TheBridge profile: Thomas Peters
Name: Thomas Peters
Current city: Washington, DC
Current job: CEO & Founder of uCampaign
Past job: Communications director
Q. Favorite spot for a coffee meeting? Bourbon Coffee on L ST (right below our offices)
Q. Describe one way how a skill you learned in a previous job helped you in your new job. When I was an online organizer it was extremely challenging to get people to take action. And when they did take action, it was very hard for me to keep track of them and give them the praise and recognition they were due. This is why we created a platform that makes it easy to produce custom apps that measure every single thing an activist does, and then rewards them with points and prizes when they take action (gamification)
Q. Job advice in three words? Never stop innovating!
Q. How are you (or your company, org, nonprofit) currently bridging the gap between politics and tech? We created a platform that makes it easy for politically-engaged groups to organize their supporters using smartphone app technology. Our clients have included political candidates, political parties, political advocacy groups, political news sites and political associations in eight countries -- each with a unique app solution powered by uCampaign. Our apps have been downloaded almost 450,000 times.
Q. Favorite app? Of the 30+ apps we have made in the past 18 months, I have to say my favorite was the official app of the UK Vote Leave campaign which assisted in the success of the Brexit referendum. We onboarded 35,000 activists in the final 3 weeks of the campaign and they sent hundreds of thousands of GOTV peer-to-peer texts and emails. Watching the dejection of the supporters on the app turn to jubilation (and a bit of intoxication) over the course of the long night of returns was an unforgettable experience.
Q. If you had to live in another city, which would it be? I love Barcelona. My wife and I spent 10 days visiting for the first time in May. It is a fiercely independent city that has an amazing history of innovation and excellence in the arts. It is also a very forward-looking city that is very friendly to tech types. Their bus system app puts the Washington DC prediction options to shame! Overall it’s a great balance of cultures -- to me it feels like Mediterranean living with German efficiency. ;)
Q. Last time you were completely unplugged? Adaptive skiing in Snowmass, Colorado. I was injured in a diving accident in 2013, and as a result, I am in a wheelchair. I used to love skiing before my injury and this spring for the first time in four years I got to go back on the slopes through the help of Challenge Aspen. My wife is still a much better skier than I am. :) Unplugging was an amazing experience, especially having been nearly constantly on call during the 2016 election cycle, primarily due to our work building and running the official Donald Trump for President app.
Q. Favorite under the radar company? Mine, for the simple reason I get to participate in its successes and failures at every level, and I have the privilege of working with and learning from an excellent team which constantly punches above its weight.