John Merrells is a technologist and entrepreneur. He is presently coaching technical founders, scaling startups, and researching ‘sovereignty and governance’.

John has a Computer Science degree and worked as a Software Engineer in the gaming, telecommunications, networking, and internet services industries. His speciality has been in architecting large-scale distributed systems.

John has also studied Psychology and has served as a manager of teams, leader of companies, mentor of entrepreneurs, advisor of startups, and coach of executives.

John is active in many global social startup ecosystems, sharing his experience, expertise, and network to help create positive social impact.

John lives in Menlo Park, California, with his son, and his large book collection.


Aletheia Systems

Founded in 2018, Aletheia Systems, builds governance systems. We are interested in the governance of: automated decision making systems (AI), value echange networks (Blockchain), real world data streams (IoT), Corporations, Foundations, Cities, and Countries.

Aletheia Systems Website


Co-founded in 2017, Wireline is building a new open-source software stack. John raised the seed round of funding and recruited the team.

Wireline Website

Star Baby Fund

Founded in 2013, Star Baby Fund is John’s portfolio of angel and advisory investments. It has been through three distinct themes over the past five years:

  1. Infrastructure and Security
  2. Education, Health, and Agriculture
  3. IoT, AI and Blockchain

Star Baby Fund Website

Refector Network

Founded in 2012, Reflector Network is a community of entrepreneurs, executives, and angels. We advise investors, founders, and executives. We are operators who build, and scale companies.

Reflector Network Website

Embrace Mobile

Co-founded in 2006, Embrace Mobile was a UK/US startup that built an development platform for mobile applications. Although too early to get much adoption, it did publish some successful applications for mobile surveys, ticketing, and transactions. Embrace Mobile was hauled out back and shot in the head in 2008.

Parthenon Computing

Co-founded in 2004, Parthenon Computing was an Oxford based software innovation services company. Parthenon started companies, built teams, developed software and brought products to market. Parthenon was aquired by We7 in 2007, which was then acquired by Tesco, and rebranded as Blinkbox.

Game Pie

Founded in 1986, Game Pie was a British software company developing multi-player games for postal and internet play. Its most notable game was St. Valentine’s Day Massacre II a play-by-mail game set in the Chicago prohibition era. A typical game involved 50 players playing out 30 turns of the game, which took about a year to play.



InPlay is a nonprofit based in San Mateo, CA. Their mission is to connect disengaged, low-income children and youth with out-of-school programs to ignite their individual interests and talents.

InPlay Website


Known for its outstanding literary events, knowledgeable staff, and world-class selection, Kepler’s has been the intellectual and cultural hub of the community for over 60 years.

Kepler's Website



StartX is a collection of serial entrepreneurs, industry experts, tenured Stanford professors, and well-funded growth-stage startups. They believe that as entrepreneurs we can achieve more, as a group, than we can as individuals. As a community, our goal is to find creative ways to collaborate, so that each of our companies can have a long-term positive impact on the world.

StartX Website


Blackbox is a global founder accelerator based in Silicon Valley. By supporting founders to become stronger leaders, they allow them to redefine what’s possible for themselves, their companies, their communities, and the world.

Blackbox Website

Singularity University

Singularity University is a global learning and innovation community using exponential technologies to tackle the world’s biggest challenges and build a better future for all.

Singularity Website


Uncharted is a 21st-century problem solving organization that uses the power of an entrepreneurial accelerator to tackle the world’s biggest social and environmental issues like the future of food, urban poverty, and hate and discrimination.

Uncharted Website


The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man [& woman]. — George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright (1856 - 1950)

Unreasonable Website



In the legend of King Arthur, Avalon was an island where wounded warriors came to heal and regain strength. Today’s Avalon community is for individuals to reclaim embodied self-empowerment. From here we can become true leaders contributing our unique gifts for positive impact in the world.

Avalon Website

Hoffman Process

The Hoffman Institute Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to transformative adult education, spiritual growth, and the personal dimensions of leadership. I attended a session in California in 2016.

Hoffman Website


Pathwise takes leaders beyond traditional leadership development programs, teaching members to practice conscious leadership. The program curriculum is taught in a distinctive cohort setting.

Pathwise Website


I write about work, personal and professional.


Humanity happens in connection.

(415) 244-5808 john@johnmerrells.com 1142 Crane Street, Menlo Park, California, 94025