What do Amazon, Uber, and IKEA have in common? Co-founding partners at Play Bigger Advisors talk “category design” and their new book, Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets.
Al Ramadan has been a CEO, entrepreneur, operating executive and sailing technologist. Al co-founded Quokka Sports, which pioneered data-intensive sports immersion on the Internet and revolutionized the way people experienced sport. He then joined Macromedia — and Adobe, after Adobe acquired Macromedia — where he spent almost ten years changing the way people think about great digital experiences on the Web and on then-new mobile devices. At Adobe, Al led teams that created the Rich Internet Applications category and helped develop the discipline of experience design.
Al started his career as a mathematician and software engineer — an old-school data scientist. He cut his teeth writing Fortran 77 on a VAX 11/780 and still writes the odd piece of Python code. In the ‘80s he built real time analytics engines for big steel manufacturers and brewing companies. In the early ‘90s he applied data science to Australia’s Americas Cup — an innovation in sports performance analytics. His work in sailing led directly to the idea for Quokka.
Al loves the outdoors and remote expeditions. He has hiked the John Muir Trail, sailed in the Sydney / Hobart yacht race, surfed Mavericks, lived on remote atolls in the Pacific and Indian oceans and can often be found bombing back country lines around Tahoe on a split board. He is also a mentor, father and favorite uncle to an ever-growing circle of next-generation superstars.
Dave Peterson has been an entrepreneur, chief marketing officer, master of execution, and fixer of crappy marketing.
Dave grew up on an Iowa farm and started his career in a marketing agency. He then sold all of his belongings and drove to Silicon Valley to try to succeed in business while carrying few expectations that he would. He landed at CRM software company Vantive, then did a tour of duty as head of communications at Mercury Interactive, and was CMO at Aggregate Knowledge and Coverity. He co-founded — and eventually mercifully killed — his own start-up called GiveMeTalk!
Dave (apparently) loves crashing his mountain bike on Northern California trails, avoiding trees on his snowboard, traveling to non-predictable places with his adopted brothers and friends, and learning new things from his daughter every day.