All right. We're ready to roll?
So it's funny I didn't give you like the typical introduction, like who I am, and what I do, and all that other stuff. But I figure that would still be little bit helpful so you have further context, then we're gonna go into our first lesson. So as you know, I'm Peter. If you want to love on me or hate on me on Twitter, it's @corbett3000. Please let me know what you think. You can even ask me other questions for after this session. I'll, as I see them over time, I'll answer them. And I just want to give you a sense for sort of the strange background that I have. I'm very much an entrepreneur as you know, but a designer and a developer and a producer. I realized early on, and this is a key thing I think a lot of you will have to realize as well, I realized that I was a mediocre designer. I realized I was probably a six out of 10 at best. I realized I was probably a 6.5 out of as an engineer. But I realized that I was actually close to a 10 out ...
of 10 as a strategist. Like I could go into any room and beat anyone intellectually with regard to what we should do using technology to reach humans for some reason. And so that gave me ultimate confidence to walk into a room. And I wouldn't lead with creative engineering, I would lead with strategy. And you can imagine iStrategyLabs is the name of the company, the word strategy is in the name is one of the reasons. And so you may have to do that evaluation for yourself. You may have to say, you know, I'm actually like a seven out of 10 as a photographer. Why am I trying to build a business around that exclusively or am I a better project manager than I am a photographer? Huh, maybe I should just project manage all the projects and hire better photographers than me. Wouldn't that possibly be a better business? And so there's this phrase that I want you to think about. You have to decide whether or not you're going to be a practitioner or an orchestrator. And I didn't know that was a choice. I'd never heard that phrase. I didn't know that was a choice until probably year two. I was like oh, I need to stop doing all of the practitioning actually, and need to make sure that I hire all the great practitioners, all the great designers, and developers, and strategists around me. And I'll orchestrate. I happen to be incredible at orchestrating. That's great. People want to work with me, teams enjoy being led by me. That's a, thankfully, thankfully a skill that I have. Orchestration is really hard. And actually CEO is like chief orchestration officer, that would be COO, that doesn't really work. You orchestrate a lot if you're a CEO. So think about that. And I put these little awards here on the slide. It's not meant to be bragging by any means. Just to give you a context that the work that we do and that I've been doing, the world recognizes as being some of the best. So you're not just seeing some random long-haired guy on stage with nice jeans just telling you stuff. The world has been recognizing the work that we do. And I figured I would show you a little behind the scenes of where we do this. This is our headquarters in Washington D.C. This is a former Wonderbread factory. We don't make bread there or cupcakes there anymore sadly. We make robots. Literally, we do a lot of hardware work. We make websites, we make mobile applications and content and all that. So I'm gonna show you a little behind the scenes of where we do what we do, and I can't tell you how happy it makes me to see this, like to see these employees working in this beautiful space having, God, grounded out in my apartment, that lonely four-foot commute from my bed to my desk in that first year, and now we're on office number three. It's like 20,000 square feet. All these crazy hardware projects. Mobile applications. Tablet applications that we do for clients. Working with great non-profits, for fertility tracking in emerging economies, or Volkswagen, and doing all this content production. So I know a lot of you who are watching today are here in the audience, you're really interested in content production. God we probably put out over 150 pieces of content a week. So this is photography and videography. And some of these pieces of video, like the Dramamine piece you're seeing up here, have been seen by over four million people, which is really gratifying to have your work seen by people. The beginning, you know, couple thousand people saw the thing. That's fine. But over time, you build on everything that you create. And you don't start from day one working with the Fortune 500. These are the logos of our clients. You probably recognize some of these. I was fortunate enough in the very beginning, we did work with Geico and American Eagle Outfitters in the first probably six months. I just said we, it was me. There wasn't anybody else. Actually that first year, I hired 65 freelancers to work with me. Which is an insane number of humans to play with. But it was necessary. But I go back to the world was abundant. I knew that there was talent out there, and if I can get these folks to sort of believe in me, we could do something great together. And I started that business eight years ago, with just about 10 grand in the bank, and I've bootstrapped it. A lot of people today are fixated on, how do I get someone to invest in my business? How do I raise venture capital or otherwise? Well this, what I'm describing to you, my company is quote, unquote a service company. And so, and I think many of you are probably interested in building service businesses. You don't need a lot of capital. My mission in the beginning was, how do I not starve and die? So you know, ten grand, I basically had three months living expenses. And each month I think, how do I make three grand? Just so I can at least like keep it going? And thankfully it went a little bit farther than that. Because if I ran out of money I'd have to go live with my parents. Which as a 27-year-old that's basically dying, right? So I didn't, I love them, I wouldn't have starved. Mom would have made me lasagna. That would have made me very happy but, I woulda been sad that I'd have to sort of start from scratch on the couch. And as I said in the first year, 65 contractors, over a thousand now. So if any of you have questions about how do I hire other people as contractors, I'm gonna be really happy to share that with you. And I know that in our bonus materials there's a independent contractor service agreement. It's the actual template that we use, and have used for years. It's been very well lawyered, so I'm confident in it. Though I will give the disclaimer that I'm not a lawyer. So you'll have to have your own representation to know if that's right. And then today 80 core team members, those are our full-time employees. About 20 people in our quote, unquote talent cloud. Talent cloud is just like the people that we're almost always working with, but they are technically contractors, so they may be specialists in some way, shape or form, maybe they're 3D modelers, maybe they're motion graphic artists, maybe they just don't want to join us full-time and want to be a freelancer and take other clients, and that's fine with us. We love them and so we just keep sending them work. And what just two years ago we were 35 people. There's been a lot of growth. Again I'll be happy to answer any questions about the different stages of a company if you want to go through that.
Peter Corbett is the founder and CEO of iStrategyLabs – a digital agency that develops solutions to clients’ challenges and brings them to life in the online and offline world. He’s widely known for his marketing acumen coupled with a deep technical background, and a focus on community building. His client work includes brands like NBCUniversal, USA Network, Sam Adams, Disney, ESPN, ABC, NPR, PBS, GE, Microsoft, NASDAQ, Intel, GEICO, American Eagle Outfitters, Pinkberry, Honest Tea, Coca-Cola, Crate & Barrel/CB2, Chase, Rosetta Stone, The US Army, Deloitte, McKinsey, Volkswagen, Audi, Ford, Hilton, Double Tree, Embassy Suites Hotels, Marriott, Sweetgreen and more.
Peter & Creativelive - I loved, loved this class! I would HIGHLY recommend. The class is extremely informative in content and has great document samples you can use. I will implement Peter's advice and practices immediately! (Loved Peter's teaching style!) Thank you! :)
a Creativelive Student
I had the great privilege of being in the studio audience for this class and had a phenomenal experience. Peter shared not only great insights and experience but templates that I've already started implementing in my own business. His experience and approach towards working with clients really resonated with me and my business partners.
I specifically encourage you to find the section and write down word for word what he says when a client says "well, I don't know what our budget is, we want you to tell us". I've already used his approach of responding with "oh, it's a million dollars :-)!" and using that to open the conversation. It get's results and the answers you need to put together an aligned proposal.
On being an audience member the staff at CreativeLive was kind, clear with instructions and made sure we always knew what was expected of us. I encourage you to apply for a class and experience it first hand. As a bonus, their office and catering was phenomenal.
Peter Corbett is a very clever man, I appreciate his honesty and creative thinking.
This course is amazing for people who are in a process of setting up different areas of their business. I can also see how it would benefit business owners/managers who want to review their processes.
Corbett is a very engaging speaker and his communication is excellent.
Fabulous course, A+.