LiftOff, Third Tribe, Troll-Gates and Paid Conversation

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Every once in a while, I like to highlight people doing cool stuff for entrepreneurs.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had a few friends launch or make me aware of some very cool entrepreneurship, career evolution and business trainings or projects. I’m sharing them because I’m betting you guys barraged by garbage promotions, trainings and products revolving around entrepreneurship and business-building all the time and I’m happy to do a bit of vetting and bring to you people and solutions I trust (FYI – I am not a JV partner in any of these, nor do I get any money for mentioning them, though at least one of them will likely give me a big squishy hug next time I see her).

So, here’s something cool on a live-retreat level and another interesting online experience that just may prove what I wrote earlier this week about not being able to monetize conversation completely wrong…

LiftOff Retreat with Pam Slim & Charlie Gilkey – I met Charlie at South by Southwest last year and, I have to confess, it took me a little while to take him seriously. Not because he’s not a cool, genuine and insanely smart guy, but because every time I heard his name, the “Charlie Bit My Finger” video from youtube kept popping into my head. This, despite the fact the dude is a genius creativity and productivity coach. Pam, I’ve known a bit longer, she’s a gifted entrepreneurship coach and we even did a career evolution workshop together last year in NYC. She blogs at and wrote a great book by the same name last year.

A little while ago, they came to me and said, “we want to do something insanely cool.” And, they told me about this entrepreneurship retreat they had in mind. But, they also wanted to create a blended experience that’s one-part intensive entrepreneurship/start-up brainstorming retreat and one-part continued support and coaching. That way, it’s not just an event, but a built in support and mentoring group.

And, it’s a real live retreat in a cool place in Arizona, not virtual gathering disguised as a retreat. Honestly, they can do the description a lot more justice, so if you’re remotely interested, just go check out their info page.

What you need to know from me is I trust these two people implicitly. They’re bright, genuine, honest, insanely giving…the real deal.

The Third Tribe – You may have heard about this already. But, I wanted to share a little more about it, from an insider’s perspective. And, again, fair disclosure, this ship is being driven by friends (and you’ve gotta wonder about anyone who’d be MY friend!).

The Third Tribe is a membership site run by Brian Clark (Copyblogger), Darren Rowse (Problogger), Chris Brogan (New Media Labs) and Sonia Simone. It just launched this week.

On it’s face, the site is a gated community designed to share detailed knowledge that bridges the gap between wanting to keep the un-slimy ethic of social media and hoping to generate at least a sliver of the revenue that seems to rain from the sky (exaggeration) in the internet marketing/info-product community that’s also often reviled in blogland.

There are two major pieces to the Third Tribe puzzle. One is the educational content they’ll be sharing on a monthly basis, the other is the community. It’s a bit too early for me to speak to the value of the educational content, since there’s not much up there yet. That’ll be released over time. But, even though it’s been a few short days, I can speak to the value of being able to build relationships with like-minded people in a community.

We’ve been talking a lot about this lately on this blog, trying to identify what you’d pay for, why…and how much. And, in my post earlier this week, I mentioned conversation was something people have traditionally had trouble paying for.

Third Tribe may just be proving me wrong. In the first 3 days, as Brian just tweeted, more than 2,000 people have signed up for Third Tribe. And, while the “educational” part of the content is still largely “to come,” the forums are going gangbusters.

There are lots of people with shared interests, asking questions, revealing information, strategies, resources and ideas and helping out with tech issues and even forming promotional alliances and trading leads. And, even thought the monthly fee ($27 or $47, I think) is modest, it’s enough to effectively kill most if not all the trolls you’d inevitably see trashing similar conversations were they held in public. Because, people generally don’t pay for the right to be nasty to others.

That alone has value. Combined with the unusually helpful environment and high level of participation, and the opportunity for strong educational content (will review that down the road), it’s an interesting way to explore getting an education, learning from the thousands of others in the forums and potentially building some great relationships.

And, you’ll have to read the info, but I’m pretty sure I remember them saying they’d refund your money if you want out.

In the end…

Like I said, I’m friends with the folks running these two adventures (so I’m massively biased, lol), but I have no financial interest. So check them out if you like, or not. S’up to you.

As always, feel free to share your thoughts…

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8 responses

8 responses to “LiftOff, Third Tribe, Troll-Gates and Paid Conversation”

  1. Sounds really interesting. Thanks for keeping me in the know.

  2. Elijah Street says:


    Your book “Career Renegade” was one of perhaps a dozen I can count as being “life changers.” Think: “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” for example.

    I’m a street person, putting together my own blog re the ups and downs of life in the down-but-not-quite-out scene. Am currently working on two eBooks, am an avid follower of you, and would gladly shell out the $ for the Third Tribe if I had it. Maybe down the road. Sounds like a great concept.

    As for you, keep up the good…um, strike that. Great work.



  3. I am frankly amazed at how quickly things are taking shape on the community level over at Third Tribe – it’s quite the microcosm. I really didn’t know what to expect and mainly got involved because of the combined reputation of the four main players, but so far I have the impression, quite unexpected for me, that the forum will deliver the lion’s share of the value! Well, we’ll see.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      tobias – it is pretty stunning how fast the comminuty has taken off, the question is how will it grow and will it be manageable. Time will tell, but I’m having a lot of fun and learning a bunch just from the forums

  4. Jonathan, I’d really love to hear your comparison of the Third Tribe and Triiibes. One of my dreams is to create something like this for Business Heretics, and I’m curious if those who are members of both see parity and/or equity, or if they prefer one over the other. (I’ve heard other opinions within Triiibes; looking for as much info as I can gather from real people who aren’t me . . . )

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  6. Don Lafferty says:

    Bully for the Third Tribe crew. As I mentioned to one of them, I’m frequently asked to write articles about community building and business development tactics that might be considered a bit mercenary by the less sales and marketing-minded, so it’s nice to have a walled conversation where nobody’s sensibilities will be offended.

    I’m all about their new gig, and look forward to connecting with you there too.

  7. Charlie says:

    It’s a few days late, but hopefully not a dollar short: thank you for mentioning Lift Off and your kind words.

    And I’ll also be giving you a big hug the next time I see you. Whether it’s squishy remains to be seen.

    And I had to run and watch the YouTube video. Now I can’t take myself seriously, but that’s probably not a bad thing. ;p