John Shiple

John Shiple


Greater Los Angeles Area

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John Shiple's Overview

  • CTO and Technology Advisor at MindMixer
  • CTO at Intern Sushi
  • Founder at Students4Startups
  • CTO at Mota Motors, Inc.
  • Project Manager and Technical Architect at Hilton
  • Vice President of User Experience and Community at
  • Engineer and Interface/Interaction Designer at Construct Internet Design
  • Information Architect and Technical Project Manager at GeoCities (acquired by Yahoo!)
  • Engineer at HotWired

500+ connections


John Shiple's Summary

I am a seasoned technology leader. I act as Chief Technology or Technology Adviser for companies in one of the three following situations:

1) Triage - the business is burning to the ground
2) Scale - the company is stuck and unable to grow
3) Launch - bringing new companies to life

My current focus is on technology strategy and product leadership.

My specialties include: Executive and Technical Leadership, Technology Strategy and Architecture, Business and Operations Strategy, Angel and Venture Capital Investment Support, Systems Architecture, Data Architecture, User Experience/UX Architecture, Team Building and Mentoring, Product Roadmaps, and Technology Planning.

John Shiple's Experience



Privately Held; 1-10 employees; Internet industry

October 2008Present (6 years 1 month) Greater Los Angeles Area

FreelanceCTO incubates companies and products by architecting and designing award winning technology products that scale your business. The company builds, trains, and manages your development team using their proprietary 100-step process. FreelanceCTO provides a wide range of Business and Technology services for startups, small- to mid-sized businesses and Fortune 500 Companies.


LA CTO Forum

June 2005Present (9 years 5 months) Greater Los Angeles Area

The LA CTO Forum is a vibrant, private, invite only network of 250+ CTOs that meets once a month in Santa Monica. As an Advisor, I provide direction for the organization, help screen and mentor new members, help find speakers, and provide support to other members. As an Advocate, I help screen and mentor new members, help find speakers, and provide support to other members. This is an amazing group of the top technical minds in Los Angeles and I’m proud to be part of its success. More at:

Privately Held; 11-50 employees; Commercial Real Estate industry

December 2013April 2014 (5 months) Greater Los Angeles Area

AssetAvenue is a new online marketplace that offers investors the access, tools and knowledge they need to invest with confidence in commercial real estate.


February 2013December 2013 (11 months) Greater Los Angeles Area (crowd-funded live music) enables music fans to book their favorite artists in a space like your home or backyard, for a party or just an evening with friends. The Fanswell platform contains professional tools that make it easy for artists and managers to plan events with their fans. Acting as CTO, John worked with the founders to build the company's Minimum Viable Product.

Over the course of a year:
• John sourced a local development shop to build the MVP
• John worked with the development shop to build and iterate the MVP several times
• John built the internal development team and transitioned technical development and management from the development shop, iterating the product several times during the process
• The company launched in early 2014, targeting SXSW 2014 as a major opportunity

Technology Advisor


Privately Held; 11-50 employees; Marketing and Advertising industry

July 2012December 2013 (1 year 6 months) Los Angeles, California

Lootsie enables video game developers (on iPhone, Android, Unity, and HTML5) to quickly and easily offer big brand rewards to their players. Game players earn points that they can redeem for real-world rewards like Starbucks Coffee, BestBuy gift certificates, and even customized items like BarkBoxes. Brands gain a significant advantage when working with game developers, directly connecting with and monetizing the developers' game players.

John joined with the co-founders to source a world-class CTO and build the development team (of 8 at the time). John regularly oversaw the company's people, processes, and technology to make sure everything was running according to plan (or better).

In 2014, the Digital LA Awards recognized Lootsie with the award for the Best New Mobile Ad Platform. Numerous big brand partners have signed on as of early 2014, including: 1-800 Flowers, Fatburger, Hulu, Amazon, Little Black Bag, POM, Sears, UBER, NastyGal, and ShoeDazzle. Developers continue to sign up in significant numbers, including: babaroga, First Post Studios, ONE spear, SEN, and Sabertooth.

CTO and Technology Advisor


Privately Held; 51-200 employees; Civic & Social Organization industry

March 2011August 2013 (2 years 6 months) Omaha, Nebraska

MindMixer is a community engagement platform that enables cities and civic institutions to connect with their citizens and engage in a meaningful dialogue over improving each region's quality of life. Acting as CTO and then Technology Adviser, John took the company's Minimum Viable Product and scaled it to a nation-wide, enterprise-scale product.

Over three years, John made a significant impact on the business:
• In year one, John rebuilt the entire product with an outsourced team. John leveraged third-party developers to build the new platform in 4 months. The original prototype supported 10 cities (clients) One year later, after Sales was enabled, MindMixer supported over 120 cities nationwide
• In year three, the company announced $4M in funding. With the funding proceeds, John oversaw the technical acquisition of John also trained the CTO of VoterTide to take over the reins of MindMixer and transitioned off the original third-party development team
• By the end of year three, over 600 cities are using MindMixer across the United States, including 8 of the top 10 cities by size, with the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco being great examples
• At the end of his tenure, John opened the doors for the company to tackle two large and promising verticals: Enterprise and Academia

Privately Held; 11-50 employees; Internet industry

June 2011December 2012 (1 year 7 months) Greater Los Angeles Area

InternSushi modernized the hiring process by building a next generation hiring platform that enables small and large companies alike to interact with and engage prospective talent in a simple and easy way. The platform embraces multimedia to transform the paper resume to its modern equivalent and injects transparency into the employment process.

Acting as CTO, John took the company's Minimum Viable Product and scaled it to a nation-wide, enterprise-scale, SaaS product. Over two years, John enabled the business to grow and thrive:
• In year one, John rebuilt the entire product with an outsourced team because the original prototype never launched. John leveraged third-party developers to build the new platform in 4 months
• In year two (after one "school year" had completed), over 6,000 companies offered internships to over 18,000 students through InternSushi
• In year three (after two "school years"), over 15,000 companies offered internships to over 75,000 students
• InternSushi continues to receive very positive press from Mashable, Fast Company, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, TechCrunch, CNN, Variety, and Fortune
• At the end of his tenure, John transitioned technical leadership to the Technical Product Manager. John made technology management so clear and transparent that a CTO was not required to take over after his departure

Internet industry

June 2008August 2012 (4 years 3 months)

In its first year of operation, Students4Startups added 17 startups to the program, collected over 400 student resumes, and held several private, informal mixers for students to connect with local LA startups.

Students4Startups exists to:

• Promote and enhance the vibrant tech startup community in Los Angeles and Southern California by actively recruiting and hiring smart, motivated college interns

• Educate students and startups about the value of entrepreneurship and the strength and diversity of local companies

John is a Founder and is responsible for the university outreach portion of the program.

Privately Held; 11-50 employees; Internet industry

April 2004October 2008 (4 years 7 months)

John founded the company with two partners and worked with the CEO to raise the company’s angel round of equity financing ($1MM) and first institutional round of equity financing ($4.5MM).

Mota was selected as one of Business Week's "Most Promising Startups" for 2009. Mota was also chosen as a Tech Crunch 50 Finalist for 2009.

Mota Motors provides a new and better way to sell or buy a car online. Mota’s automotive market network provides a one-click, instant access to the largest used car marketplaces. Mota’s groundbreaking technology makes transactions faster and more profitable by generating real-time market data that delivers fine-tuned pricing and optimized advertising.

As CTO, John designed and architected several large-footprint, highly scalable components to enable the Mota platform. The platform is comprised of the following components:

• Marketplace management tools to integrate with Pep Boys, eBay Motors,, AutoTrader, GoogleBase, craigslist, oodle, Vast, AOL autos, and more. Integration was in both directions: for populating each of these services with vehicle data and for pulling dynamic updates from these services

• Pricing tools that scoured the Web for dynamic, real-time automotive pricing. Proprietary algorithms enable greater accuracy than exists in the competitive landscape

• Robust and modular seller and buyer experiences that enable rapid redesign and release to optimize customer throughput and sales

• Data transformation and translation tools to maintain data integrity and enable third-party integrations

• Custom functionality like CARFAX vehicle history reports, third-party inspections, shopping cart functionality, extended warranties and financing, and more

John led a team of over 10 engineers, developers, product managers, project managers, information architects, designers, copyeditors, and administrative staff.

Project Manager and Technical Architect


Privately Held; 10,001+ employees; HLT; Hospitality industry

April 2002April 2004 (2 years 1 month)

At Hilton, John led the effort to re-architect Hilton’s Intranet and Extranet systems. The new system, HiltonNet, supports several thousand corporate users and tens of thousands of hotel owners and employees. John designed the technical architecture, successfully project managed a cross-functional team and external resources, assisted programmers with development tasks, and fixed architecture-level bugs in third-party software.

As of January 2009 Hilton brands encompass 3,200 hotels with 545,000 rooms in 77 countries. Hilton is ranked as the 36th largest private company in the United States by Forbes. The company owns, manages or franchises a portfolio of brands, including Hilton Hotels, Conrad Hotels, Doubletree, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Grand Vacations Company, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and The Waldorf-Astoria Collection.

John was also the technical architect for a pilot program of Hilton’s Customer Relationship Management and Data Integration strategy. His primary responsibility was to architect a solution for Hilton’s Quality Assurance and Guest Assistance business units.

Vice President of User Experience and Community

August 1998January 2001 (2 years 6 months)

John founded the company with four partners and worked with the CEO to raise the company’s angel round of equity financing ($2MM) and first institutional round of equity financing ($10.5MM). provided tools and services to enable small business owners to create and manage a Web site, market their business online, sell products with secure ecommerce, promote events, display a portfolio, send email newsletters, and more.

Bigstep was acquired and is now a Hostway company, combining forces with a world leader in Web hosting to offer the widest selection of industry leading online services. With over 600,000 customers across the globe and serving more than 2 million Web sites, presence in 11 countries and over 750 employees, Hostway is in the top of its class. Hostway offers numerous services including Domain Name Registration, eCommerce Hosting, Search Engine Optimization, or Online Backup, and more.

John designed a fundamental and scalable information architecture, interaction design and visual design systems to support 300,000 customers and 50+ co-branded partner including AOL Time Warner, Compaq, NBCi, and Office Depot. To accomplish this feat, John hired and managed a team of 15+ people, including engineers, information architects, designers, Web developers, usability analysts, editors and writers. After launch, went on to win the majority of awards available for customer satisfaction and quality of service offering in on-line small-business industry. Post-launch, John drove the creation and implementation of company-wide processes to optimize development efforts moving forward.

Engineer and Interface/Interaction Designer

Construct Internet Design

December 1995June 1997 (1 year 7 months)

Construct was a boutique Internet design agency with a focus on seamlessly combining visual aesthetics with technical wizardry. John's worked focused on advanced user interfaces for clients such as Bigbook, Microsoft, Netscape, NTT, and Silicon Graphics, among others. John's core work focused on integrating VRML environments with back-end computing platforms (Java, PERL, HTML).

John developed Stratus, an online 3d art gallery, where visitors could upload their own artworks into their own customized, 3d galleries. John also participated in the Nerve Garden for SIGGRAPH 1996. The Nerve Garden is a biologically-inspired multi-user collaborative 3D virtual world designed to provide a compelling experience of a virtual terrarium which exhibits properties of growth, decay and energy transfer reminiscent of a simple ecosystem.

Information Architect and Technical Project Manager

GeoCities (acquired by Yahoo!)

Public Company; 10,001+ employees; YHOO; Internet industry

19971997 (less than a year)

John rebuilt the GeoCities site from top to bottom in order to support over one million (1M+) members and optimize revenue for the company. At the time, GeoCities was the fourth largest site on the Internet. John introduced a simple Content Management System to the production team that enabled them to standardize and accelerate the development and launch of new neighborhoods (the primary mechanism for users to sign up and start generating content).

In addition, GeoCities was unable to monetize most of its users' content. To enable monetization, John invented pop-up ads and increased GeoCities' ad inventory by over 10,000%. Months later, countless sites were launching pop-up ads to generate revenue. Less than two years later, GeoCities was purchased by Yahoo for over $3 billion dollars.



Privately Held; 51-200 employees; Internet industry

August 1994December 1996 (2 years 5 months)

John was a founding member of HotWired’s engineering team. Hotwired was the first commercial web magazine, launched on October 27, 1994. Although it was part of Wired Ventures, Hotwired was a separate entity from Wired, the print magazine, and had original content.

At HotWired, John created some of the first instances of dynamic content on the Web - from threaded discussion forums to dynamically generated homepages with rotating content. In addition, John pioneered one of the first instances of personalization on the Web by developing a system which presented content based on a reader's preferences and past reading activity. John's final project was Adrenaline - an interactive database of play spots with a map-based graphical interface. Real-time surf data, climbing data and locations (latitude/longitude), ultimate teams, mountain bike trails, and rafting locations were mapped and posted to the dynamic, real-time interface.

John Shiple's Skills & Expertise

  1. Startup Consulting
  2. Computer Science
  3. Technology
  4. Leadership
  5. Technology Planning
  6. IT Strategy
  7. Architecture
  8. Team Building
  9. Technical Leadership
  10. Behavioral Science
  11. Start-ups
  13. Enterprise Software
  14. Scalability
  15. Big Data
  16. Executive Management
  17. Integration
  18. Databases
  19. Cloud Computing
  20. SEO
  21. Usability
  22. User Interface
  23. Interaction Design
  24. Web Applications
  25. Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  26. E-commerce
  27. CRM
  28. Agile Methodologies
  29. Strategy
  30. Mobile Devices
  31. Venture Capital
  32. Perl
  33. Advertising
  34. Entrepreneurship
  35. Management
  36. Distributed Systems
  37. CMS
  38. Open Source
  39. Strategic Partnerships
  40. Networking
  41. Product Management
  42. Project Management
  43. Ruby on Rails
  44. SaaS
  45. HTML
  46. Email Marketing
  47. Ruby
  48. Information Architecture
  49. User Experience
  50. Lean Startup

View All (50) Skills View Fewer Skills

John Shiple's Patents

  • Extensible data model for use in an integrated platform for creating a distribution multiapplication online presence

    • United States Patent 7,219,327
    • Issued May 15, 2007

    Data constructs and architectures are disclosed for providing a foundation for an application-building system for enabling a non-technical user to perform discrete tasks to build a complete network-based application and maintain the same user experience throughout the application development. A data model having an extensible underlying structure that can be used in a user-oriented application development system having a task-based architecture is defined. The data model is capable of allowing for extensible attributes such that the addition of a new data attribute can be made without changing the underlying structure of the data model. Multiple applications making up the user-oriented application development system can access data from the data model. Data stored in a database having the data model as an underlying structure can be reused by the task-based architecture for various applications.

  • Integrated platform for developing and maintaining a distributed multiapplication online presence

    • United States Patent 7,356,559
    • Issued April 8, 2008

    Software architectures, platforms, and data constructs are disclosed which provide a system for enabling a non-technical or lay user to perform discrete technical tasks necessary to build a complete network-based, multiuser application. The system also allows the user to have a uniform user experience throughout development of the application. For example, the platform can be used to construct and maintain an Internet or online Web site capable of handling e-commerce transactions or can be used to develop a customer relationship management system. A software architecture is described that enables many users to perform a variety of tasks via a wide-area network, such as an enterprise network or the Internet. The architecture has several services, systems, and an extensible database for storing data objects. The database has an underlying structure referred to as a schema that can be extended with previously undefined attributes without having to alter the basic format of the schema. The architecture also includes an integrated platform that enables each of the users to perform the tasks by controlling interaction or communication between the services and systems, and the extensible database.

  • Method and Apparatus for Implementing a Peer to Peer Transaction System

    • United States Patent Application 20100042508
    • Filed August 14, 2008

    The system provides a method an apparatus for implementing a peer to peer transaction system. The system includes an online system of marketing and pricing that optimizes saleability and profit, limits access of strangers to personal spaces, limits the likelihood of unqualified buyers, provides appropriate paperwork automatically, and reduces the cycle time of offer and sale. The system also provides trustworthy information to a buyer of physical condition and title, as well as resources normally only available in a commercial transaction.

  • Method and Apparatus for Implementing an Automatic Marketing System

    • United States Patent Application 20100042467
    • Filed August 14, 2008

    The system provides a method and apparatus for automatically generating marketing and promotional information for an item for sale. The system tracks sales and offers for sale of similar items and determines the words, images, and descriptions that have been most useful in selling items in the past. The seller is presented with information about descriptions that can maximize price and/or minimize time on the market. The system operates by collecting data from prior sales including selling price, expected selling price, start date, end date, images of item, time of year, geographical region, and a dictionary of terms and phrases used in prior sales. These factors are analyzed and identified as helpful or hurtful in a number of categories, including selling price and/or time on the market.

John Shiple's Education

Ottawa Hills High School


John Shiple's Additional Information


Building great companies, cloud computing, information architecture

Groups and Associations:

TwiistUp, Web405, TND, Geek Dinners, goodtimes, Jeep Club

Honors and Awards:

John has two dubious claims to fame. In the October 17th, 1996 issue of Rolling Stone Magazine, John is identified as the origin of the Term "Geeksploitation". In 1997, John garnered the honor "Inventor of the Pop-Up Ad on the Internet" (on behalf of GeoCities).

Contact John for:

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  • new ventures
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