Dear readers, subscribers, and long-time supporters—
Today is the last day our team will serve you all through The Plug.
We’re closing our doors, but never abandoning our convictions.
Since hitting send on the very first newsletter published 7 years ago, I was never certain that The Plug would be the force that it is today.
I just knew that Black founders, investors, and ecosystem leaders deserved better reporting, data insights that documented our stories, and platforms that built communities and not just content full of click-bait and open letters.
When I look over the body of work we created, I am damn proud of what me and my team were able to accomplish with your support.
The wins that mattered:
- The Plug became the first Black business publication to syndicate on The Bloomberg Terminal in 2021.
- Our work featured in The Washington Post, LA Times, ADWeek, The Information, Bloomberg, and others.
- Our data has helped founders raise hundreds of thousands of dollars, accelerators launch in new markets, and bring visibility to ecosystem leaders who largely remain overlooked.
- We didn’t raise capital until year 6, sustaining largely from revenue, partnerships, and grants.
- Our client roster included MasterCard, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Ford Foundation, Omidyar Network, Blacks in Technology, Comcast NBCUniversal, New Profit, Knight Foundation, Knight-Lenfest, and many others that helped us do our work every day.
- We’ve given 10+ full-time employees, and over 30 freelancers and contractors, mostly a bevy of talented Black and brown researchers and journalists, across 6 different countries, income and a platform to do their best work.
Most important: We made deep reporting and research on Black innovation matter.
Our research initiatives got behind surface-level and asked for new narratives to emerge.
Thanks to our team
This was not a solo journey – I’m grateful to a remarkable team for joining me on this ride from employees to freelancers to advisors and investors – Tayler, Mirtha, Alesia, Olivia, Rae’Mah, Davi, Melissa, Monica, Jeff, Fred, Arlan, John, Heather, James, Sean, Roxanne, Kim, Michelle, and others—You are all incredibly talented, kind, and passionate about this work and I’m fortunate to have worked alongside you all. You gave me the grace and push me to be a better leader, journalist, and CEO.
What happens next?
The work of The Plug does not disappear. We’re keeping the site standing to keep the work alive, though we will not be providing any updates following today’s announcement.
Our PRO Membership will roll into an initiative with a partner with details to come.
What are you going to do?
In the near-term
This week I’m crossing a few important items off my list, including spending time with family and friends, helping the Technology Access Foundation raise ongoing funds for its STEM programs for kids of color, and finally ending the week at Binghamton University over the weekend to deliver my first TEDx talk.
And then I plan to REST.
I’m consulting on a few projects with a few incredible companies in the background. I am also continuing my post as host of the TED Tech podcast and will be presenting a workshop at the TED Conferences this April.
I remain open to new opportunities to help planet-forward companies build the necessary technologies to change our relationship with the resources we have on earth, while also creating onramps via skills training for underserved communities to onboard into the future of work.
You can stay engaged with me over at sherrelldorsey.com and reach me via email for any other communications.
Truly, I thank you all for the community you all helped me build. There aren’t any more words I can muster to express my gratitude for your trust and your attention.