There’s a new small business that just opened up in Fishtown and it’s not a gin bar or artisanal coffee shop. Fishtown Analytics provides data talent for hire — we partner with venture-funded startups to build out their internal analytics. So far, we have four really amazing clients and two full-timers: myself and my good friend and coworker of the past three years, Drew Banin. We also pull in a data scientist, Yevgeniy Meyer, from time-to-time when we’re solving particularly thorny stats and machine learning problems.
As we open our doors, I wanted to share why I chose “Fishtown” as a part of the name.
Fishtown has been a working class neighborhood since the 18th century, when its community of German Americans bought the fishing rights for much of the Delaware River and turned their neighborhood into the center of the Philadelphia fishing industry.
While fishing has long since died out as a primary trade, to this day, the neighborhood has retained its blue collar roots. Fishtown had a significant manufacturing base in the early 20th century, and the evidence of this is still a part of the neighborhood’s built environment. Mother Jones began her 1903 march against child labor in nearby Kensington.
About 18 months ago, my wife and I fell in love with the area and decided to buy a house right on the border of Fishtown and Northern Liberties. I recently took a walk with my camera around the neighborhood — here’s what Fishtown looks like to me.
Fishtown is alternately gritty, kitschy, run-down, and beautiful, consistently retaining a strong sense of its own identity.
There’s this wonderful thing happening in the neighborhood where its new hipster creative class, seeded by Philadelphia’s amazing universities, butts right up against Fishtown’s working class roots. The community today exists at the intersection of these two cultures, and the mixture creates something inspiring.
Fault lines like this — cultural or technological — are where great things happen. This intersection between the modern creative class and the industrial blue collar cultures is exactly the road I’m trying to navigate for myself and my business. I’ve written before about how analytics is a trade, and I deeply identify with the character of the community that I’m surrounded by.
In naming my company Fishtown Analytics, I’m putting a stake in the ground. This is my home and this is where I’m building my business. I’m going to start by creating exactly two jobs, where we’ll get paid an hourly rate to do work. We’ll see where things go from there.
here things go from there.