Brilliant People of Omaha: Joe Olsen, CEO, Phenomblue


Photo courtesy of Digital Marketing Conference

Joe Olsen is the CEO of Phenomblue, a company that specializes in strategic consulting and ad agency work. Phenomblue helps clients focus on business strategy, development, implementation, planning and assessment. The company also has a shared services group that does creative and technology work in addition to tactical execution.

This week we caught up with the Infotec headliner to talk about his business, and what he is going to bring to Infotec next week.


AIM: What do you have in store for Infotec 2016?

JO: The Infotec presentation is about eCommerce and online retail. It’s a tips and tricks session, but I’m really going to focus on the key differences between e-retail operations that are successful today as opposed to those that came before. It’s not going to be tips and tricks for how to run an eCommerce site, but rather how to run a great e-retail organization.

AIM: What skill are you most proud of?

JO: I think my biggest skill is not really having an ego, and being self-aware. It makes it easier to push and challenge clients when there isn’t an agenda. You have to have your client’s best interest in mind, regardless of what that means for you.

AIM: What’s the best perk of your job?

JO: The freedom to do what you want to do, and I mean that in every sense of the word. Beyond running the business and literally being able to do whatever you want, it extends down the ladder of working with people who have the freedom to be able to do what they want too. It creates an environment of working with people rather than people working for you. That’s always an environment that we wanted to keep, even through all of our structural changes.

AIM: What makes Omaha a great place to build a tech business?

JO: I think it’s easy to attract tech talent if you have an innovative business or a modern approach to how you interact with employees. I also think that since there is so much talent here, it’s cheaper for businesses to hire.

AIM: What is the best kept secret in Omaha?

JO: When I talk to people about the Omaha community, I talk about our young entrepreneurial scene. We have a ton of funding available, and volume-wise there is a good amount of dollars going around the interest of supporting that community, which I don’t think a lot of people realize.

Here people can afford to have a side project, or have friends that are able to invest. The best kept secret is that it’s really easy here to start a business in Omaha and fund it.

When you think about the odds of your company breaking through the wall, raising money and having that chance to become successful, and you look at the top 10 cities around the country that are the best places to do it, Omaha should be at the top of that list because you’re increasing your chances of success so much by coming here.


If you are interested in hearing Joe speak at Infotec, tickets are still available at


Brilliant People of Omaha: A series of discovery.

Welcome to Brilliant People of Omaha. In this series we will sit down with local brilliant individuals who love their jobs, have excellent career advice and are ready to share their story about how they came into their current position.

We will talk to a variety of people in this series including: developers, designers, managers, CEOs, interns, etc. Everyone has a story, and we are here to uncover it and see what we can learn from the brilliant people around us.

Do you have someone you’d like to nominate as a brilliant person of Omaha? Drop Melanie Lucks a line at We’d love to hear from you.

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