I learned to code when I was 7.
(we didn’t call it “coding” back then.)
When I was 14 I started my first software company.
(my father had to sign the legal papers!)
At 19 I filed for my first patent.
(it issued before I graduated college.)
These days, I’m a tech company executive with 20 years of software and hardware development, sales, marketing, and IP experience. I ship products that have never been shipped before, sell technologies that have never been sold before, and manage projects that have never been managed before by building passionate and autonomous teams of superhero software, hardware, international sales, and customer success engineers. I bring a maniacal focus on the real-world business impact of technology, not just its technical excellence, and inspire teams to performance they didn’t believe possible. Here’s my professional bio, or find me on LinkedIn:
A passionate technologist turned experienced Silicon Valley executive, James has spent twenty years building science-based technology companies. Most recently, as Chief Product Officer and then Chief Operating Officer of Tachyus Corp, he led the team to deliver and deploy software that revolutionizes optimization and operational efficiency for the upstream oil and gas industry, providing multi million-dollar cash-on-cash returns on investment for its companies. Previously, he was President & CEO of ShotSpotter, Inc. (now SST, Inc.) which he built into the world’s leading provider of gunshot detection and alert technology. As the company’s first CEO, James developed and executed ShotSpotter’s market entry strategy and led the company from deployments in four cities to over 50, increased annual sales more than 50-fold, executed two M&A transactions first to acquire critical patents and IP and in the second to acquire ShotSpotter’s largest competitor. He then turned his energies towards global market penetration as head of the company’s International efforts, building sales from 0% to 40% of top-line revenue within 18 months. He subsequently returned to his engineering roots, as SST’s head of engineering where he built the infrastructure to support a global-scale, real-time 24x7x365 sensor-based data services company. He delivered product and technology improvements which increased scalability and deployment speed 100-fold, system performance, and deployment economics 10-fold.
James was Chairman and CTO of WebPutty, of which he had previously served as the Company’s President and CEO, an enterprise software company to which he brought Bain Capital as lead investors and subsequently acquired by Charles River. James had previously been Entrepreneur in Residence at SAC Capital where he set technology and infrastructure strategy for portfolio companies and direction for technology partnerships both inside and outside the portfolio, advised to Boards of Directors and SAC management on executive team performance, execution, and team dynamics, and stepped into acting C-level executives at throughout the portfolio. He has also served as vice President for R&D and CTO at Primavera Laboratories, where he was responsible for product development of over-the-counter drugs and other regulated products generating retail revenues in excess of $500m for companies including Avon Products, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and The Limited. He holds nine technology patents.
As a CEO, James has raised $75 million in equity and debt capital, and he has invested and advised boards of directors in a wide array of industries such as natural gas production, jewelry and keepsake manufacturing, and home decor products. James is a cum laude graduate of Yale University and studied Computer Science at Columbia University. In 2001, James was recognized as one of America’s leading executives under the age of 45 when he was named a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. A proud linguaphile, James has conducted business on five continents in French, Spanish, Portuguese, and halting Italian.
And now for the fun stuff:
I am a born and bred New Yorker. Although I now live in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’m always a New Yorker. (It doesn’t take but a few minutes before people I meet out Left say “you’re not from around here, are you?”).
I’m an avid reader and bibliophile. In fact, it has become something of an obsession. I used to have 11 bookcases in my former bachelor pad/950 square-foot apartment, and they were all full. Sometimes they keep me up late at night; sometimes they keep me in good stead during a cocktail party conversation in which I otherwise would have to plead ignorance; but mostly they just keep me good company.