Two guys cracked the code to understanding politics from all angles and put all of that objective information into one centralized location, onto one app — Politiscope. Walter Powell and Jackson White came together to produce an app dedicated to educating the public on certain aspects of the federal government, so they can be more informed as election day approaches. The information comes in an easy-to-digest format and allows users to scroll through articles, videos, and polls about certain topics like environment or gun control with ease. Today, Walt and Jackson chat with host Josh Martin about the app and how it has revolutionized the way Millennials and the Gen Z population are digesting more and more of their news through independently run media outlets.
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Walter Powell And Jackson White Tell Us Why Political Participation Matters
We have Walt Powell and J White, Founders of Politiscope. We discuss the future of democracy and technology, getting Millennials involved in democracy and things to look forward to from Politiscope in the future.
I’m here with Walt Powell and J White, Cofounders, friends, Politiscope. I’m happy to have you here.
Thanks for having us. We appreciate you.
I was excited to meet you. You’re associated and represented by Vayner. You have been friends for a long time. How did you meet? Give us a little background on how you got here.
I and J have been best friends since we were sixteen and we met through my other best friend because they both went to the same high school. We all used to rock with each other hard. After that, me and him have been road dogs ever since.
How did this idea from Politiscope come about?
This happened back in December of 2017 towards the end. J always loved politics. He’s been that person who’s always come for political knowledge in a simplified way. One day, I was downstairs chilling in the living room, J came downstairs pissed about a bill that got passed. We were having a really cool discussion about it like, “It’s crazy how naïve and misinformed people can be at times.” It hit me as clear as I knew I want to play the NFL when I was a kid. It was like, “What if we created an app that broke down politics the way you break down politics to me.” I had the vision. I’ve seen it years into the futures are. I went to CVS. I grabbed some printing paper and I started drawing it out how I’ve seen it. Twenty pages later, that was Politiscope.
I hit up AJ and I asked him about the idea. He was like, “This very well could change the country if not the world.” He challenged us to come up with a prototype and then bring it to him in three months. We brought him a prototype that rolled around the end of March. We brought it to him on March 10th. I remember it like yesterday because I and J came up in Vayner suited and booted like we used to come and audit the place. We came and showed him the prototype. He loved it. He’s been our first advisor ever since. He’s been helping us through this whole journey. For a few months, we raised $500,000 to get the company going, hire employees and get the app developed. We have been rolling ever since.
Let’s take a step back and elaborate on exactly what Politiscope is. What does it offer? The value proposition and why it’s important to have a resource like Politiscope in this age of misinformation and fake news.
I’m going to explain what Politiscope is and I’m going to let J break it down to you. We created a nonpartisan player profile app for politicians. It breaks down and explains every bill a politician votes for or against into layman’s terms so that the average American like me, can understand politics and be more engaged in the political process as well as register their vote. Some of the key features on the app is on the player profile, you can call your politician from their profile page and you can follow them on our social media as well. Every politician, every bill, every article on the app, and every video you favored, it goes to your personal profile page. You can go straight back to your profile page and see the stuff that you’re interested in and the politicians. You get the bill tracker and it shows you updates on bills and any activity that politicians are doing. We try to make this the one-stop-shop for all politics.
One of the biggest polls found 72% of Americans feel that mainstream media outlets release fake, false or purposely misleading information. A lot of that is reflected in the fact that there’s not much choice in who we’re consuming media from. Fox News, CNN and MSNBC are giant networks to name a few. The issue is most of them are owned by the same people who sit on the same board of executives. People who donate to the same groups of politicians. In general, the establishment doesn’t want to change. That’s oversimplified but because of that oversimplification which you see in media is they don’t talk about policy. They beat around the bush with things like that. They’ll talk about Trump’s tweets all day and night. While people may have strong opinions towards that, what matters is what policies are being passed, while everyone’s paying attention to these or over 98% of world scientists have confirmed that climate change is real.
The effects of that have been increased by how we consume energy. A couple of people on CNN debating like, “Is climate change real?” Instead of talking about how can we make more money using clean energy? How can we better manage the waste products that we use from things like oil and coal and create even more jobs for this industry that’s dying? Mainstream media outlets don’t have the right arguments and therefore they don’t hold powerful people accountable. Politiscope is by no means the only and the first organization that aims to provide objective information. Until lately, there hasn’t been an outlet for more independently-ran media to take steam. Now, we’re seeing YouTube as we were talking before. YouTube has independently ran media outlets who are crowdfunded and therefore they do real investigative journalism.
We’ve all heard of few research centers or the CBO, the Congressional Budget Office and university studies. There are all types of sources where they run the numbers, crunch up the data, and access to real objective info is there. What narrative are you pushing? In Politiscope, we deliver objective information not just about bills but providing context around the issues themselves with other types of media content, so people can learn like, “What is it?” Everybody’s talking about impeachment, “How does it work?” What is an executive order? How does that work? How does our tax system work? Where does our tax money go? Being an educated source, so that people can learn the ins and outs of society and therefore, better participate in the political process. That’s the whole problem. It’s not just us, but people like us are filling that problem.
You guys know what you’re talking about and that’s important. I was talking all about this. When you walk into a room, you suited and booted. What barriers have you faced in becoming more politically active and experts in this dissemination of political information and how has that been received by the other people that are doing it?
First, hitting on one point. As soon as we come in and talking about tech, politics and trying to provide a platform that presents nothing but unbiased information. The first thing people don’t think about is, “It’s just another football player, Colin Kaepernick take a knee-type shit.” We’re trying to educate the masses and do something in a different way so that everybody can see it from both ends of the spectrum.
It’s a good time for us to be doing this. The cultural and political climate in the country as you’re saying, minorities are becoming the majority increasingly. Because of that, we’re becoming a normal part of society. To older generations, that may be strange but to the majority of people who are Millennials or Generation X especially Generation Z, it’s not weird to us. Because of the transparent society we live in, we’re seeing more and more of what goes on. What’s more important than how people react is the attitude that you have? For every person who may not want to hear what you’re talking about, there’s ten more who do. There’s always going to be some people who don’t necessarily trust your brand or trust you but as long as you’re ethical in your approach, then that’s their problem and not yours.
On top of that, if we presented straight facts not left, not right and they’re straight facts and you’re mad at it, it says a lot about yourself. What are you doing? Are you corrupt? Why are you so pissed about what’s real? We’re giving it to you.
If you’re pretty moderate in your political ideology, then this is something where you can trust that the right arguments and the right data is being used for people to come to the best decision. Far-right or far-left arguments, we don’t make them. We’re not here to try to convince people what’s right or what’s wrong. We provide the most compelling evidence and at the same time, provide context around all the issues and facets of society so that we can, not just teach people what bills mean but show them. If you don’t understand education, wages, and things like that then what difference does it make if you learn and what this bill means?
Even on that, me using my platform of playing in the NFL for years and being Millennials and minorities can create cultural change and get on all these ambassadors we signed on. We’re getting celebrities involved who want to help and use more than their voice to push the issue across. Politiscope is the tool that everybody’s been looking for to use instead of using their voice. Use their voice and Politiscope to push anything they’ve got to do with politics.
Let’s talk about that. J, you mentioned the brand and how that’s important. I’m curious about what you’ve identified as your competitors. You mentioned these huge corporations such as CNN, Fox News and MSNBC are pushing these narratives. They have loyal followers, people who see they live and die by their words. How do you easily weigh in and say, “This isn’t necessarily true. Politiscope is a better resource. We’re unbiased as you can be. We provide objective information.” How do you differentiate yourself from those entities and other competitors in your space?
The times we live in provide opportunities that haven’t been there. For example, Fox, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, things like that are huge networks but Millennials don’t watch them very much. The average Fox viewer is 68 years old and white. As an example, those have been more of the voters, people who do more of the voting. The Millennials are starting to get more involved in the political process. Most of us are in our mid-20s. In general, most people even me, I didn’t get that interested in politics. The Baby Boomers, those networks appeal to them more. As I said, a poll found that 72% of Americans don’t trust the info that they’re getting from those establishment outlets. What we’re doing is riding the wave of booming independent media. In a lot of ways, networks like Fox and CNN aren’t our competitors. Our competitors more so are websites, because there are other sources that break down bills naturally.The most important thing that allows anybody, any business, or any organization to thrive is if you mean it. Click To Tweet
For instance, Congress.gov and VoteSmart.org, those are two very good and reputable sources that break down bill information but they haven’t transitioned well onto the app space. There’s no one behind it who has a voice that people in popular culture would know. There’s a lot of people jumping into the app space for politics. A lot of these outlets are very left or right-leaning in terms of how they frame everything. That alienates a lot of people and a lot of them go for the Facebook of politics but then that creates the problem of so much user-generated content where people are going on there. A lot of people are jumping into this space but with Politiscope, focusing on the policy which is the root of politics that affects everybody. When Obama was in office, this wouldn’t have had the same appeal. Whether you like Trump or not, he puts on a show.
Who’s leveraged social media better than Donald Trump.
The times we live in give us opportunities that we would not have had if we tried to do this years ago.
You are new in this app space for the service or the value that you’re providing. Could you elaborate on how you’re spreading the message that it’s important to be engaged? You’re offering this resource but why should we use it? I can speak to this because I was texting you. I was trying to do some research before the last midterm election and I was like, “How do I put this on my account? How do I find this on the app?” How do you get people to use the app? I know you have the ambassadors. It’s a big part of that but what’s the allure? Do you make it accessible? You spoke a little bit about the timing. What are you doing? A lot of people have identified this as revolutionary. I’m going in all sorts of different directions but you’ve spent a lot of time raising awareness, reaching out, finding funders and ambassadors. J, you spend a lot of time on the content. I remember asking, “How can I find the state legislature? What’s next on the docket for Politiscope?”
It’s an app and a big thing about the most successful apps out there is their constant innovation. They’re constantly developing new features and new additions. I would imagine in Politiscope, you give more and more access to information at a granular level whether those are bills at the federal or state level. I don’t have any kids but I voted on the school board in Jersey City and I couldn’t find information on the policies or what this other group was running on. I’m good at using Google like any other Millennial would be but I couldn’t find anything. I think it’s important to have access to that information. What your thoughts are on innovating in that space, in making all political information at all levels accessible, and what that looks for you? This is a big question. I know it’s not a simple answer but I figured I’d touch on that and see if you have anything.
That’s a matter of our infrastructure. How much information can we manage? Do we have the right technology to organize it properly and deliver it to people in a way that makes sense and convenient? Our rollout plan is we cover federal activity. We’re not on the state level yet. The federal government gives us access to people in all 50 States. We can cover legislation and policy that affects a little bit of everybody. Other independent media networks and independent organizations that are politically involved that I’ve seen are their commitment and consistency with delivering content that people like to see, respond to and engaging with them on your social media platforms. VaynerMedia and Gary Vee is a great example of that. Inviting conversation, responding to them and being involved in the community. What types of political events are going on in the city? We need to be there. We are there.
Shaking these people’s hands, listening to their ideas on how they can organize, we can organize, finding and fitting our product into the missions of people that we meet out here and not being passive with that. A lot of people especially in the app world and with our competitors, I don’t know who they are. You don’t see them. They don’t get involved in the real world very much. Things like that go a very long way. People talk about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who won a House seat in New York. She beat one of the top Democrats in the House who had been there for quite some time. He outspent her 10 to 1 and she won because she had boots on the ground. She went door-to-door. She knocked. She listened to these people. She got involved in their struggle and because of that, she’s one of the more popular people in the House who’s pushing progressive ideas.
The most important thing that allows anybody, any business, or any organization to thrive is if you mean it. Who gives a shit about what could go wrong? You plan accordingly but, “And?” That’s the biggest thing. We need to move out to the state level. We cover a lot of policy with our media content. In the Congress page, we only have a roll of bills that have been passed or that are being debated on the floor. There’s a lot more activity that goes on in Congress. The next update will feature a little bit more of that. What type of hearings do they have? Do they have speeches on the floor? Are members of the Senate of the House going to different communities and businesses? What are they doing? Get in feedback, doing our due diligence and making sure that we had to start somewhere and roll out.
Picture us as to how Facebook came out right off the beginning. Facebook was really simple. Over time, it gradually became Facebook. You could do all types of stuff like play games or buy stuff off of it. You can create communities on Facebook. With Politiscope, the layout is dope. Everybody gets a chance to check it out. We got so many updates. We’re ready to unload 50 plus and to keep everyday people more engaged in and not in a boring way. Everything is real. It’s attractive. It has an Instagram feel to it. This is really attractive, easy to flow through and in a matter of four clicks, you’re more informed. On top of that, we got so much stuff like we’ve got the political dictionary we’re going to have coming out. We got the, “Did you know?” explaining stuff and politics. Swipe it feature like a Tinder feature but swiping it about politics, “Do you agree? Yes or no?” Going in-depth and explaining why you swipe yes and why you swipe no.
We’ve got so many ways to keep the average American, or not even the average American, anybody who feels that they are informed about politics. This is something everybody can use and go to because we took our prototype to the CBC, the Congressional Black Caucus where all the top congressmen, congresswomen and politicians, all the people, you name it. We were showing some of the people and they’re like, “When is this coming out? We need this.” People have been waiting for this. We got so many updates. As an app, it keeps growing, it’s going to keep getting simpler to use, interactive, and not putting all that social media having people comment and trolling. We want this to be a straight tool for you. Every day, it’s like a calculator. We got it going to see people talking trash all day about certain bills and stuff. It’s something you can use and feel comfortable using. It’s added to your everyday life.
You mentioned you had this vision years in the future. You talk about the growth, you gave the example of Facebook, started off almost a hot or not type deal at Harvard and it becomes one of the highest valued companies in the world. Years down the road, you mentioned, if you like it, swipe left, swipe right and there’s polling. Where do you see this many years from now? Where do you see the app? Where do you see American democracy? If you could elaborate on that.
The vision, as I said, was so vivid and clear but I could see us being beef-like. If you use Facebook, the Facebook of politics, you’re bringing all these sources together and building a grand community where people can trust a source and have it be biased. It’s that one source that everybody goes to love and trust because we bring in the facts and getting people using this. Having this informational knowledge is power and a lot of people are deprived of the knowledge in politics, unless you got to dig in and do research. Everybody’s always on-the-go and on their phone all the time. Why not put something on their phone that they can look at really quick? In a matter of four clicks, have it right then and there and keep it pushing. You have to spend five minutes on the phone on Politiscope and you know that much more about politics. You feel more comfortable about it. When Trump became the president, it was uncomfortable. Have you seen that one lady? She was on her knees telling them, “What?” That’s the funniest thing I’ve seen. People feel about it because it’s like, “How did this happen?” Even with the whole shut up and dribble-type situation. They didn’t tell Trump to shut up and stay the host like, “You’re fired.” I feel like athletes and anybody can step into any space they want as long as you’re going to pursue it wholeheartedly with good intentions, why not?
Politiscope will enable a lot of people to participate in the democracy that might not necessarily feel like they were qualified, in a place or space in their life to be able to do that. I want to mention these features that you’re planning on rolling out. What are you most excited about in terms of features? What can people look forward to in Politiscope? What’s going to be that next big feature? You talk about more access to the information and swipe it. In your opinion, what should people look forward to most?
We already got in there the hot topics. With our hot topics, it shows categories ranging from the environment to gun control, gun policy, drug policy and so many different categories. The hot topics that are in there, let’s say you’re going to education. It’s everything getting out about education whether it’s legislation, media and articles, you’ll be able to filter through them. You might want to look at nothing but videos related to education at night. If you’re a teacher and you don’t feel like reading, you can get right in there, getting into hot topics, look at it and feel comfortable.
With how we plan to continuously update, the goal is to create a product that allows people to take action digitally and not have to do so much and are outdated. For instance, the voting registration process can be complicated. In a lot of states like New Jersey, for instance, you can’t register online. You have to do that in person. Every time you move you have to reregister. There are lot of ways that you can get purged from the voter rolls, if you don’t do everything right. Following where technology is going into terms of making like registering to vote and knowing where to go to vote easier. Calls to actions, making it easier and easier to get into contact with your representatives whether it be calling them, emailing them.
If they have a Town Hall somewhere or some type of an event, being able to book yourself there. When elections are going on, being able to see how true does this candidate or has this candidate stayed to what they’ve said about their policy stances. How have they voted based on what they’ve said? What are they running on at all? Making it more and more interactive is how we plan to roll this out. We have a tool that has a lot of very interesting, compelling information on there that’s fun to consume. We give objective information on a policy that’s happening. As we roll out, we want this to be something that can make people take action in the real world but from their phone in ways that don’t exist.Anybody can step into any space they want as long as they’re going to pursue it wholeheartedly with good intentions. Click To Tweet
We’re discussing this a little bit but you are processing a lot of information in these bills. How are you able to do it? Are you using any unique technologies in processing these bills? Thousand pages of texts into a few hundred words, how are you able to capture the general idea?
That’s a primary concern that anybody would have and trusting this information. It’s a combination of the team, who we have working on the bills. We have law graduates who help us dissect the information who were formally trained in law and different types of bill breakdowns. Also, utilizing the sources that already exist and do it and centralizing it into a more attractive platform. There’s already a library of Congress, Congress.gov, GovTrack.us, and VoteSmart.org. Those are all examples of web platforms that already break down legislation that’s repeatable. There’s a combination of technologies that already exist to do it but then it’s deeper than cracking the numbers of the bills. You’ve got to provide context around the issues or else it doesn’t make a difference.
They look like trash. All these other ones, when we’re doing research on them, I’m like, “This is boring.” I see how people trying to dig deep into politics.
Providing context around the issues and being in a constant state of research so that you can understand how A leads to B at all. There are so many articles and documentaries that have been made about the issue after issue, about different times in history where you can gather context in reference to different types of information as you do break down that legislation. It’s that three-way system to where the information is there but also working with and contracting people who are formally trained to professionally do this. At the same time, utilizing the sources that are already there. Having general know-how and passion for the research process so that we’re making sure that the info that we’re pulling is legitimate. For instance, Medicare for all is a very huge topic. Seventy percent of the country is in favor of it including 52% of Republicans.
There are arguments for it and against it, naturally like anything. An argument that a lot of people will make against it is it’s going to cost $32 trillion over the years. If you have more libertarian views where you don’t like such big government spending, that’s a legitimate argument but you’re not telling the part where what we do will cost over $34 trillion. You have to be consumed enough in the subject matter to realize what arguments are valid and what isn’t. How many other countries are using a single-payer type of healthcare system? What are the pitfalls of those? How do those policy systems differ from one another? The times that we live in, the information is there. We centralize it. I would explain that process of always gathering that. The biggest pluses that there’s already a lot of organizations that do this that are very reputable and have been for decades. You know how to gather that and having that expertise.
How did you feel when you first got on a Politiscope, once I told you about it?
To be honest, I didn’t use it at first. I didn’t download it. I was like, “That sounds cool but I’m not worried about politics right now.” About a week from that election, I was like, “Let me download this Politiscope so I know what the hell I’m voting on.” That’s when I started texting you and I was trying to figure out, “Where can I find this and that?” It’s cool to be active in politics but you can only be so active, you can do the door knocking, helping fundraise and making phone calls. We talked about the boots on the ground, being one of those people that’s on the ground, and helping out for causes that you believe in. Beyond that, the next most powerful thing you can do is vote. They’re the primaries earlier in the year and you have the general election. There are only so many opportunities to do that. Politiscope was empowering because it has a whole summary of the Senator.
When was the last time I read a summary of a Senator that I’m voting for? Never. I was reading mail but I don’t read paper mail. It was from the election board of New Jersey. It was like, “You didn’t vote in the 2017 General Election.” Part of me was like, “I did not vote in the 2017 General Election.” It was an afterthought. I didn’t know how to vote. It wasn’t the presidential election, so what is there to vote on? Having Politiscope and seeing, “These bills are being passed?” There are things to vote on every election, to have the power, the education, the awareness, and how accessible it makes a thing where it’s easy to do. That’s one good thing that you guys have accomplished. Being in this app space, everything is in the palm of your hand these days and you make it so accessible. It was irresponsible before not to vote but it’s even more irresponsible now that this access to information that’s so readily available and easily digestible.
It’s extremely empowering and it makes me feel good about myself that I can participate in these processes. You talked about this initial idea. J was explaining to you this bill he was upset about. I’ll ask both of you this, what does participation in the Democratic process mean to you? There are all these stats, only 1/3 of the American population voted roughly in this past midterm election and it was the highest turnout ever in the history of midterm elections. A third is not even a majority of the country. I’m curious about your thoughts on this significance and what it means to you to take a part in that.
Like you, I didn’t take part in it. I thought my vote didn’t matter. What could I do? At one point, I feel helpless because all this stuff was getting passed and all I could do is sit there and complain. J has been there and breaking things down for me. The more we did research on the bills, even though the bill says, “Building a Park.” That may be the title of the bill but it’s not exactly what that bill means. It’s so much deeper than that. It’s like, “This is crazy how they’re trying to finesse.” It’s like, “We got to tighten up as people in ourselves.” I don’t want to be that person again complaining about, “This person did this. He did not pass this.” Voting is an empowering thing and every vote counts and matters. That’s why we did add the Register the Vote feature on the app so people can. Unfortunately in New Jersey, you still got to go in to go register to vote. Having that edge gives people that much more power to that next step to take action. As we continue to develop more of the app, we want to be able to activate the Call to Action features on the app, so people can have power in what they do.
Participation in the Democratic process is not encouraged because of what it would mean if the majority of the population couldn’t be tricked and lied to. For every argument that there is against participating, there are 3, 4, or 5 more that proves that it does matter. We put some on the app about this in Kentucky. His name is Jim Glenn. The Democrat in one of the districts in Kentucky won the House race by one vote. Al Gore and George W. Bush in 2000 after the recount, it was 500 something votes that separated them when Al Gore won. In our Electoral College, five times in our history, the person who lost the popular vote won. In other countries, they have more representative types of parliamentary government. Here, a Republican or Democrat is going to win and that’s all you get. A lot of other representative systems, Parliament or Congress is made up of the percentage of that party that got voted for.
If a party gets 34% of the vote, then 34% of that Congress is made up of that party, so on and so forth. There are different types of systems that do give better representation than we have but we’re not going to get there if we don’t participate in what we already do have. We’re not going to get there if we don’t put people in government who are going to force that change like example after example. There have been people who have risen up sometimes at their own peril but change happens. It can’t be avoided and there are always people who are willing to step up and die for what’s right. The only way we’ll get there is if we are participating. That doesn’t mean voting. Help out in your community, be a better employer, and treat people better. If there’s a town hall, go to it, tell your elected official how you feel about things, pressure them to do what you want them to do, don’t back off, don’t let them tell you to not participate. The voting system or whatever that we live under will only stand as long as people continue to allow it to. Participation is key because if you don’t participate, there are plenty of people with ill intentions who aren’t going to stop.
My first thought is, “There are people who are willing to die for this, what’s at stake?” Is this a life or death situation? Yes. Is that answer nuance? There are a lot of ways that people are living and dying. Does one vote make a difference? Yes, because based on what I heard, in my personal beliefs and thoughts, in my personal experience, I use this analogy of being on a team. I play football. You are familiar with sports. J, do you play any sports?
I did a little bit but I never was that into it.
I’m getting at this idea of a collective effort. If you look at the United States, the American population, our country as one team, how are we going to move forward as a team as a collective? Taking that into consideration going one step further, how do you ensure that the team is going in the direction that you want it to go into? You have to utilize your voice. In the case of American politics, that’s your vote. Going even further, how do you hold your team accountable? Is this the best America that could be?
It’s not at all.
Coming from team sports, is it a reach? I don’t think so. We’re all in this together whether we think so or not. We’re all going in the same direction even though it seems like we might be going in different directions and have different beliefs, we’re all in it together.
We rise and fall together. It’s the way it’s going to happen.Voting is an empowering thing, and every vote counts and matters. Click To Tweet
You mentioned the shut up and dribble this thought that athletes and entertainers have no place in politics then what place does that leave for the average citizen? The people that claim and push this narrative that our opinions or voices don’t matter, that’s something worth taking a second look at. If my voice doesn’t matter, what about the people that are voting you in the office? It speaks to the importance of every citizen in the United States having a place in politics. There is a place for everyone in that place is in that boot. Every election cycle when you get an opportunity to speak your voice and Politiscope gives you the means to be informed when you do so.
Even when she gets to the boot, we’re going to have this feature where you can compare the politicians and see exactly what they vote for against and see if that lines up with what you believe in as well. Right before you go into the boot, you can write on a piece of paper or whatever, have it on your phone but you can know exactly like, “He’s not for what this is or what that is.” Having everything you need to know to put it on that ballot even far as on the ballot, we’re going to have ballots on the app right before then. You can know the type of stuff you’re going to see and be a little more educated on it. As I said, we try to make this a type of service app. Let us help you so you can help your kids, family and community. It’s to educate yourself.
I do want to touch on this idea of the transition that you made wealth from football to this next venture and your second career. J, you could also possibly speak to this. This isn’t your first venture either. What’s that transition process like? I had this conversation on a previous podcast taking the skills that you’ve developed in your previous career, venture function, life, applying and being able to create something new leveraging those skills. If you could speak to that?
The transition was hard because teams calling me to come to work out and sign with them. I was at this point in my life like, “Football is my passion but it’s not my purpose in life.” I feel like my purpose is to truly wake people up to what matters and use my platform to wake people up. Every time my agent hit me up saying, “This team wants to bring you down and work you out and sign X, Y, and Z.” I thought about J and Politiscope because I told him, “If we’re going to do this, we don’t do it 110%. You know with football, you can’t be half in and half out because you’re either going to get hurt or you’re going to get your ass cut.” I had to make a conscious decision and I prayed and meditated on it. I could see this way longer than I could see my NFL career.
I should have anywhere from 3 to 5 more years, three years at best left in the league. Instead of playing football and then disappearing, why can’t I use my platform to be remembered for something that revolutionized and sparked something in our generation? The good thing about transferring over from football to the tech world is being able to build the right team and having that leadership mentality. Playing in the NFL was way stressful than the type of stuff we deal with now. It was a lot of adversity dealing with football. It’s hitting you left and right. Sometimes, there’s stuff you can’t even control but overhearing the startup world, it’s not as much pressure. You always got to answer to something. I feel like we do because we got a solid team of advisors. The things I’ve learned and gained from football has helped me transfer over until the tech world. The startup world is a little easier to do.
I could speak a lot to different types of skills that I learned during my time as an entrepreneur and small business owner but the most important thing that I gained is a deep sense of patience in the process and being stable in my emotions to what happens. I’m notorious for not getting excited about anything. There’s always so much to do. Shit happens. Sometimes things come through, then it doesn’t work. It doesn’t go exactly as you thought it would or it goes way better than you thought it would but then that moment is over. There’s so much to deal with. Much of what you’re looking for on the other side of the achievements, you think you’re making is not there. That place of belonging.
That piece that you’re looking for is not on the other side of any achievement that you’ll ever make because it’s a moment. The grass is always green on the other side. Once you get to that side, whatever you’re dealing with is still inside of you. Your perspective on what your achievements mean, what your place in life is, or the weight of what you believe, that’s all internal. In my time before I got here, I’m balanced in terms of being able to produce consistently, long-term vision, and continuously separating from everything we’ve been taught to want and stuff like that. Always wanting to be more mentally liberated so I’m ready. Everything up until now got me prepared to take this on and be able to keep producing.
You are early in this process. It’s exciting to see, to hear and be here with both of you, your ideas, your thoughts on Politiscope in the political space, and the arena. Thanks for coming on the show.
Thanks for having us.
There’s a lot more to learn about Politiscope, where can we find out more about you, Politiscope and everything else was going on.
You can follow Politiscope Instagram @PolitiscopeApp. We’re very active on there. We engage with our followers. We have a discussion on policy. We’re not shy and we’re not here to shame you for your opinion. We want you to get involved and everything. Go to the app store and download the app.
iTunes and Android app store.
it’s @PolitiscopeApp on Instagram and go to the Apple Store, type in Politiscope, and download. You have to stay tuned and give us feedback. Help us make this a product that’s better suited for your needs. Join us.
Thanks again to J and Walt for coming on the show. Until next time, it’s been a blast.
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About Walter Powell
Walter Powell is a 4-year NFL Player and Entrepreneur. He launched the successful clothing line, SPKZ, in New York through VaynerMedia selling snapback caps and other headgear.
Walter also owns real estate in St. Louis, Missouri where he restores damaged properties and opens them up for retired US Veterans.
He actively works with other athletes and entrepreneurs to promote leadership and financial security to underprivileged communities.
About Jackson White
Jackson White is a 10-year entrepreneur and business owner who began his journey at age 17.
Since then his company, Frathouse Productions, has organized and hosted nearly 600 events all across the United States, independently toured to 43 cities nationally and raised tens of thousands of dollars to bring underprivileged music artists from St. Louis to perform at music festivals such as SXSW in Austin, Texas.