Co-Founder & CEO of Inrupt John Bruce on changing the web, knowing when to pivot and what his company has in common with Thomas Edison.

Sep 30, 2020 Beth Monaghan

John Bruce, co-founder and CEO of Inrupt, isn’t afraid of big change. Along with Sir Tim Berners-Lee -- the inventor of the web -- John is facilitating a “mid-course correction” of the web. By decentralizing the power held by only a select few, and allowing data to retain more value and stay where it belongs, John believes Inrupt can use the web itself to “right a tremendous amount of wrong.” 

I sat down with John to discuss what his ideal web looks like, how COVID-19 challenges can be catalysts for change and what motivates him to keep going even when he may only be able to see a few feet ahead down a foggy road. When addressing the latter question, John shared an interesting analogy. In the early 1800s before the invention of electricity, houses, theaters and buildings were burning down because gas was required to create light. When Thomas Edison  invented the lightbulb, it wasn’t a quick fix. They needed to build power plants, lay cabling, etc. -- that happened, of course, and Edison sold a lot of lightbulbs.  If you had asked in 1879, “What is electricity going to do for us?” Edison may have answered, “We’re going to sell a lot of lightbulbs.” He later said, “Where this thing is going to stop, Lord only knows." Thank you, John and Inrupt, for having the vision to sell a lot of lightbulbs.

Below is our video Q&A. 

Topics: Innovation, Technology PR, Clients, Changemakers Series
Beth Monaghan

Since the early days working around her kitchen table, Beth has grown Inkhouse into one of the top independent PR agencies in the country. She’s been named a Top Woman in PR by PR News, a Top 25 Innovator by PRovoke, and an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist. Beth designed Inkhouse’s signature Storytelling Workshop to mirror the literary hero’s journey and to unearth the emotional connections that bind an audience to a brand or idea. She also uses narratives to build Inkhouse’s culture, most recently through two books of employee essays, “Hindsight 2020” and “Aren’t We Lucky?”

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