About

John Saddington professional headshot 2014
“Professional” – Photo via Mikaela

I suppose all stories have some sort of a beginning, right? So here goes nothing…

Born in Pusan, South Korea I was adopted with my twin brother by two amazing people in a cozy New Jersey suburb and eventually became the oldest of 5. I was obsessed with tinker toys, legos, erector sets, lincoln logs, marble works and believed, at one point, that I’d become a mechanic.

I wasn’t very good at math (I still use my fingers to count) nor were the classical sciences ever fully approachable. I didn’t have a natural or trained ear for music and my hands never wanted to cooperate with my head to create any decent form of art. Instead I leveraged a wild imagination and an insatiable curiosity for new things to keep me company.

It was all over when my father brought home a Sega Genesis and when my mother taught me how to type on her IBM Selectric. Computers, video games (and all forms of digital entertainment), and software became my obsession and by 6th grade I had I taught myself BASIC and built my first functional piece of programming (a Choose Your Own Adventure video game) when I was 11. Man, that game was the jam!

Since then I’ve had a fairly non-linear career path both academically and vocationally. I’ve racked up points as an engineer and executive in a few Fortune 50’s, a leader in some large non-profits, and have started, exited, and invested in a handful of bootstrapped and VC-funded startups.

I have experienced a few highs and the lowest of lows when it comes to creating software that matters and the organizations that build them and still have a ton left to learn (I do not believe this ever actually ends).

I have failed too many times to count.

My favorite family photo of all time.
My favorite family photo of all time. Image via Esther Havens.

Along the way I somewhat survived an undergraduate degree from Georgia Tech (I failed out of their CS program the first year… long story here folks…), I figured out a way to meet, convince, and marry the love of my life (10 years this year!), I became a parent (gasp) to two beautiful girls, and even finished two Masters degrees (one in Education) at the same time.

I have discovered the joy of being an autistic adult, despite the many challenges, and am a suicide survivor, living with purpose and a keen sense of my own mortality.

Every year is wonderfully-crazy and sometimes I do yearly retrospectives like my 2012 YIR2013 YIR, and my 2014 YIR.

I am obsessed with digital publishing and have been blogging my journey through technology, software, and entrepreneurship since 2001. I even build software for digital publishers like my OS X app Desk.

Desk was recently awarded a top honor as one of “2014 Best Apps” by Apple!

Humbling.
Humbling.

Most recently I was a Partner and Chief Strategy Officer for an organization that I believe is changing the world: The Iron Yard. I had the pleasure  serve an unbelievable staff and try my very best to coach and mentor them to greatness.

Currently, I am the Chief Communications Officer @ Assembly and we are building a powerful communication tool and platform for the future of work. Sounds a bit crazy (and that’s because it is).

assembly-homepage

I have the fortunate opportunity to lead product communications and our marketing strategy for our very talented team.

Assembly is a YCombinator company and we raised a Series A via Union Square Ventures, Thrive Capital, Box Group, and Collaborative Fund.

teeny-tokyo

And… finally, I’m working on a very small indie app called Teeny Tokyo. I’m sharing my adventure of building it from soup-to-nuts here, another experiment, of course!


John Dot What? Why “John.do”? I answer that often-asked question here.

Goodies: I’ve written a ton on a number of things that can help digital publishers become more successful as well as built a few free things that you can download for free.

Colophon: Interested in seeing how I get stuff done? I’ve created a page that I’ll continue to update as time goes on.

Coaching, Consulting, Speaking: I also enjoy coaching and consulting as well as speaking when I have time. If interested, feel free to contact me.

Then, of course, there’s LinkedIn