Behind the Brilliance 085: Willie Jackson


This week, I recap my trip to Egypt (the good, the bad, the wtf?!). Lisa Likes Global Entry, the program that lets you skip the lines when you return to the US from abroad. This program also includes TSA Pre-Check which is just as glorious.

This week’s guest is the smart and awesome Willie Jackson – a technologist and media executive.



WILLIE JACKSON is a media executive, technologist, and entrepreneur. He’s the founder and publisher of Abernathy, and the tech lead of Seth Godin’s altMBA program.

photo of Willie Jackson

Previously, Willie served as the Director of Web Optimization at W3 EDGE, a Boston based interactive web development and marketing agency. In this role, he supported users of products such as W3 Total Cache, a popular web performance framework for WordPress.

Before W3 EDGE, Willie relocated to Buenos Aires, Argentina and spent five months immersing himself in a foreign culture in order to challenge himself and his assumptions about life outside what’s familiar. Much to the relief of his dear mother, he did not find himself stranded and destitute at any point during the adventure.

In 2011, Willie served as the CTO of The Domino Project, a publishing company in New York City started by bestselling author and marketing guru Seth Godin. In its year-long lifecycle, The Domino Project published twelve books, all of which became bestsellers, and redefined the way books are created, published, and shared.

Before The Domino Project, Willie spent three years as an IT Consultant with Accenture in Atlanta. He specialized in portal and content management deployments, and helped select, implement, and support Enterprise technology solutions for Fortune 500 clients across North America.

Willie is a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council. He is an advisor to and has worked with several bestselling authors, entrepreneurs, consumer goods companies, and startups spanning varied industries, including fitness, travel, and law. He is a regular speaker at conferences, where he addresses topics such as Web Performance, careers, and doing the impossible.

He has been featured in documentaries (I’m Fine, Thanks), on HTGV (House Hunters International Episode HHINT-5010H), and in print (Icarus Deception by Seth Godin). Willie writes semi-regularly on his eponymous blog about business and success through the eyes of a curious marketer.

A graduate of Florida State University (Information Technology), Jackson currently lives in New York City.


TOPICS COVERED (partial list)

Making the transition to doing work you love

The importance of self-care (no matter how busy you get)

Lifestyle design

Developing work habits that support your goals

How to create a new professional network from scratch

How and why Willie launched Abernathy Magazine

And much, much more!


STUFF MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE (clickable links below)

Willie Jackson – website

Abernathy Magazine

Global Entry

Escape from Cubicle Nation by Pam Slim

Seth Godin

Deep Work by Cal Newport

Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance

Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen

Bulletproof Coffee



  • Kim

    Great podcast! Mr. Jackson’s transformation story was amazing and very inspiring. Thank you for sharing.