Tom Parkinson
Tom Parkinson
Founder, Senior Vice President & CTO, Peapod

Mr. Parkinson (right), 50, co-founded Peapod with his brother, Andrew, in 1989.  As Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, he has primary responsibility for directing the development, content production, and R&D of the website.  Mr. Parkinson has over 25 years of software development experience specializing in E-commerce, relational database systems, and user interface design.  In 2002, Supermarket News recognized Mr. Parkinson as one of the Top 50 all-time visionaries in the grocery industry.

Prior to founding Peapod in 1989, he was a co-founder of Resource Control Systems (RCS) a UNIX relational database company specializing in search engines for Executive Recruiters and Personnel systems.  Prior to RCS, Mr. Parkinson started his career in sales at Procter & Gamble.

Mr. Parkinson holds a Masters in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute where he specialized in 3-D computer graphics and animation, and a BA from Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

Mr. Parkinson has placed 1,041 orders on Peapod and is currently the number one Peapod customer.

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QYou started young. Ten years old, selling eggs, only to end up launching and growing Peapod, the first online supermarket ordering and delivery service.

A I had a chicken coop. So at the age of 10, I was an entrepreneur. When I got to college, my brother (Peapod co-founder Andrew Parkinson) and I had this thing called the beer keg carrier. Then I created a T-shirt at my university that everybody bought. That turned into a T-shirt company. After a stint at Procter & Gamble I started a software company in New York selling relational database systems for executive recruiters and employment agencies.

QHow did that get you to launching Peapod?

A My brother and I wanted to start a company, so I sold that software company in New York. I took a backpacking trip around the world, and then moved to Chicago and started Peapod. I think it's just in your blood. If your parents give you the education, you've got to do something with it.

QThat's the spirit!

A If you fail, what's the worst thing? You move in with your parents for a little bit and then get going again. It's a lot harder to do this when you get a little older. If you don't have kids, you've got nothing to lose. You gotta go for it.

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