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Fonz Morris

Fonz Morris

San Jose, California

Fonz Morris is a Brooklyn-born entrepreneur and designer, based in San Jose. His design and tech experience covers start-ups and corporate America roles on both coasts of the United States.

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About the author

Fonz Morris is an entrepreneur and self-taught designer, born in Brooklyn and now based in San Jose. He’s been part of design teams in start-ups and corporate America in Philadelphia, New York, Atlanta, Washington D.C., and California. His belief in the importance of self-driven education continued through his travels through Europe, Central and South America, and South East Asia. Since 2020, Fonz Morris has been the Lead Product Designer at Netflix. Prior to joining Netflix, he led a design team at Coursera.

Fonz has worked with some of the world’s biggest companies, collaborated with hip-hop producers and entrepreneurs, and led his own start-up teams. He secured angel funding for start-ups – including working with the Lomax family, one of the few Black venture capitalist families in the USA.

As a fierce advocate for the self-taught designer and entrepreneur, he is involved in mentoring design students through a range of organizations including California College of the Arts, and General Assembly’s UX Design Bootcamp. Fonz has contributed his knowledge to conferences including AfroTech, UX Fest, UXDX, Rethink, Made In the Future, and State of Black Design. He is involved as an advising partner or consulting with venture capital firms First Round, Floodgate, and Signalfire, helping guide the next young designers and self-starters. He has supported start-ups through the early stages of development and helped guide them to Angel or Series-A investment.
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If Self Design hits 500 pre-orders by Thursday 30 November 2023 1 P.M. UTC, then it will be pitched to 54 traditional publishers when the campaign ends. If Self Design hits 250 pre-orders by Thursday 30 November 2023 1 P.M. UTC, then it will be pitched to 37 hybrid publishers when the campaign ends. If Self Design hits 500 pre-orders by Thursday 30 November 2023 1 P.M. UTC, then it will be pitched to 111 publishers when the campaign ends.
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Publishizer is a crowdfunding literary agency. If 500 pre-orders is reached, then we pitch this proposal to traditional publishers. If not reached, then it gets pitched to non-traditional publishers.

Self Design

Self Design is a powerful story of resilience and perseverance in pursuing one's dreams, taking readers on a journey from Brooklyn to Silicon Valley.

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Biography & Memoir
50,000 words
100% complete
2 publishers interested


Fonz Morris began his journey in Bed-Stuy where, as a young man, he decided that he was not going to become a victim of the streets, or a criminal statistic like so many other Black men before him. Fonz Morris designed his own path to success. He worked his way into acceptance at the prestigious HBCU Morehouse College. He put himself through university by working the bar at one of Atlanta’s most high end strip clubs. He taught himself design between classes during his senior year at Georgia State. His determination kept him working at his own company while holding down other full time positions. The hard work paid off when he secured angel investments for his own start ups. Twice.

Then it fell apart.

Facing all that he had built crumbling around him, Fonz drew on the experiences that had made him the man he was. He began again to design his path, founded on the principles he’d built through his journey. This foundation drew on the lessons growing up in Brooklyn after losing his mother early in life. This came from the strength he had learned from being accepted to his dream college, and needing to transfer when he couldn’t afford the tuition. It was the resilience he had developed up after the strip club closed and he found himself sleeping on friends’ couches, still working towards his degree. The durability he drew from to survive two house fires. The self belief developed from knowing his work was worthwhile. The determination to keep working, putting failure behind him, letting these lessons guide him as he created his own path and designed the future he wanted.

Fonz’s story is about wanting more out of life, for him and his family. It’s a story of how he was able to do what some describe as unthinkable. It’s a story for anyone who has dreams of being an entrepreneur and reaching success, anyone who has ambitions of creating yourself. His path includes moments of deep resilience, overcoming the highs and lows of working hard on the grind, taking risks like you have nothing to lose – because, essentially, you don’t. It’s about how to avoid negativity, accept mistakes and failures in a way to learn from them, how to balance the past with the present, how to stay true to yourself and your own path, how to keep focus and determination through all the noise, how to connect reality to your own dreams of self design.

Sales arguments

  • Fonz Morris is an inspirational driven self-starter who navigated his own path out of the violent streets of Brooklyn, to attain a university degree and start down the road of entrepreneurship. He suffered personal loss and set backs along the way, drawing on his own resilience and tenacity to push through and achieve his goals.
  • Fonz Morris has broken through in an industry with only a 5% rate for African American employees. His success in this has been both with large corporations, including Netflix and Coursera, and as a founder of start ups where he secured angel investments to develop his projects, including funding from the Lomax family, one of the few Black venture families in the USA.
  • Fonz Morris is a frequent speaker at industry and community events, including AfroTech, where his perspective and insights on design and business are in high demand. He works to assist designers, start ups, and other entrepreneurs through initiatives including with First Round, Flood Gate, and SignalFire. He is an active mentor through tech and community initiatives.

Similar titles

  • Heavy. Kiese Laymon. Like Heavy, Self Design follows the journey of a strong Black man growing up in America in the late 20th century. The baggage both men carry differs, and their journey takes different directions. Fonz’ journey travels through business and entrepreneurship to the world of Silicon Valley.
  • The Tao of Wu. The RZA. Like the RZA, Fonz followed his own path from the boroughs of New York to achieve his dreams, as a self taught producer. Both men faced large personal losses and deep self reflection along their journey. A strong drive in self education, an unfaltering self belief in their talents, and deep seeded resilience is common in both books.
  • Manchild In The Promised Land. Claude Brown. Brown’s memoir of Black achievement was a seller of over a million copies recounting his path out of Harlem in the 1950s. Self Design is a similar tale, showing Fonz Morris following his own path out of Brooklyn of the 1990s out of a community plagued by the crack epidemic, drugs and gangs.


Self Design will appeal to readers 20-40 who have experienced set backs in following a dream, particularly POC, entrepreneurs, and designers.

2 publishers interested Express interest

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1106 Design, LLC

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Children Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mind & Body, Mystery, Thriller, Horror & Suspense, Romantic Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, YA Fiction, Biography & Memoir, Business & Money, Career & Success, Cookbooks, Food & Wine, Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Journalism, Personal Growth & Self-Improvement, Politics & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Science, Society & Culture, Sports & Outdoors, Technology & the Future, Travel


  • Bethany Marshall
    on Sept. 18, 2023, 5:16 p.m.

    Congratulations Fonz! I can't wait to see your book in print and I look forward to following your journey towards publishing 📚