Tech Leadership Advising + Investing UI + UX Design

Visual Thinking

John Manoogian III

About me

Hybrid nerd; the geek in the art crowd, artist amongst the geeks. Startup founder and product designer: I live by helping, making, and solving.

Visual storyteller and product prototyping lead.

Co-Founder: Design Hacks · 140 Proof · Plus One

Advisor to technology startups and smart folks, specializing in new brand challenges and turning technical insights into delightful experiences.

Designer and "hybrid hacker" since the days of tree-forts and graphing calculators.

Languages: if it runs on the web, I probably know it; HTML, D3, S/CSS, Ruby, SVG, JS, etc.

Protocols: HTTP, REST, Git, Blockchain, *nix, the Social Web

Tools of the trade: Sketch, Photoshop, Vim, *nix


Why get stronger, if not to share strength with others?

Strategic Advising

I advise startups in areas where I can be helpful. Mainly: social stuff, cloud tools, and cryptocurrency.

UI + UX Design

A decade of experience working with and learning from some of the digital world's best designers.

Social Software

I know more than anyone probably should about designing social software for web and mobile.


I heard it's the future.

Analytics + Visualization

I love eliminating chartjunk.

Visual Storytelling

Metaphors, meaning, and magic


Translating is what I do: from human:computer and from person to person

I help make great teams and great products by connecting code with design. 24:7 translator and gap-bridger. Find me: building teams, doing full-stack web development, UX design + engineering, technical problem solving and product management (fish-squeezing), hybrid thinking.


  • 2010-2017

    Co-founder, CTO @ 140 Proof

    We use open social data to make ads reach their highest potential.

    • Developed a world-class product engineering team

    • Built the Social Operating System powered by interest data

    • Delivered multi-fold boost in revenue YoY

    • Opened offices in five cities

    • Delighted world-class brands like P&G, Kraft, Google, Chevy, Amazon, Victoria's Secret, and Best Buy.

    • Business acquired by public company in $20M cash deal

  • 2009-2010


    • Created a new web service to spread positivity and enable universal voting on Twitter. Grew to 2+ million users year 1.

    • Led creation of first real-time social stream analyzer and responder

    • hosted on the AWS cloud, written in Rails + Erlang (for queueing)

  • 2007-2009


    • Backed by Founders Fund + BlueRun Ventures

    • Founding team: co-founder of Ironport ($870 MM exit), CTO of Napster (destroyed the music industry)

    • Led product development from launch through revenue to stable growth

    • Written in Ruby & Rails with a liberal dose of RMagick

    • Owned all customer- and partner-facing front-end product features + user experience

    • Grew an agile product design team within existing engineering discipline

  • 2005-2006

    Director, Experience Design Team Organic

    • Created a hybrid crew of designers + developers on a $30 mil+ account

    • Unified multiple teams into single billable innovation / R&D team

    • Supported four offices through patentable prototyping + development

  • 2004-2005

    Director, Interface Engineering Organic

    • Led team of 20 architects, developers, and designers across two offices

    • Project lead for global system Re-Architecture

    • Overcame insane restrictions to launch 3 RSS-powered sites

    • Educated and sold VP-level clients on web 2.0 communication architectures

  • 1999-2003

    Team Lead, Interface Engineering Organic

    • Recruited, trained, and mentored new front-end developers

    • Wrote and enforced documentation and code review processes

    • Named as inventor on US patent application for custom internationalized CMS

    • Provided services in London, NYC, Toronto, Chicago, Detroit, and San Francisco

Advising & Investing

  • 2017

    Percy Seed-stage Investment

    Percy supercharges the design & build process with continuous visual reviews for web apps. Percy integrates directly into your test suite and development workflow to provide iterative and fast feedback about visual changes. Plug Percy directly into your GitHub or CI workflow and unlock simple, fast visual testing, even for responsive sites.

  • 2015

    MatterFab Seed-stage Investment

    MatterFab is reinventing 3D printing with the first affordable, scalable 3D metal printer using next generation laser technology to print solid metal parts. We are changing the face of manufacturing, drawing from experience at Sandia National Labs, the DoD, and growing up in a machine shop.

  • 2014

    SupplyBetter Seed-stage Investment

    We help people make physical things. Specifically, we perform intelligent matching to help mechanical design engineers find the best contract manufacturers to manufacture custom mechanical parts, with an initial focus on 3D printing in the United States.

    We're on to something: we have some fanatically happy customers (Frog Design, Anybots, and a Fortune 100 company we can't name), and engineers are beating down our door.

  • 2015

    Experiment Seed-stage Investment

    Experiment is a crowdfunding platform for scientific research. How we fund scientific research will be vastly different in 20 years, and the future direction is towards an open and democratic platform for funding science. Researchers from over 150 institutions and universities are using Experiment to fund important seed-stage research that would otherwise go unfunded.

  • 2014

    Respondly Seed-stage Investment

    Respondly streamlines a team's conversations with customers using social software. Our product is used by companies like Slack, Stripe, Pocket, and 1Password to manage customer support.

  • 2013

    Hashgram Advisor

    Hashgram is the best way to discover and share Instagram images and videos beyond Instagram. We offer leading brands an opportunity to build awareness, connect with eager followers and initiate commerce via our Sponsored Tags, a real-time native ad unit.

    Originally designed and developed as a "no app required" search utility, today, our discovery platform is used by millions of Instagram fans worldwide.

  • 2012

    Huddl Advisor

    Huddl is a free group text messaging app that makes you comfortable to share once again by aligning your sharing with your real-life social circles. Huddl enables group messaging for friends, private groups, and teams.

  • 2011

    Tixelated Advisor

    Tixelated is a mobile app built on Node and Mongo to make ticketing easy, liquid, and fungible.


Contributions to open source, culture, community, etc.

  • All
  • Visual
  • Software
  • Talks
  • Teams
Cognitive Bias Codex
Information about the jm3 dotfiles project.
The "Hacking Design" story

Read the Geographic Drift report:

See the slides:

What happens when six people stop being polite... and start being real. 140 Proof: The Real World.
organic inc.: a tale of two cities.
slides available at:
slides available at:

Cognitive Bias Codex

Information Design

Michigan Mojo

Mentorship Talk


Social Commerce Startup


film hacks

Interest Graph

fat data

Hack Deploy Scale

hacker space


Geo Data

The Social OS


Pivots = Awesome


Feed Me Links

social software

Organic Inc


Plus One


Mosh film


140 Proof


A How-To Hybrids


Bet Your Followers


Open Source = $$$


Design Hacks



open-source software