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Featured on May 02, 2011

Clay Hebert

"Real artists ship. - Steve Jobs"


Clay began his career in consulting and marketing at Accenture, the world’s largest consulting firm. In January of 2009, Clay got the opportunity to attend SAMBA, the most unique and selective MBA program in the country, a six-month journey working directly with marketing guru Seth Godin.

In 2009, Clay founded Tribes Win, a New York-based digital marketing and innovation agency that teaches big brands how to lead their tribes. His mantra is that customer engagement is the new marketing and customer experience is the new brand. Clay has been quoted in publications as large as Forbes and The New York Times and as small as the Eau Claire Leader Telegram.

An incurable entrepreneur, Clay is currently developing, a new technology startup enabling video speed networking for the enterprise. A popular public speaker, Clay also runs corporate workshops, engaging audiences around topics such as social marketing, storytelling, innovation, customer engagement and being a Linchpin. Clay writes a blog about marketing, creativity and ideas at

  • Title: Chief Engagement Officer, Tribes Win and Founder, Spindows
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Midtown
  • Contact: @clayhebert

What’s your favorite non-office location here in the City to have a meeting?

For a quick coffee meeting, I like the lobby of the Ace Hotel. There is a Stumptown Coffee Roasters right there and they sell Mast Brothers Chocolate, made by two brothers in Brooklyn. It’s amazing. For lunch meetings, the Roger Smith Hotel on 47th and Lex is great. My friend Adam Wallace runs digital there and he makes everyone feel welcome.

You mention on your blog that you are working on a new startup, Spindows, that you think will change the world.  Can you give us a hint about what Spindows is and how it will change the world?  If not, can you share the backstory to how you got started working on it?

Sure.  Spindows is a startup based on my hypothesis that companies and organizations should be more connected and collaborative.

The backstory is simple. I spent the first ten years of my career at Accenture, which employs over 200,000 people. I’m fairly extroverted and worked all over the country, yet after ten years I only knew about 100 of my colleagues well, which was only 1/20th of 1% of the company.

Surely there were other relevant people in my company that I should know but there was no easy way to find and meet them aside from manually surfing the corporate intranet.

Spindows facilitates that process. It’s a 1-to-1 video chat speed networking platform. People’s user profiles have tags that reflect both their work and personal interests. Then admins can setup Spindows, one-hour video chat sessions, based on these tags.

For example, in a single one-hour Spindow, 30 partners in New York could meet 30 analysts. Or 60 managers interested in “healthcare” and “innovation” could meet. Or the CEO could meet 30 employees one-on-one. By using tags, all sorts of valuable and interesting sessions can be created.

You are the Chief Engagement Officer of Tribes Win.  What does that mean?  What does Tribes Win do?

Tribes Win is my boutique digital marketing and innovation consultancy. We help large brands identify, lead and engage their tribes.

Brands usually bring us in because they want help figuring out social media but invariably the conversation expands into storytelling, positioning, innovation and leadership. Social media tools can be wildly effective if used as part of a smart, integrated strategy but by themselves they’re just tools.

For example, Char-Broil, one of my favorite clients, makes and sells grills and grilling products through big box retailers like Lowe’s and Home Depot. I’m working with them to lead the grilling tribe. In addition to listening and engaging on traditional social media platforms, we’re working on building out a new site called “Char-Broil Live” that will be the central hub of the grilling conversation online - everything from recipes, photos, videos, guest bloggers, a fun Foodspotting promotion, contests and events. By connecting and leading and engaging the grilling tribe, Char-Broil wins. That’s what Tribes Win does.

You’re a startup guy. What is your favorite new technology startup?

I’m helping Zaarly launch in New York and I’m really excited for the potential. It’s a mobile app that matches people who want things with people who can deliver those things immediately. I think it will completely redefine peer-to-peer economy like eBay and Craigslist did. It will be huge.

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