An Open Letter in Support of Dan Philibin

Thursday January 27, 2011 Reviews

For those of you who don't know Dan Philibin, think the vision and accomplishment of Steve Jobs fully aware inside the body of a teenage surfer dude from Cali.  I've had the pleasure of knowing and working with Dan quite a bit over the last few years and in this open letter of support for the young lad I hope to outline some of the reasons I consider myself lucky to know him.

Dan working on his Mac

WP Coder - From PSD to WordPress

I first worked with Dan indirectly when I employed his company, WP Coder, to do some contract work for a small client project I had a few years ago.  For non-technical folks out there, his company takes a picture of what you want your website to look like and turns it into a fully functional web site that you can go in and start adding content to right away, all for about $300.  

Wp Coder at Work making PSD to WP

The company's work impressed me and it never even occurred to me that the company was run and employed by a bunch of high school aged kids.  It wasn't the first company I worked with that offered this type service, but since then it's been the only one.

Imagine how shocked I was to find out some time later that the brains behind it were buzzing away inside the head of a 15 year old (at that time).

The Future of Web Design - The first meeting 

As a webucator I consider it a responsibility to take students to professional conferences whenever resources allow.  In the fall of 2010 I made a trip with 4 of my best web students up to New York for the Future of Web Design conference.  It was there that I met Dan Philibin in person for the first time.

Dan with the WP Coder crew and my students at Future of Web Design 2010

All I remember is what I cool kid!  He runs a business (that I've hired before), he's polite and well spoken, and my students get along with him smashingly.

It was at that event that I began to consider Dan a friend of mine and someone who I wanted to involve in all of my plans that involved web students.

The Student Web Conference - Keynote speaker

Dan Presenting at the Conference

After my students returned from the Future of Web Design, they were pumped to attend another conference.  Unfortunately resources and travel restrictions didn't allow us to make it to any more that year.  So, from the burning hearts of web students the idea for the Student Web Conference was born - a conference for and by web students.

As my students and I (mostly the students though) prepared for the conference - getting speakers, finding sponsors, making badges, etc. - there was never a question of who we wanted as our keynote speaker: Dan Philibin.  We have to get Dan, my students would say.  "He's so cool." "He's so smart." "He's so successful." "He's so cute." the students would say.  All true.

So, on April 9, 2010 I was able to give Dan some of the publicity he deserves and have him as the official keynote speaker of the 2010 Student Web Conference.  He was such a hit!  He was well spoken, informative, interesting, and super inspiring.  You can see his full presentation online here.   All I can say, is Steven Jobs, watch out.  This kids has got your moves and then some ;)

Dan Philibin on TV - Getting famous

When Dan came back for our 2011 conference even the local news stations knew who he was and just had to interview him when they brought the cameras out to the conference.  I'm not mad that he got more TV time than I did.  He deserves it.  You can also check out his TV spot for Channel 9 News cool schools program below.

His Dad Loves Him - Like he should

Every time I've seen Dan, his dad isn't far behind.  

It's not that his dad doesn't trust Dan.  I think it's honestly because his dad is super proud of his son, loves supporting him, and the two of them have a great relationship.  

It reminds me a little of me and my dad, who was at both conferences as well.

If that doesn't warm your heart and prove what a swell guy Dan is, I don't know what will.

Hire, Sponsor, Support and/or Stalk Dan Philibin

If you are reading this letter and wondering what you can do to support such an amazing young man, here are a few ideas:

Once again Dan, it's an honor knowing you and you let me know whenever there is something I can do for you!