5 Tips on DC Technology and Innovation With iStrategyLabs CEO, Peter Corbett

Here at the Social Media Club DC we know everyone loves lists, particularly of influencers, restaurants, and generally everything else around DC; however, we feel those are not particularly useful to you. In an effort to better inform the DC area of social media trends, the local tech world, and occasionally who has the best food truck, we will be reaching out to those influential rockstars and hopefully pick their brains on your behalf.

First up, Chief Executive Officer of iStrategyLabs, Peter Corbett.

When it comes to find a tech or social media job in DC, what is most important?

There are two tracks here:

Track one is to create your own job. Hustle. Find people who need what you know. Be their social media maven and have them pay you for the value you bring. The best candidates we see are already being paid as consultants by brands already, and really know their stuff, but are looking to join a team like ours because they find an agency environment more fulfilling than flying solo.

Track two is to be really damn good at what you do. If you’re a really good social media strategist/producer then you’re likely growing a reputation, are well regarded, and are highly visible. People who fit this category are obvious good hires and are generally sought out by employers rather than the candidates having to find the job. Make the job find you.

What kind of person stands out when you receive oodles of resumes? Can you provide an example?

The people who stand out are well known in their respective communities and have a certain buzz about them. Alex Priest who ran American University’s Social Media Club was an obvious choice for Uber when they went looking for someone to run social for them in DC. You stand out by knowing people – and having a presence. You don’t stand out by having a visual resume or something like that. Get known. Do great work. People will want to hire you.

For those looking to get involved with startups and small businesses in the area, what are some of the best ways to get started?

The first thing I’d do is read my quick list of links on “How to Hack the DC Tech Ecosystem”. The next thing I’d do is offer to help the community leaders with the stuff their organizing. Being a extra set of hands at a conference, meetup or happy hour goes a long way – you’ll have a great excuse to meet a lot of people.

Say you have a “great” tech idea or solution that you would love to get developed, but don’t know how, what are some suggestions for moving forward?

  1. Learn how to program.
  2. Learn how to program.
  3. Learn how to program.

Is it better to find a partner who can code, or learn it yourself?

You should know how to code if you’re going to build a tech company. Those who can’t are more than likely going to fail. If you “don’t have the time” to learn how to code, do you have the time to start a company?

Bonus! Why You Need to Join the DC Tech Meetup

DC Tech Meetup is one of the biggest tech meetups in the world – in fact, the May meetup had 1150 RSVPs and was the biggest event of its kind globally that month, beating NYC and Tel Aviv. You should join to see what your peers are up to. You should come to see what the leaders in the region are building. You’ll be inspired. You’ll find new friends, collaborators and mentors. Don’t miss it. (Find the meetup here)

Are hackathons and the like strictly limited to people who can code?

Usually yes. I advocate for hackathons to include developers only as those who can’t code are often a distraction to those who can. Sometimes hackathons include designers and projects managers as well however. These two types of people can certainly add value.

This interview was conducted via email. Future interviews may include audio or video as the occasion allows.

Looking For More?

Find Peter on Twitter @corbett3000 and  iStrategyLabs website. We highly encourage you all to follow and take a look at their blog and work.

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