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Melanie Mack

What She Did with Minus $6.42 and a Dream


Melanie Mack had a baby boy, an overdrawn bank account, and a dream. It was the 1990s, and Google didn’t exist yet. iTunes didn’t exist yet. And YouTube was still almost 10 years away.

This young black television development executive had a crazy idea: That people would love watching TV shows and other content – on their personal computers. She had the shows, and she’d partnered with a cutting-edge software company that could handle the internet streaming.

But every time she presented her idea to potential investors, they’d shake their heads, “No.” Not one of them could imagine why in the world anyone would ever want to watch anything on a computer.

Mack wanted to be her own boss primarily because it would give her the freedom to set her own schedule and spend time with her young son. The 80 hour weeks she’d been working as a television developer with Warner Brothers and Paramount Studios were simply too much. Entrepreneurship would mean that she could take on her new role as a mother, and that had become the priority for Mack.

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