I am JJ Rohrer and Elegant Technologies (ET) is my personal website. Formed in 2004, Elegant Technologies was started as a company while I developed a 400 page online reference web site for the Air Force (The Project Officer’s Handbook – sadly – long dead link). ET enjoyed a brief stint as a Web 2.0 project providing online tools for HR managers… until I realized I really didn’t have a passion for HR software. Yeah – I was shocked by that one, too. ET also enjoyed a good run as a mobile app company.
Fun Fact: ET was where I received my first official trademarks, and I also learned how very differently a lawyer approaches a trademark than a business owner would. My lawyer seemingly researched with an eye towards search-ability. I approached it with an eye towards, “who might sue me.” My approach was much cheaper, and helped me sleep better.
I maintain ElegantTechnologies.com to track past and future projects, to share occasional thoughts, and to generally protect my little corner of the internet.
JJ is an engineer MBA focusing on early stage teams.
Recently, JJ was the onsite software product manager dedicated to Harvard Business School’s HBX online business course initiative.
Prior work focused in the STEM Education & EdTech space. JJ runs School Twist as an indie-side project of Ascendly. School Twist should reach its 10,000th paying beta-registrant during the 2018-2019 school year. JJ continues to shepherd Ascendly as an institution that runs after-school STEM enrichment classes.
Fun Fact: Ascendly taught me that first graders, with a little engineering training, are totally capable of building LEGO based skyscrapers that reach the ceiling.
Fun Fact: At Ascendly, I developed what I think is the country’s only Electrical Engineering enrichment course for 2nd & 3rd graders. Did you know that Play-Doh conducts electricity?
JJ was the Sr. Vice President of Technology and Operations at a Sterling Research Group (SRG), a data-intensive market research firm in Florida, focusing upon custom-satisfaction tracking. JJ provided the guiding technology vision and ensured operational excellence.
Fun Fact: While at SRG, telephone based surveys became a growth area for the company. At one point, we actively contacted about 2% of the households in America. From the server in the closet. Well, it was a big closet. Technical Note: This was before Twilio was trusted, so we had sooo many T1s.
Fun Fact: At SRG, I invented what I believe was the world’s first, and only, 0-click-scan-to-survey. We had a client that couldn’t use onsite electronic checklists, so the users (mostly housekeeping-related staff) filled out paper forms and dropped them into my scanner at the end of their rounds. The scanner would automatically feed the document and upload the file to our processing center. It was pretty slick. Unlike Amazon’s one-click patent, I did not receive the recognition and/or scrutiny that I really wanted. I guess the world just isn’t very afraid of easy scanning.
JJ’s earlier work experience concentrated in the fields of network operations, software development, and process consulting. He was with Sparta, a high-tech Department of Defense simulation consulting firm. While at Sparta, in addition to developing an online training system, he also provided formal process consulting for the Air Force’s Space and Missile Center.
Selfish Fact: The proudest snippet of my career was when the Columbia Accident Investigation Board specifically referenced our process audit team as performing a service that should be copied at NASA.
Before leaving Sparta, JJ led the initial authoring of the Army’s Future Combat Systems simulation master plan that was meant to guide the development and integration for a new $12B weapon system.
Fun Fact: The highest level briefing of my career was to the Deputy Undersecretary overseeing the Future Combat System. He fell asleep. To be fair, though, other people pre-warned me that he usually fell asleep during briefings and that I should “just continue going.”
Before working at start ups, JJ developed large-scale 3D simulations and performed trade-off analysis studies as an officer in the Air Force.
Early Fact: While working on my Master’s Degree, I researched Virtual Reality, working under a DARPA sponsored VR grant. Our HMD headset retailed for $50,0000. My primary computer retailed for $250,000, which I still think was super cool.
JJ has a Bachelor of Science degree in Operations Research from the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado. While completing his military commitment, he earned a MS-CS from the Air Force Institute of Technology. After completing his tour of duty, he earned an MBA from the Harvard Business School, focusing on operations and technology. More thrilling career details can be found → https://www.linkedin.com/in/jjrohrer