G121. Kumi Walker

Safe at Home: Community as the Key to Confidence with Kumi Walker

My guest for today’s episode of the Gravity Podcast is my friend, Kumi Walker, technologist, advisor, investor and co-founder of Embedded Capital. Like all of my guests, a few simple bio lines don’t do justice to this man’s impact on his environment and the people close to him. Kumi’s story – as a man of color born into a family of high achievement and intellectualism – is endlessly fascinating.

It starts in the very first planned community, in Maryland, designed by James Rouse. It was there that Kumi tells us he felt safe, encouraged to be himself, and be curious about the wider world. His resulting confidence and willingness to take risks are themes we hear throughout the episode. The combination carries him from industry to industry, blazing his own path to success while a select few (no longer) around him doubted his process.

Kumi makes a splash at Twitter, comments insightfully on the current state of social media and free speech, and reminds us all that networking is not nearly as impactful as the concept of being in network.

With detours onto the soccer pitch, Stanford campus, and Washington DC, this conversation is packed with relatable real life wisdom and inspiration. Now, he’s grown roots in Columbus and is committed to helping others in his shoes reach the very top. Tune in for a good one.

What we cover:

  • Kumi’s incredibly impressive family
  • Growing up feeling safe leading to confidence and humility 
  • The benefit of being in network
  • How following and playing soccer opened up his worldview 
  • Having the courage to take risks 
  • Nothing is fun until it’s hard, first
  • Graduate school in a risk taking environment at Stanford 
  • Making a big impact at Twitter
  • Free speech online in 2022
  • How Kumi got to Columbus and why he’s staying