— “Proving Ground: A Memoir” by Flint, Mich. Native, W. David Tarver, in stores now —
Birmingham, MI (BlackNews.com) — It’s been a long and fascinating passage from David Tarver’s days as a young black student at Michigan’s Flint Central High School during the height of the civil rights movement, to his current role as author, high-tech entrepreneur and millionaire, all of which is chronicled in his first book, Proving Ground, which launched July 2.
Proving Ground: A Memoir, (Cypress House: 2012), is available in bookstores and online, in paperback and e-book formats ($18.95 and $9.95, respectively). A hardcover limited edition is available now at www.provinggroundbook.com for $34.95. Proving Ground is the first book that traces an African American owned high technology business from dream to basement startup to multimillion-dollar international success.
“The title is pays homage to my parents,” said Tarver. “My dream would not have been fulfilled but for the sacrifices of my father and mother and so many others of their generation. For many of them, life was a battleground. For me, it was merely a proving ground.”
Tarver’s journey began in General Motors boomtown Flint, Mich., where young David wondered why his father, an accomplished radio and television technician, only exercised his passion for electronics in the basement of their home. Inspired by his father’s expertise and by the civil rights movement, David resolved to one day start a company that made “electronic stuff.” He wanted to prove that, given opportunities and access his father never had, he could take charge of his career and his life.
After gaining valuable experience at the legendary Bell Telephone Laboratories, Tarver did just that. He created a company from scratch in his basement, with two African American colleagues, and sold it less than twelve years later for $30 million. Notably, Tarver’s business success was accomplished without the help of angel investors, venture capital, government grants or minority business development programs.
“My buddies and I conceived, designed, engineered and manufactured sophisticated telecommunications instruments and sold them in more than 20 countries,” continued Tarver. “Along the way, we learned valuable lessons about technology, race relations and business, and I am honored to share my experience with others through ‘Proving Ground’. I firmly believe that my book will inform and inspire anyone who has ever contemplated starting a business. It will entertain them, too.”
Currently, Tarver is lecturing on his book and entrepreneurial insights. He and his family reside in Birmingham, Mich.