Featured on Sep 27, 2011
Phil Thomas Di Giulio
"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood..."
Phil is the Co-Founder behind Pegshot and WellcomeMat, the largest network of people using full-motion video to showcase local communities, places & spaces online. Phil's team recently launched Framesocket, a media platform/API helping developers and publishers to quickly integrate video and/or photo services into their desktop, web or mobile applications. Phil is a frequent speaker on topics of marketing (local, real estate, small business, entrepreneurship) and technology (mobile, location based services, video), appearing at conferences including Social Media Week, Internet Week, Real Estate Connect, among others. On the rare occasion you may see him dressed up in a space suit (see video).
- Title: Co-Founder, WellcomeMat.com | Exec Director, FutureofLocal.org
- Age: 34
- Location: Brooklyn
- Contact: @holaphil, holaphil.com
Along with Pegshot, WellcomeMat, and Framesocket, you also helped launch The New York Television Festival. How did that idea come about?
I moved to NYC in 2004 and spent my first year or two freelancing at various ad agencies in the city. Around that time a mutual friend (Brent Burnette) pitched me on The New York Television Festival (NYTVF). The original idea - showcasing pilots to networks and during a live festival - was conceived by NYTVF founder, Terence Gray. I simply came on board to help create / build out the brand and eventually take them into the digital space.
I left in 2009 to focus more time on my own business pursuits (WellcomeMat, Framesocket), but continue to support the festival and celebrate their success. Most people will never know this, but in the summer of 2005 a very small ragtag group of people come together and executed on one of the greatest festival launch events of all time. It was magic really.
What do you think is the biggest difference between the New York and Silicon Valley tech communities?
The biggest difference between the New York and Silicon Valley tech communities is the community infrastructure and support system. I'm not all that familiar with the silicon valley community; however, given their experience with past bubbles, one would presume they've had more time to mature and develop deeper contextual relationships. The now thriving startup community here in NYC is a relatively new revelation. For some perspective, I joined the NYTech Meetup group in 2005 and when there were roughly 50 of us. We met in small venues and, outside of those meetings, were largely disconnected. There was no twitter and social networks had yet to mature.
Fast forward to 2011... We now have tech campuses (General Assembly) and incubators (Techstars, Dreamit) popping up all over the city. More if us are getting out and meeting each other at events and mixers in town. It's easier to connect and follow through on ideas. All of this new social infrastructure only stands to strengthen community bonds and build new relationships in 2012 and beyond.
Please finish this sentence. The best place in the City to have a lunch meeting is:
Tough question... Too many! Tough because we are talking about New York City, an area of the country with over 9,000+ restaurants (more than 5x as many restaurants as San francisco) and whose inhabitants (myself included) thrive by consistently embracing new experiences. I generally have one rule we try to follow which is to spend money at locally owned and operated businesses - not corp chains. Eating local I inevitably get better service and have some confidence the money I'm spending is likely to stay in the community.
That being said, I'm more of a coffee guy. In those instances, I have a few current favorite spots (Cafe Smile - Noho, Telegraphe Cafe - Chelsea, Ted & Honey - Brooklyn, Cafe Peddlar - Brooklyn).