Silicon Prairie News

Prairie Portrait: Cody Peterson of SecretPenguin

Des Moines January 20, 2012 by Danny Schreiber

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.


Twitter: @codypeterson


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

Previous Post
BetaBeat sources: Union Square Ventures to lead Dwolla's Series B
SmartyPig co-founder discusses hire of new president, Scott McCormack
Next Post


The polls are open!

Through August 22, help us decide the winners of our inaugural Silicon Prairie Awards, which will recognize 12 companies and individuals. You can vote once per day per category.
Winners will be announced live on stage at
our August 30 event.