to do something and take charge in an active way.

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