David C. Williams, assistant vice president of automation at AT&T, decided to offer cryptocurrency with the purchase of his upcoming book to attract more customers and introduce them to the world of digital currency. (Courtesy Photo)

By Megan Sayles,
AFRO Business Writer,
Report for America Corps Member,
msayles@afro.com

Ask David C. Williams and he’ll tell you he grew up in what he characterizes as, “the poorest corners of Dallas, Texas.” The son of a man who took his own life, Williams came from the humblest of beginnings in South Dallas, where crime is currently 183 percent above the national average.

Still, even in the face of adversity, Williams has defied the odds for decades. 

Today, he is an automation expert, a recipient of the Rodney C. Adkins Legacy Award for Business Transformation, and a soon-to-be cryptocurrency creator. 

After graduating from Dallas Baptist University with a degree in marketing, Williams began working at AT&T. His first role consisted of troubleshooting and testing phone lines. Eventually, he learned how to write scripts, a set of commands that are used to automate processes on computers. 

With his scripts, Williams became the most productive person in his office. What would normally take 20 clicks could be done in just one. He installed the scripts on his colleagues’ computers, and their department became number one in the country. 

Williams went on to rise through the AT&T ranks. 

“That was the beginning of my automation journey, and that was a long time ago. I started small,” said Williams. “Overtime, continuously creating things, I just started gaining more confidence in my abilities to automate.” 

When COVID-19 arose in the country, Williams transformed the way AT&T did business. The federal government had ordered everyone to shelter in place, but AT&T agents were met with obstacles that hindered their ability to work from home. 

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) could not allow AT&T employees to access their clients’ social security numbers and credit card numbers, along with other sensitive information, because of security concerns. This meant that the agents could not make sales or take payments. 

Williams stepped up and innovated a system that would allow employees to obtain the sensitive information required for sales without revealing the actual digits. Forty thousand AT&T employees continue to use this solution today. 

While Williams still works for AT&T as the assistant vice president of automation, he is venturing into a new market: cryptocurrency. 

Prior to the pandemic, Williams had dabbled in cryptocurrency, but his interest really picked up in the midst of COVID-19. 

In his research, he discovered that rapper Tory Lanez released a non-fungible token (NFT) album and sold one million copies in under 60 seconds. 

Williams was in the process of writing a book and thought attaching cryptocurrency coins would attract more customers while also introducing them to the world of digital currency. 

“There’s also the fact that there’s a ton of people who have not played around in crypto,” said Williams. “My goal is when people purchase my book, they will be gifted a few shares of the cryptocurrency so that would enable them to have at least a toe in the water and start to have an interest in understanding crypto.” 

Williams’ book, Business Model: An Incredible Will Meets Professional Skill, is set to come out this August. In it, he urges readers to combine their past experiences with their professional passion to create their own unique business models for success. 

“I think a lot of time as people of color and people that come from underserved communities, we’re unfortunately met with something like imposter syndrome, where we’re super capable but still doubting ourselves in certain areas” said Williams. “That doubt often is the very thing that’s separating us from the greatest things.”

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