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Feb 12, 2014 / 1 note

in defense of Peter Corbett

I was up and back from DC to NYC yesterday for a 2 hour meeting with a client, a team dinner, and an almost missed last train back to DC.  On the ride home I caught up on the #DCTech hashtag and it bummed me out to see Peter Corbett getting called out.  

It’s bad for DC and makes our tech scene look small and trite.  There’s a lot of professional jealousy in this town for what Peter’s accomplished.  Keep your chin up dude ‘cause hater’s gonna hate.

The 30k email may have gotten a ton of attention because of some hiccups in execution, but I don’t believe the intent was to spam or become a news story.  He’s trying to hustle at scale and sell work.  My take on the email was it had a personal tone and was meant to start some interesting conversations and touch potential customers.  Fine, big deal.

Call it a lean marketing experiment, call it annoying, at the end of the day we all need to sell to make payroll.

A few things in Peter’s defense:

Peter successfully closed the loop between the DC gov’t’s interest in creating a creative class in DC by applying theory to his reality, and it worked.  I lived in DC in the 90s and there was an anemic art scene and zero tech scene.

He bootstrapped ISL and continues to grow it.  He’s built a great team and they do great work for great clients.  He makes payroll.

He was a major part of creating a scene in DC by being active, visible, and relevant.  DC Week, DC Tech Meetup, Challenge Cup.  He’s also organized invitation only events for DC entrepreneurs that create huge value and super connect do-ers in DC-MD-VA.

Is there a lot of “startup theater” in DC?  Sure, so what, why is this considered a problem again?  It’s the same in any worthwhile creative pursuit.  Art, music, acting all have a hipster scene, tech is no different.  That’s not news, imho. 

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Aug 20, 2013 / 5 notes