Builder. Speaker. Brooklyn native. I love making human networks work better and I love connecting people. I build mission-driven things with people I like hanging out with and can learn from.  Founder of Simplist. Lover of speed. Sometimes host of #whiskeyFriday. Follow me on twitter.
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DECLASSIFIED: I helped keep Obama in office (almost)


For the past 2.5 years, the team (my team) that makes Simplist and the tech (Knodes) that makes it possible, has kept to itself a simple fact: that we spent a lot of time pitching the Obama for America campaign in early 2012. And now we’re finally “declassifying” the pitch document below. So skip to the bottom if you hate context and props.


We didn’t win the business but we’ve always been SUPER proud that the smartest and most technically sophisticated product/tech team EVER assembled in a political contest led by superhuman Harper Reed and his squad dug what we were doing. Enough to take meetings and calls galore. Enough to assemble their entire product and technical team in person in Chicago. In person. All of them.

Amidst the crush of deadlines and too much to do, they understood that our take on how to leverage social data to segment communication and power highly intelligent social referrals was unique.

And in that room full of people who are now legend, the quote I’ll always remember after John put our developer docs and “API harness” on screen was “holy shit. THAT is cool”.

We showed them a future in which every supporter gets an email customized based on 1) what that supporter has been talking about on the social web AND 2) who’s been responding/interacting on those topics. We showed them that referrals are good but that we’d built a way to make them 20X more effective simply by targeting them.

No more one size fits most emails. No more tell whomever you can think of. 

Yeah, we’ve been building the future of smart social interaction and integration for a little while now. We love this stuff. And even though we didn’t win the OFA2012 business, we LOVE that we got to trade ideas and learning with such an incredible team.

So take a look at the pitch. Tell us what you think. Turning social signal into action and outcomes for even the smallest of teams is our jam. — Ron J

What We Pitched the Obama Campaign in 2012 from Ron J Williams

Me on AlJazeera talking about importance of educating kids on coding. Highlighting awesome work of Camp Interactive and Stoked Mentoring.

Biggest point I can ever make: teaching kids how to build solutions to the problems they see is the single greatest opportunity we have to narrow the income gap for minorities AND stay competitive globally. It’s just good for everyone. #build

Some of the Simplist team rocked (Nick is already signed up for a half ironman!) the triathlon…but much more importantly we raised more than $30,000 as a part of the Camp Interactive fundraising team!

So then we threw a party. A #whiskeyTriday (special edition of #whiskeyFriday) that some of our favorite people attended! And then after a bunch of tasty drinks sponsored by our host Building on Bond, the next day I was feeling myself (and a distinct need for water).

So I went full rapper:


And finally, even our puppy wanted in on the action and threw down the gauntlet: Next year he intends not just to coach me through the triathlon season…he intends to compete and raise money for Camp Interactive.


Thanks Camp Interactive for making a difference and giving us a chance to help more kids see that they too are builders.

If you’re curious how me and Nick raised all of our money so quickly, drop me a line (hint: Simplist special targeting features all the way). if you’re curious why Biscuit is so damn cute, I have no idea.

You like kids? You like tech? Well then what you waitin’ for?

Hey, Team Interactive is crushing our raise for Camp Interactive (a program to get more kids of color into technology). And I’m actually almost ready for this triathlon. So let’s finish strong! Every $1500 puts a kid through ENTIRE program. So we decided to shoot for 150% of our original goal.

Here are reasons you should stop and take 30 seconds to support me dragging my butt across the finish line to get more kids in tech:
1. The odds of me winning the RACE are small…like less than zero.
2. BUT the odds of us together making more kids feel capable of solving their own problems are HIGH. Which is kind of like winning.

3. So, take 30 seconds to be more awesome and help me help more kids see just how incredible they are and will be as builders and definers of our future
See, that’s easy right?
Thank you for the support and see you at the finish line!
Ron J


Who am I again?
I’m the Chief Empathy Officer of Simplist
Build your team. Build your business.
Why am I doing this?
There is not enough diversity in tech. Period. As a black kid from Brooklyn who became a tech founder I see this everyday. I was lucky enough to have educational opportunities and the support of a “village” and I gotta pay if forward.
Why else am I doing this?
Because diversity breeds unique perspective and innovation. Kids who today might only see problems can tomorrow see and build unique soutions only THEY can think of.

We did it! Now pull out your card and STTTTrreeeetch!

Oh snap, we raised $2,000 for the kids in a week!

You like tech. You like kids. How about more kids in tech? Yeah. Support this now or people won’t like you. And oh yeah, we raised $2,000 in less than two weeks. Oh snap. Help us get to our $3,000 goal right now. Camp Interactive is AWESOME.


Why I love my job more than Bill Cosby loves Jell-O →

I had to share this simple truth about what makes me happy in my day to day work.



You. You’re why. My team is addicted to that look of accomplishment on our users’ faces (or tweets) when they get to the people they need to help them build. When they communicate in personalized and effective ways to activate their community.

It’s unique. It’s inspiring. It’s that moment…

Would you Speak Up if this was happening?


Would you confront a man who hit a woman on the street in broad daylight? Would you get up from the table where you were sitting having an incredible brunch with your beautiful wife, healthy Dad and cute puppy Biscuit? Would you jump over the banister and walk 100 paces up the block to confront that man and ask if that woman was OK? Would you ask if the other younger man present (who looked terrified too) was OK? Would you look the abusive man directly in his eyes and say out loud,

"You know that it’s not OK to hit women, right?"

And would you look at the woman despite the withering look that man is giving you. Despite the fact written all over his face that he’d love to smash yours. And would you say

"This is not OK. It’s never ever ok for him to hit you. Ever. Are you OK? Do you need help?"

Not sure if you would? Well I didn’t. (kinda)

I didn’t talk to “that man” or “that woman”…because “that man” was a boy no older than 13 years old. And ” that woman” was a 10 or 11 year old little girl with another little boy in tow no older than 8 or 9. So yeah, I basically chastised a kid.

And it broke my fucking heart that I had to walk up the block. And it broke my heart more that this little girl was surprised someone would say something. She didn’t think she could speak up and she didn’t think anyone would (should??) speak up for her. But then I saw hope.

As these kids walked away from me, oldest boy looking back throwing daggers, some of the ladies sitting nearby us at the restaurant from the neighborhood jumped on their phone to reach out the parents. And we talked about it. And it was a village. And I was glad. And the message wasn’t JUST for the young man who’s likely (like many of us who’ve grown up in urban environments) had hitting and intimidation modeled either at home or in the neighborhood BUT ALSO for this young woman-in-the-making. And the message for her is two-fold:

  1. Find your voice in the midst of abuse or intimidation
  2. We (me and you reading this) will lend you ours until you find yours. We’ve got her back.

That second piece is so important to me I’ve realized of late. We’re having lots of conversation about male roles in a culture of entitlement and I’d like to see one important thing change culturally. Man, woman, boy, girl, trans, same-sex relationship, hetero-normative plain vanilla, or something I can’t even yet conceive of, when you see something, please, please speak the fuck up.

Your buddy makes a racial joke and thinks your other “half-white” friend shouldn’t be offended. SPEAK UP.

Your buddy hollers at a woman at a bar and then she shuts him down? When he goes back in there after she’s made her self clear…SPEAK UP.

You see a strong human being laying hands on a weaker human being because they think nobody will speak up? Blow their minds (no matter how scary) and SPEAK UP.

If we all know that the “typical” behavior when you see wrong-doing is to speak up, then we will all feel better supported to find our voices and self-advocate even amidst terrifying circumstances. And that is a world I want to live in.

Everybody #SpeakUp.

Who's putting people back into politics? →


We tend to focus on founders, freelancers and small teams but this piece was great. Awesome article by Wired UK on which digital tools will help British politicians take home the win. Props to Geoff Mulgan for a smart mention of our friends Thunderclap and other powerful tools like…

If you built a product for Founder and Freelancers and then wanted feedback, how would you reach out to every Founder or Freelancer you know? What if you needed help finding engineers and didn’t want to spend thousands on recruiters like this guy? ronjdub share’s how he gets stuff like this done as a Founder.

Try it out for yourself