Tristan Walker has an MBA from Stanford, which is not uncommon in Silicon Valley. It's where he was earlier in life that separates him from his peers: he grew up in a Queens housing project. His experiences inspired him to found CODE2040, a mentorship program for black and Latino STEM students whose goal is to make the tech sector a true meritocracy. He has been an entrepreneur-in-residence at Andreessen Horowitz and was business development director at Foursquare. Walker & Company Brands, a beauty and wellness company, is launching its first product line, Bevel, in February 2014.
Brands say they want to use social to engage with their customers. They say that because they have nothing else to measure against. My hope and goal has always been to change that. When faced with that kind of mayonnaise-badge proposal, I'd just keep asking them why until we've really narrowed it down and get to, "Hey, we want to do all this stuff so we can drive sales." From there, we can move toward a solution where we can help measure the effectiveness of any advertising and resulting sales.»