He specializes in:
- Finding and creating opportunities for different organizations to collaboratively solve problems;
- Finding and developing strong entrepreneurial talent working within complex organizations and giving them the opportunity to create new ventures (both new lines of business and spinouts);
- Intention-Graph Methodology – Putting invention and “big data” to work by mapping the capabilities and limitations of intellectual property to contextual human intentions.
As the leader of IBM’s Extreme Blue incubator lab in Austin, Texas, John ran one of the most patented labs in the company. Prior to Extreme Blue, he ran the celebrated alphaWorks team, which pioneered early sharing of IBM Research technology.
Interest in John’s approach to intention-based collaborative innovation, first published in Harvard Business Review, led to the creation of IXC, a non-profit consortium of industry, university and government research labs in the US, Australia and the UK. IXC explored the use of multi-party fiduciaries acting as intermediaries to find opportunities for joint development. John spent five years overseas leading these and other “open innovation” initiatives.
Returning to the US in 2008, John worked with retailer Best Buy to create a corporate incubator for entrepreneurial talent, called UpStart™. The program successfully created a new venture that demonstrated a new approach to ground transit. In 2009, Best Buy spun out UpStart Mobile Inc. to commercialize the work. John led the company through two major business pivots and two fundraisings, recently succeeding in acquiring a significant round of venture capital. UpStart Mobile’s taxi application is one of the three major US brands in its category today.