Emory University, Goizueta Business School
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 portfolio includes clients such as Disney, GE, Microsoft, NASDAQ, Intel, GEICO, American Eagle Outfitters, Crate & Barrel/CB2, Chase, Rosetta Stone, the U.S. Army, Deloitte, McKinsey, leading international food chains, major television networks, prominent global automobile brands, and prestigious hospitality companies. Peter was honored with Goizueta Business School’s alumni entrepreneurship award in February 2015.
Described as the "Don King of D.C. Tech," Corbett has driven innovation in business for many years. More so, he says the best ideas are often born from an organic process. And that’s exactly what happened with the digital marketing agency he founded in 2007, the Washington, D.C.-based iStrategyLabs. But the company also draws on Corbett’s early background and interests: he was happily programming by age nine and then followed his passion for promoting concerts as an undergrad at Emory while learning how to be a designer in his spare time.
Post-graduation, Corbett worked as a TV producer, marketing executive, and interactive strategist. His subsequent layoff from an ad agency created the opportunity to consider a more entrepreneurial route, and today his growing venture is spearheading campaigns for heavyweights such as Disney, Microsoft, Deloitte, and Walmart, as well as for several other Fortune 100 companies. Now in its sixth year, iStrategyLabs recently launched an alpha version of its data visualization app, allowing companies to understand real-time analytics for everything from worker productivity to company morale. The company’s next step is to help businesses create Internet-connected household devices and appliances that use social media to tap into personal preferences. At the 2012 SXSW (South by Southwest Conference and Festivals), iStrategyLabs premiered a beta of the GE Social Fridge, an actual refrigerator that opened after festival goers connected to it via social media.
As technology is changing at light speed, so too are the demands to stay ahead of the competition and to “keep your company agile,” says Corbett. “You can’t be separated from the pulse of the market. You need enough surface area to let new ideas, approaches, and people filter in and out of the organization.” That means avoiding silos and allowing designers, developers, and strategists to work in tandem. It also means applying to his own business the same deep market research that iStrategyLabs performs for clients. “You not only have to understand the competition; you also need to understand companies in tangential businesses and how it all relates to what you do.”
iStrategy Labs was named to the Washington Post’s 2015 Top Workplaces list and in 2014 was named small agency of the year by Ad Age. Corbett was named among the 2014 Power 100 most influential business people in D.C. by Washington Business Journal.