Black and Brown Non-Technical ‘VP of Sales’ are Unicorns

Kumar Thangudu

October 15, 2015

I analyzed over 2000 VP of Sales Profiles on LinkedIn. I was trying to edit my lackluster LinkedIn Profile to look more like a VP of Sales profile. I always try to make data driven decisions.

Heuristics for Becoming a VP of Sales for Brown/Black People.


  1. Use the NamSor API to optimize for northern European names. I think I could change my name to Sven or David. Seems fitting right? North Indians in my community growing up had always westernized their names. In fact, I know a Punjabi speaking Balbir who goes by “Bob” in the phone book. Turns out, in Texas people would rather give you a loan as a Bob than a Balbir. Go figure…
  2. Photoshop your melanin out of the picture or opt-out of having a picture. Fiverr should do the trick, but my outsourcer is delayed at the moment.
  3. Get a stylist/personal shopper. Risk-mitigation. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of startup unicorns dreaming of matching you with a stylist. 
  4. Be Intensely Uniquely Valuable: Get an advanced degree in something obscurely technical and be one of the only 50 to 100 people in your field in the world. Go into a massively under-researched area of exploration and be an expert. For example, superconducting astrophotonics. 
  5. Found companies. If you found the company then everything will work out. You can just be the VP of Sales.
  6. Become Western. Get accent elocution lessons.
  7. Do well in school. Get an Ivy league degree.

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