Four years ago, my wife, Cheri (say it like you’re French), and I decided to use a bit of our savings to tackle the difficulty of planning outdoor excursions by building a mobile app. I had just come off a five-day bike-packing adventure in BC with a bunch of friends, a trip that took 150 emails to plan, and decided we could build a better tool.
We had been trying to come up with the perfect name for a while. Something that would invoke a feeling, to tell the story of bringing people together, of something closer than friendship. One afternoon after months of brainstorming, endless favorite word lists, and a lot of domain searching, a name broke through the noise and stuck in my heart. To say it is rare for us both to be captivated by the same things is an understatement, so I was a bit nervous about running the brand by my closest friend and partner in this adventure. Tribe Pilot was immediately and thoroughly embraced and loved by her and consequently so much more by me. We registered the domain and quickly started testing it.
I was immediately concerned about the perception of the word Tribe among minorities, indigenous people, and marginalized groups worldwide. So we did our research. Digging into the word's historical origins, its uses domestically and worldwide, we asked our friends, we consulted the internet, we found anyone with strong beliefs, we even contacted elders at our local Warms Springs Indian Reservation. In 2017 there seemed to be no major issue or concern with the name Tribe Pilot.
In 2019 and 2020, a national discussion around BLM, cultural appropriation, equity, equality, and so much more caused us to revisit the subject. We love this beautiful and diverse global eco-system of adventurers, and we want to support all people in the outdoors equally. As the founder and CEO of this great company, I have realized that the world has moved forward since 2017. In 2021 the use of the word Tribe in our brand is no longer appropriate. We are a company that embraces challenge, embraces diversity, and aims to break barriers for all people to get outside. To those of you who have been pointing this out for way too long, I apologize. To any users we have offended, I also apologize.
As of this week, we have rebranded ourselves Trip Pilot. Hang with us while we hunt down and change all the hidden references to Tribe Pilot. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Trip Pilot CEO