Silicon Prairie News

Prairie Portrait: Cody Peterson of SecretPenguin

Des Moines January 20, 2012 by Danny Schreiber Only 21 days until Big Omaha. Get your tickets before they sell out!

Name: Cody Peterson

Bio: Born and raised in Omaha, co-owner of a great dog. Designer and Experience Director at SecretPenguin on a constant search for new and exciting experiences, both for the user and himself.

Title: Experience Director of SecretPenguin

Age: 27

City: Omaha, Neb.

Website: secretpenguin.com

Twitter: @codypeterson

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/codyjamespeterson

Intro music: "Everybody" by Little Wings

Silicon Prairie News: Secret Penguin's about page says its "rooted in skateboarding and music." As a designer, how would you describe your style?

Cody Peterson: SecretPenguin has a pretty distinct style and for the most part that comes from Dave's illustration work. It's a very playful style and is often loose and illustrative. We also use a lot of hand-drawn elements in our work. I don't think I have yet developed my personal style but I hope to give it a lot of thought and time in the new year and figure out what I want to say with my design work.

SPN: You're both a designer and developer. How does knowing both make you better at your all-around job?

CP: To be a good web designer you should be comfortable with front-end development. And when you work with a small team, it's nice to be able to help out in multiple areas. I am not sure my back-end development helps make me a better designer, it probably slows down my advancement in the area of design, but it does give me the ability to make interesting things that I can then design and create something unique out of.

SPN: You're the co-founder of Omahype, an event calendar and blog. What drives your work on the site?

CP: I am a big fan of live performance. Music, comedy, poetry, everything. As an inherently shy person, watching people perform seems a bit magical to me. I want live performance to thrive in Omaha and I like to think Omahype is already helping it to do so. Hopefully 2012 will be a big year for Omahype and live performance in Omaha.

SPN: In a blog post on Secret Penguin, you call yourself an "interested and curious person." How do you choose where to focus your time to explore?

CP: I think the best way to choose where to focus your time and energy is to just focus it on whatever you are most excited about at that moment in time. I think you are most productive when you are working on something you are really excited about. So for the most part that's what I do, I just try and focus my time on whatever I am most excited about, and hopefully I will accomplish my goal and can move on to the next.

SPN: On Linkedin, one of your interests in playing paddle ball. What's your high score and can you tell us about your most epic "paddle battle"?

CP: In 2008 we started this thing called Paddle Battle and challenged various people to see who good bounce a paddle ball the longest. I think the most epic battle was when Dave (Nelson of Secret Penguin) and I faced an entire class from Metro Community College. My favorite battle though, is probably the one where Dave faces off against Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch, I love Eric's dance at the end, football players love their victory dances.

Images credit: Photo by Andrew Marinkovich.


Prairie Portraits: To learn more about this series, see our introduction post, or visit our archives for past Prairie Portraits. To suggest an individual for a future Prairie Portrait, contact editor@siliconprairienews.com.

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