October 14, 2003
Fast Company on Trippi and Dean

Fast Company — Joe Trippi’s Killer App:

If Howard Dean Inc. is a dotcom, then Trippi, 47, is its COO. Growing up in Los Angeles, Trippi says he was a “hopeless early adopter” and technophile. He en-rolled at San Jose State University, planning to study aerospace engineering. Although politics intervened, Trippi has still managed to sample the Silicon Valley thing, consulting for a couple of tech companies and serving on the board of a startup. So while he’s frustrated when people focus on the “phoney baloney dotcom thing,” he readily acknowledges the parallels. “Every presidential campaign is a startup,” he says, “and every one becomes, essentially, one of the fastest- growing corporations in America.” But, he says, those who think that this is simply the next Pets.com are missing the point: “We’re actually trying to get people to participate in democracy again. And we’re using the Internet to get the message out faster and earlier and asking supporters to help spread the word. If you want to call that a dotcom, go ahead. We simply call it a bunch of Americans.”

It’s a good overview of what the Dean team is doing right online, as well as the challenges they face in scaling that out to meet the demands of a front-running campaign.

Posted by Jason Lefkowitz at October 14, 2003
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