Trailer Park to Harvard Put Bird on Course to Change U.S.
Jeremy Bird says he wants to change the world one data point at a time.
Fresh from his post as national field director for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, Bird and his partners have started a consulting firm, 270 Strategies, to leverage what they learned during six years of targeting and turning out voters, and apply it to a for-profit model.
PHOTO: Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images
They plan to blend the door-knocking tenacity of a Chicago precinct captain with the sophisticated identification and turnout tools that made Obama’s campaign the envy of the political world. Their approach often meant having more than 500 data points on a single voter, from his reading habits to his opinions on the economy.
Bird’s success and his ascending profile highlight how big data analytics have transformed politics in ways that also may apply to commercial ventures. The firm now is being courted by campaigns and companies that want to spread what the Obama organization sees as its secret sauce for success.
“We want to work with people who are doing big things,” Bird, 34, said as he munched on a chicken salad at a restaurant in downtown Chicago. “That would be campaigns in states, national stuff, causes, things like health care and mayors and guns as well as corporate work where we can provide in all those scenarios. What we are basically talking about is engaging people.”
Even in “a crowded space with all kinds of service companies competing to do the same,” there is a market for 270 Strategies, said George Zachary, a general partner at Charles River Ventures Inc., in Menlo Park, California. “I have to think with their experience at doing this at massive scale, they are a front-runner.”
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