Dez White crafted a career as a celebrity writer by fearlessly exposing serious gossip concerning the socially significant and entertainment titans that people so obsessively seek information about. White, a married mother of two, came up with the idea for Invisible apps initially to address a pressing work need.
"I’m an entertainment writer and some of my stories require me to rely on sources," White told The Shadow League. “With information so easily accessible now, people are understandably more hesitant about putting things in writing. I realized that if people could send temporary messages to one another that could not be intercepted or forwarded, they’d likely be more willing to communicate freely. So I looked into the availability of this kind of technology and finding nothing, I set out to create it myself. The Invisible platforms make it possible to securely send and receive all kinds of everyday personal information."
Dez started mentioning her ideas to friends and one introduced her to an app developer who schooled her on the business. The rest is history, as White has created a suite of applications- Invisible Text, Inivisible Social, Invisible Call, and Invisible Email – that address her past concerns.
The beauty of the apps is that they do not "infringe on any social media host’s trademarks or phone or messaging services," White added, because users directly invite their friends from social sites or their contacts to use the Invisible platform outside of Facebook, Twitter, etc.
With Invisible Call, for example, “We access your phone book, “White said. “People have to know it’s important that you have to give us the right to access your phone book. Once you do, you can invite the person to download Invisible Call. The person can download it, and then from there you pair your devices and you can sync with them and talk with them as many times as you want to.”
Her story is truly an American success saga. From Los Angeles California to an all black prepatory school in North Carolina to building Apps with the founders of Facebook, White’s come up is extraordinary. The Tech world may not have been her initial calling, but her intelligence, business acumen and practical sense manifested itself in this latest power move. Consequently, White has been thrust into major–player status in the app world and transformed her M.O. from founder of gossip site MouthToEars.com to a trailblazer for African-American women in a field that tends to ignore their talents and creative contributions. Add White to the short, but growing list of African-American women according to an article by clutchmagonline.com, making an impact in the world of technology.
White also believes it’s important for African-Americans, particularly females, to consider using this technology to protect themselves.
“I don’t think we really look into how much of our privacy is at stake. We don’t really look into how we’re using social media, how it can affect us in the workplace, how it can affect us in regards to potential suitors,” White offered. “It’s important for us when we’re gauging our reputation and forging our careers. And I think we need to really get into our young African-American girls’ heads that privacy is important. Social media is not a playground and we need to just be more private about what we put out into the universe.”
Invisible Text was relaunched this month and has already hit over 70,000 users and White has other projects on the horizon that are sure to shake up the App world. The Shadow League had the honor of speaking with White and finding out how she flipped the script on the tech world and got black women a sweet seat at the App Table.
JR Gamble: Were you always tech savvy?
Dez White: I've always been very interested in the tech field, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to finally dip my toes in. I've definitely learned a lot about app development, something I actually did not know a ton about before Invisible Text.
JR: Describe the process that put this creation in motion.
Dez: Once I had the idea, I studied everything I could to learn about application development. A mutual friend introduced me to a developer who understood my vision. Once we sat down and mapped out how the apps would be executed I pitched investors. Shortly after, I received an initial investment and the company was up and running.
JR: You are a celebrity journalist, where do you write, where have you written and what led you to your profession?
Dez: I got my start blogging on a celebrity news site I founded called MouthToEars.com. I discovered a passion for writing while attending Howard University. I also wrote a book called Mistress to Misses.
JR: On a larger scale, do you try to inspire women of color to enter into that world?
Dez: I'm definitely interested in getting involved with larger scale efforts to inspire other women to get into the tech field. It all comes down to education and making sure that young girls realize that that world is open to them. I would love to be able to be a source of that inspiration.
JR: What response have you received from people about the product?
Dez: People love it. You know people say privacy is a myth these days. With the Snapchat security breaches, computer hacking, identity theft becoming more of a common problem, and Government accessibility to our Internet searches and other activity, it does seem that way. But the App really does allow people to maintain private communications with friends, family, and colleagues. And, I'm so happy that I was able to help make that possible for the public. The messages you send are never stored on a server. They bounce off a server and go directly from your device to the intended recipient's device. Even if the Government demanded I turn over any user information or communications, No records of conversations exist anywhere so I would have nothing to turn over!
JR: When does it officially hit the market?
Dez: Invisible Text just relaunched this month, and Invisible Call, Invisible Email, and Invisible Social are coming out in May.
JR: Who are your main investors, distributors?
Dez: I now have several silent partners and two investment rounds. The apps are available for download on iTunes (Smartphones), Google Play (Android Devices), and Blackberry App World (Blackberry).
JR: How come you beat everyone else to an idea that is simple, yet genius at the same time?
Dez: (Laughs) I'm not sure, but I think it has something to do with the timing. I didn't wait after coming up with the idea. I went after it relentlessly, and persistence definitely pays off. I was also in the perfect profession - come to think of it, being an entertainment blogger with a lot of anonymous sources for my stories…so that helped because I personally had a need for it. But, the feedback has been really positive. People tell us they are using it for all kinds of practical and professional uses.
JR: Is this a one shot deal with apps or are you going to try and create others?
Dez: I'm definitely not done with apps. I actually am working on another idea as we speak. It’s more of an app type gadget though. I'm calling it Blind Debit and it’s a way for people to pay for transactions using only their fingerprint. I’m really excited for this one.
JR: List some of the celebrities already using the app.
Dez: A bunch of celebrities and social influencers have been using it…Paris Hilton, Nipsey Hussle, Melissa Molarino, Any Milonakis, Shaun Phillips, Sophie Simmons, Terrence J, Chloe Bridges, Aussie star Prinnie Stevens, and a bunch more. It makes sense for their lifestyle. When a celebrity loses their phone, it’s not like when you or I lose our phone… Their private conversations are even more at risk, and knowing that nobody can hack into their private messages provides a real sense of security.
JR: What was the highlight of your career before creating this app ?
Dez: My writing career - I never thought it would lead to getting into the tech space.
JR: Will you be touring and promoting the app ? What's next for Dez White?
Dez: We are definitely promoting Invisible Text at the moment. Up next, will be Invisible Call, Invisible Social and Invisible Email. I’m also hard at work at Blind Debit as I mentioned, and RapBattleLive, which is a hip hop website I'm creating with one of the founders of MySpace.