Ambition and energy are the hallmarks of Peter Shankman, who runs the tech-centric Geek Factory from his New York City apartment. And talk about ’guerrilla marketing’ - check out his bent for self-promotion and raising money in a pinch.
Ambition and energy are the hallmarks of Peter Shankman, who runs
the tech-centric Geek Factory from his New York City apartment. And talk
about ’guerrilla marketing’ - check out his bent for self-promotion and
raising money in a pinch.
Describe the company you work for. The Geek Factory is a very small
company - read that as me and the occasional freelancer. The office is
currently the space in my apartment between my bed and my bathroom, but
What do you do there? A little bit of everything. On occasion, I’ve even
been known to vacuum the carpets.
How do you make a difference? By providing my clients access to me
whenever they need it, be it via pager, cell phone, fax or e-mail. It
makes a great excuse to get out of a bad date - ’Whoops, gotta go, a
client needs me.’
How did you get where you are today? Knowing that I wanted to
incorporate but lacking the funds to do it (and living around Times
Square when Titanic came out on video), I had five hundred t-shirts
printed up that read ’It sank. Get over it.’ I took them to Times Square
- without a permit - and sold out in six hours. On the advice of an
awesome mentor, I called Michelle Healy from USA Today, who ran a piece
about it. This opened the floodgates, and I sold over 5,000 shirts
What would you like to change about the PR industry? I’d like to make it
a law that if top management wines and dines the client in an effort to
sign him or her, then top management has to be the day-to-day account
contact. They shouldn’t be allowed to hand off the account to a
junior-level account assistant.
Who do you most look like? James Spader. Before I lost 100 pounds, I
looked like John Candy.
What is your favorite TV show? Beverly Hills, 90210. I don’t CARE if
it’s off the air now. (ed. note: it’s still on)
Do you have a secret daily pleasure? Tanning, three times a week.
What are your hobbies? Running, swimming, travel - anything that boosts
my adrenaline to dangerous levels.
Name one thing about your past that people would be surprised to
When I moved back to New York after being laid off by America Online, I
wore a sandwich board of my resume and stood on the corner of 51st
Street and Park Avenue. I handed out over 950 copies of my resume, which
resulted in 400 calls, 79 interviews and 36 offers.