Fuchsia McInerney is the founder and CEO of Pearse Street Consulting, a design company that specializes in social networking website design, development, and marketing. Unlike more traditional web-development companies, Pearse Street’s clients approach McInerney and her team with a unique idea, and the company works with each client from the branding stage to marketing to a new, finished network. McInerney was willing to sit down with Profile to explain how the approach is paying off for the firm.
How does your approach differ from other consulting companies in the industry?
Fuchsia McInerney: Our focus is on social technology. We work from an internally developed software that allows us to launch a concept in a fraction of the time it would take another development company building from the ground up.
How does Pearse Street stay innovative?
McInerney: It’s impossible to work in this industry and not feel the pressure to stay on top of the trends. For example, one of the fastest growing networks now is Pinterest, and once a site like that comes on to the scene, or when Facebook rolls out a new feature, our clients’ expectations change as well.
What’s it like being a female tech CEO?
McInerney: It’s like being an endangered species. There are few female CEOs, and tech CEOs are a small sliver of that pie. I don’t have a lot of peers and mentors; I’m pioneering my way through a lot of this. My project manager and creative director are also women, and we’re usually the first three people a client interfaces with, which can be unexpected for some of our clients who are used to only working with men in this field. I think we have to work harder to prove ourselves sometimes, but otherwise I appreciate the challenge and the opportunity to set an example and hopefully change people’s perspective about women in technology. Sometimes being underestimated is the greatest motivator.
What are some of the firm’s latest projects and initiatives?
McInerney: TrevorProject is a social network for LGBT youth, which we rebuilt and seamlessly transferred its 50,000 users from one platform to the other at www.trevorproject.org. Another project for the National Civil Rights Museum has a community-specific site for youth, parents, and innovators connected to their equity in education initiative at www.educationasacivilright.org.
Will you tell us about RainLeads?
McInerney: RainLeads is simple web-based lead-management software that allows users to generate contact forms for their website and Facebook pages, bringing new leads directly into their lead management panel without the data entry. It also offers key features like managing lead distribution to sales staff, custom milestones, lead statistics, and sales calendars that can be synchronized with iCal. We launched in January and are considering investors to help fund further growth.
What are the biggest changes you are excited about in the industry?
McInerney: Being able to leverage APIs [application programming interface] from the growing number of social sites that are out there right now is always exciting. For example, there are so many ways that we can utilize Facebook Connect to streamline registration, sharing, and even checking in on sites that we create, which is a great opportunity to take advantage of technology that billions of people are using while focusing on features that make the concept we’re working on unique. More sites are opening up their technology to developers, including Twitter, FourSquare, and even Nike.