My name is Jason Williscroft, Founder & CEO of Tribify LLC. Nice to meet you! There are two things worth knowing about me.
One: I’m a military guy! My dad was a naval officer, and when I grew up I enlisted in the Marine Corps and then went to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, and became a naval officer too. I spent 12 years in the military and then got out and did other things, but in my heart I never really got all that far away.
The other thing worth knowing about me: I make stuff. Like… OBSESSIVELY make stuff. Growing up, whenever my dad wasn’t out at sea, I was in his workshop holding a flashlight while he bolted something together. I studied engineering at the Naval Academy, and I’ve got a sweet collection of hand tools… but what REALLY gets my juices flowing is software!
Before there were web browsers or really even a web to browse, I was already hacking code. I’m addicted to impossible problems. Whether you call it Big Data or Data Science or Machine Intelligence: I build machines that help people make better decisions.
Back in the fall of 2019 I was done. I was 50 years old and had spent a decade working myself into a super tight niche building data management systems for really big financial institutions. It was Groundhog Day: pretty much the same project, over and over, year in and year out. The money was good but it wasn’t fun any more.
Time for a change.
So I threw my laptop and some dive gear into a backpack, grabbed my girlfriend, and moved to Bali. If you don’t know where that is, it’s a volcanic island in Indonesia, just to the east of the island of Java and exactly 12 time zones away in either direction from the East Coast. So if I were any farther away from Wall Street, I’d be closer!
Why Bali? I mean… type it into Google Images. That.
Plus Bali is sort of a nexus point for digital nomads: plugged-in entrepreneurs who are either running a virtual business or seeking whatever comes next. When you can rent a three-bedroom villa with cleaning staff and a pool guy for $800/month, you can afford to take some time to think, maybe even make a few mistakes along the way, and still feel pretty confident you won’t starve to death before you figure out what comes next.
If that’s where you are in life, Bali’s a pretty good choice.
Anyway we landed on the island in December 2019. While we were settling in I got an email from a old shipmate: a young naval officer friend of his was getting ready to leave the service and wanted to launch a career in data. So he asked me to get on the phone with him and give him a few pointers.
I did that, and it was an amazing mentoring experience! I thought I’d share it with my Naval Academy classmates, so I started up a Facebook mentoring group, which got a huge response even though the Facebook platform was garbage. And then COVID hit and everybody was locked up at home, so I thought: how about a Zoom call?
On March 26, 2020, we held our first RINGKNOCKER Virtual Meetup. It was small… just seven attendees, including myself. It was disorganized, it was awkward… and it was AWESOME! So awesome I immediately went out and scheduled some more weekly Meetups… TWENTY of them.
Like, next one in seven days!
So: crunch time! How could I populate this call every week with shipmates, classmates, and comrades-in-arms who would be excited to see each other, support one another, and do business together?
I popped open my LinkedIn account, looked at the profile of one of my attendees, and that’s when inspiration hit. LinkedIn will tell you everything you need to know about how a group of people fits together… if only you know what to do with the data.
And if I know ANYTHING, it’s what to do with data. 😁
So I put together a little staff. We built a data machine whose purpose is to draw together a community of people around a product or a mutual interest.
We called it the Tribify Engine, and in 15 months and 65 virtual events (and counting!) it has transformed RINGKNOCKER from a disorganized Zoom call into a national phenomenon that has activated the professional networks of thousands of veterans who never fully appreciated the value of what they already had.
Soon we realized that the Tribify Engine is actually a product in its own right: it’s got uses that go FAR beyond organizing a bunch of knuckle-draggers on a Zoom call. So we created Tribify LLC to bring the Engine to a broader market.
So that brings us up to date! As a business, Tribify is new. As a platform, the Tribify Engine is reasonably mature: we’ve been out there serving RINGKNOCKER sponsors and a small-but-growing list of Tribify clients for nearly a year and a half.
And… did I mention? The Tribify Engine like nothing else in the world. Under the hood, most “LinkedIn Marketing” agencies are a Sales Navigator subscription and a small army of virtual assistants, searching away at $7/hour. We’re as far from that as I am from Wall Street.
If you’d like to see what happens when you can step right past the sales funnel and start building relationships with exactly the right people—and nobody BUT exactly the right people—schedule a demo and let’s get started!