A network of entrepreneurs, executives, and angels.

Advisors to investors, founders, and executives.

Operators who build, and scale companies.

We Work With

Corporate Executives

We work with corporate boards, executives and general managers.

Startup Founders

We work with startup boards, founders, founding teams and early employees.

Venture Investors

We work with angels, venture capitalists and corporate investors.

We Provide

Business Development

For startups, we research their market and create a strategy to achieve their business objectives. We plan how to engage with the market, and establish relationships with market participants.

CTO Coaching

For startups, we coach their technical executives to become managers and leaders. We help them to develop their leadership skills, to build their organizations, and to architect their systems.

Due Diligence

For investors and acquirers, we review system architectures, development processes, and engineering teams. We review every line of code, identifying security and licensing risks.

Governance Engineering

We are leaders in the emerging field of governance engineering. We design technical systems for risk management, control, and goveranace.

Sales Processes

For technical founders, we help them build their sales team, with the right culture, practices, and processes. We bring a proven process for working the sales pipeline and writing the sales playbook.


For startups, we help them scale through their growth inflection points. We re-architect their systems for improved performance and scalability.

Where We Work


We are in Europe frequently, as we represent clients headquartered in London, Paris, and Berlin. We help these European startups find their US markets.

New York

We work with clients based on the east coast, representing their interests in Silicon Valley. We currently have clients in New York and Boston.

San Francisco

We are based in the heart of Silicon Valley: Menlo Park, and Palo Alto. We are well established in the ecosystem, with deep connections in the startup community.

Our Team

John Merrells

John Merrells - CEO, Founder

John has worn all the hats: engineer, manager, leader, founder, mentor, advisor, consultant, and investor. As an engineer, he built simulation games, network clients, enterprise servers, and internet services. His specialty is systems programming, specifically distributed systems programming. He has founded many startups: a games company, a startup accelerator, and a blockchain project. John invests in startups building technologies that effect positive social change, particularly in education and health. He is an expert in the areas of cloud infrastructure, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence. John reads widely, with a current interest in philosophy, politics, and economics.

Megan Balmforth

Megan Balmforth - Operations

Megan has been John’s Executive Assistant since 2013. Megan manages The Reflector Network’s community of partners and clients.

The Reflector Network


Paul Kopacki

Paul Kopacki - Advisor, Coach, Investor, Marketing Leader

Paul helps platforms and other developer-oriented companies improve their business and marketing tactics, sometimes acting as part-time CMO; he helps leaders and teams within those companies as a coach and collaborator.

  • Employers: Apple, Salesforce, Heroku, Realm, Sencha, Rational
Steven Atneosen

Steven Atneosen - Growth Advisor and Operator, Grand Chasm

Steven is a seasoned mentor, advisor, and corporate development leader. He has extensive experience with enterprise/SaaS technology startups and turnarounds leading strategy, operations, business/corporate development, legal and compliance in automotive (mobility), healthcare, education, hospitality, and gaming.

Walter Roth

Walter Roth - Sales Advisor, Inward Sales

Walter is the Founder of Inward Sales, which helps leaders and organizations cultivate moment-to-moment sales awareness and alignment to deliver on the promise: Less selling, more sales. Walter and John have collaborated on several different projects since 2012.


Peter Rowley

Peter Rowley - Architect

Pete’s Netscape business card title was ‘Caffeine powered code monkey’. He’s a server side programmer, from base metal up, on any platform. Recently Pete worked on a Web Application Vulnerability detection system.

Pete has 22 years of software development experience.

  • Expertise: Security, Internet Protocols, Software Architecture.

  • Employers: Octel, Netscape, Centrify, RedHat, Microsoft.

  • Founder: FreeIPA.

David Boreham

David Boreham - Architect, Boseman Pass

David is an engineer’s engineer, solving systems problems from first principles. He’s an architect of scalable systems, and a pragmatic and practical server side engineer.

David has 30 years of software development and engineering management experience.

  • Expertise: Internet Protocols, Database Internals, System Performance, Software Architecture, System Architecture

  • Employers: Inmos, Octel, Netscape.

  • Founder: Bozeman Pass, Nuevasync.

  • Clients: Napster, AOL, Opsware, RedHat, Sleepycat, Tello, Scalix, Microsoft, Oracle.

Jason Cline

Jason Cline - Client Engineer

Jason’s career has spanned the early days of the pre-iphone mobile web to today’s most advanced web and mobile applications. He has spent equal time slinging code and wrangling teams of engineers to get product delivered on time.

Jason has 15 years of software development and engineering management experience.

  • Expertise: Client side web development frameworks.

  • Employers: Vodaphone, Sitepen, Sencha

  • Clients: Verizon Wireless, Cisco, IBM, Reuters, Google, Facebook

Weston Triemstra

Weston Triemstra - Full Stack Product Developer

Weston can determine the why and the how of building products with his experience as both a product manager and a developer. 

Weston Triemstra has 23 years of full-stack web engineering experience.

  • Expertise: Server side web development frameworks

  • Clients: Ericsson, Nintendo, IBM, The Gottman Institute

  • Employers: Sxip Identity, Medeo, CBC

Ashwin Phatak

Ashwin Phatak - Server Engineer

Ashwin is a server side application developer. He’s comfortable with any development language. He’s built server systems in Java, Ruby, Python, Scala, and Go.

Ashwin has 15 years of software development experience.

  • Expertise: Server side web development frameworks.

  • Employers: Infosys, MangoApps

  • Clients: Sencha, OpenDNS

  • Founder: App2, DeepStack

Marcelo Oliveira

Marcelo Oliveira - Server Engineer

Marcelo can and will do anything to help the team move forward. He writes server code and native client code. He also automates our development, build and release processes.

  • Marcelo has 12 years of software development experience.

  • Expertise: Process Automation, DevOps, Build and Release

  • Employers: Teneros, Palm, HP, Sencha, Kidaptive, Luma Health

Steve Pennebaker

Steve Pennebaker - Server Engineer

Steve is a real full stack engineer. He’s worked in depth on web clients, applications, and databases.

Steve has 30+ years of software development experience.

  • Expertise: Everything, Database Languages.

  • Employers: Ingres, Oracle, Netscape, Napster, Blue Martini, Citrus Lane.

Thomas Lackey

Thomas Lackey - Server Engineer, Boseman Pass

Equally at home working on browser user interface or back-end server code, Thomas has built large systems from the ground up in Java, Python, JavaScript and C/C++.

20 years of software development experience.

  • Expertise: Server side and client side web development frameworks.

  • Clients: AOL, RedHat, Scalix, Sencha

  • Founder: Nuevasync.


David Ngo

David Ngo - Behavior Designer, Behavior Delta

David is an experienced behavior designer helping individuals or teams design interventions that change behavior for themselves and their end users.

David a former member of the Persusive Tech Lab at Stanford University and co-author of How to Do Behavior Design guides with leading behavior scientist, BJ Fogg, PhD.

Having engaged with a myriad of industries from UNICEF, VISA, NBCNews to smaller orgs like Spotify, ThinkCERCA, Noom, David and his team have extensive experience seeing different behavior change patterns and helping teams make a dent in them.

Fun Bonus Fact: David helped John develop a teeth-flossing habit, which he initially believed impossible for himself.

Brian Maggi

Brian Maggi - Product Designer

Brian helps companies define, build, and ship compelling products.

He brings more than 25 years of product design and development expertise to early-stage startups and large corporations. Whether it’s developing a new concept or relaunching an established brand, he can help your organization create and increase value.

Areas of Expertise

  • Roadmap planning and feature prioritization

  • Customer and User Experience

  • Thought Leadership and Mentoring

  • Business and Service Design

  • Prototyping and Proofs of Concept

Peter Kaminski

Peter Kaminski - Product Executive

Peter helps product and service companies meld their technology, product development, and business teams and strategies into a cohesive and effective whole. His expertise includes business agility, lean/incremental design and development, collaboration processes and tools, UI/UX and interaction design, cloud infrastructure, and product/market fit.

Peter has 35+ years of experience in software development, Internet architecture, and Silicon Valley entrepreneurship, as founder, advisor, and consultant.



Infrequent updates


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