Santa Cruz Tech Beat


Prestige Conference in Minneapolis Features Peter Chester

(Source: Jennifer/Prestige Conference)

March 4, 2016 — Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Prestige Conference welcomes Peter Chester to their lineup of speakers coming from around the country to Minneapolis for this business conference, happening May 24-25, 2016.

Peter is a partner at Modern Tribe, the digital agency responsible for The Events Calendar and Image Widget WordPress plugins, as well as large scale WordPress builds including Harvard Law, Stanford Law, and Often leading large technical projects with budgets in excess of $500k, Peter is also a father, musician, artist, surfer and list maker with an obsession over google spreadsheet formulas (though not necessarily in that order).

As a Prestige Conference attendee, you’ll have an opportunity to meet Peter Chester and hear him speak about building a successful, distributed “lifestyle business” that supports the well being of its owners and the entire team. Until then, we hope you get to know Peter a bit better and read his speaker interview below:

What is your story? How did you get to where you are today?

Not to get all Freudian on you but this goes back to my parents. My father is a quantum physicist and my mother was an extremely talented artist. I like to think that between the two of them and the Apple Mac that my dad had in the 80s, my faith as a technologist and designer was sealed. I remember spending hours and hours on Macromind Director making little animations in the early 90’s.

Skipping ahead a bit, a little over a decade ago, I had a full time job where, though I enjoyed my team, I was personally quite miserable. I was, in fact, so depressed commuting an hour each way to spend my time in a cubicle under florescent lights, that I would find myself smoking cigarettes during the week and when I would stop working and go home for the weekend, I wouldn’t even think to smoke a cigarette.

I met Shane (one of my business partners) around this time. He immediately struck me as one of the most remarkable people I have ever come across. Right from day one he would ask me extraordinarily personal and deep questions about my sense of purpose and direction. He was running a solo freelance web development business and started to call me routinely in the middle of a work day asking if I wanted to go surfing with him.

“Peter, quit your job. Come surf!”

It didn’t take long before I did quit my job. I also had no trouble also quitting smoking. I enthusiastically entered into my own freelance business for the 3rd time but this time something was different. I had a colleague with a higher sense of vision. We started collaborating and shortly thereafter went into business together.

The salient point was that from day one, our business has been extremely intentional, introspective, and has had the stated purpose of supporting us and our team financially, intellectually and spiritually. For me, and I hope for most or even all of the people on our team, this isn’t just about money, this is about a shared journey.

What is your role? What are you responsible for?

I started by wearing all the hats in my business. When Shane and I partnered, I wore many hats and Shane wore many but we were able to hand some off to each other. Every new person on our team is able to take one or more hats. At this point I’m wearing a somewhat random assortment of caps based on what roles have yet to be filled.

I am a strategist and account manager on a couple of projects. I am the director of recruiting. I am heavily involved in operations. Beyond that, I just do a ton of random things where I can be most valuable.

Personally though, I am currently most interested in developing a unified vision of embodying the idea of a Lifestyle business. I want people to not just feel like that’s a fuzzy idea but to really get what that means and live it.

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