Members On Members – Ft. John Davis by Dan Schepleng

If you make a habit of hiking you’ll eventually see Bigfoot. If you’re a pilot and make a habit of flying, you’ll eventually see a UFO. If you make a habit of wandering the space of the ETC on Haven street, you’ll eventually see John Davis. Much less elusive but just as remarkable as the aforementioned, John can be easily be spotted by two things: 1. the finest of Italian suits; 2. the sweetest of silver Corvettes.

John runs an amazing company called Notice & Comment. They’re using IBM’s Watson to figure out what people really think about public policy. Their software vacuums up the worlds comments on any issue, and sums it up so that decision makers know what everyone thinks.  Take that in for a moment. They can process what everyone thinks about something, say, as important as Net Neutrality, in a matter of seconds. Leaders can actually see and hear what everyone thinks before making a decision.

It’s been amazing to watch John and his team of merry-mad-scientists put this thing together.

It makes me think of what it must have been like to sit around and watch the guys that invented the GPS in the 1950’s. I wonder if they knew then the significance of what they were working on? Originally GPS was just developed for the military. When’s the last time you asked someone for directions instead of just looking it up?

 

Notice & Comment is a lot like that, it’s a shift in how we use technology. The start of governments using technology to help govern, instead of just governing the technology. It’s the start of us using the power of the internet for more than just outreach. When we’re all using our phones to vote, it’s companies like Notice & Comment where all that will have originated from.  

Before starting Notice & Comment—and becoming the best dressed man in Baltimore Tech—John was a Federal Prosecutor. A good lunch spent is sitting and listening to him tell stories of the legal front lines, like the real John Grisham. If you ever get a chance, ask him about the guards he posted on the roof of a courthouse, brilliant.

The great thing about people that start companies is that we’re all a bunch of weirdos. We’re people that don’t fit into any particular box, any particular title. Sure we have to call ourselves something: founders, CEOs Chief Visionaries, Growth Ninjas. But what we really are, are people that  that either were fired or were politely asked to leave everywhere else, and as we left we all said “I can do this better”.

 

If you’re ever up for wasting an hour in the best way possible, head over to North Haven, walk up the stairs, and poke your head into John’s office. It’s the one with the blue N&C on the door, tell em Dan sent ya.

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About the companies:

Notice and Comment is a specialized communications utility designed to enhance the interaction between the public and all levels of government. They aim to help citizens become more effective advocates for themselves and their communities when it counts – while government action is still just proposed – that critical stage where politics end and your input begins.

Kapowza a full service creative agency who serves their clients and helps them reach their goals and wildest dreams of success through product launch campaigns, integrated brand campaigns, interactive digital campaigns. These campaigns may consist of: branding & re-branding, creative copywriting, front end development, tagline creating, animation, etc.