- Inducted in 2008
John Maeda is an American executive spearheading a new convergence across the design and technology industries. He currently advises dozens of technology businesses as a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers — a world-leading venture capital firm in Silicon Valley.
Named as one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st Century by Esquire, Maeda draws on his diverse background as a MIT-trained engineer, award-winning designer, and organization executive to bring people and ideas together. Throughout his career, Maeda has helped executives, inventors and designers push the boundaries of innovation in their fields through his mentorship, live appearances and celebrated books, including The Laws of Simplicity, Creative Code, and Redesigning Leadership. He has appeared as a speaker all over the world, from Davos to Beijing to São Paulo to New York, and his talks for TED.com have received cumulative views of over 2 million to date.
Today, Maeda is putting KPCB on the map as a leader in business and technology design, and demonstrating the economic impact of design in corporations. At the start of 2015, Fast Company named KPCB one of the ten most innovative companies in design – a position fortified by Maeda’s subsequent launching of the “#DesignInTech Report”, which covers venture capital funding and M&A activity for design in the technology industry.
Maeda began his career in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and proceeded to integrate formal design training into his technical background. While the web was being built the 1990s, Maeda led a research team at the MIT Media Lab to connect design with computer science, fostering the first generation of engineers who could elegantly design, and designers who could fluently code.
Maeda later became the 16th President of Rhode Island School of Design where as chief executive he brought technology industry partnerships, lean operations management, and a relentless focus on diversity to help the institution regain its former leading position in the new economy. During his presidency, he received Tribeca Film Festival’s Disruptive Innovation Award for catalyzing the national movement to transform STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) into STEAM by adding art as a priority area.
Maeda currently serves on the Board of Directors for wireless hi-fi innovator Sonos and the global advertising firm Wieden+Kennedy. He is also a member of the Technical Advisory Board for Google’s Advanced Technology + Projects Group and the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on New Growth Models. Most recently he was advisor to John Donahoe, CEO of eBay Inc., where Maeda facilitated the advancement of eBay Inc.’s design culture at scale – that work culminating in a forthcoming Stanford GSB case study.
Maeda received his BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT, with his MS thesis entitled “Concurrent Sparse Matrix Equation Solver for Three-dimensional Semiconductor Simulation.” He earned an MBA from Arizona State University and a PhD from University of Tsukuba in Japan. He was awarded honorary doctorates in Fine Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art and Simon Fraser University.
Maeda was the recipient of the White House’s National Design Award, the Blouin Foundation’s Creative Leadership Award, the AIGA Medal, the Raymond Loewy Foundation Prize, the Mainichi Design Prize, the Tokyo Type Director’s Club Prize, and induction into the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame. Maeda’s early work for print and the computer was accessioned into the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, and his contemporary art has been showcased in solo exhibitions in Paris, Los Angeles, Tokyo, London, San Francisco, and NYC.
Maeda can be found on Twitter discussing technology, business and design at @johnmaeda, one of TIME Magazine’s 140 Best Twitter Feeds.