Play Bigger Team

Players Turned Coaches

We are category designers.

We are executive coaches.

We are tie breakers.

Dave and Al are former entrepreneurs and operators turned category design coaches. They have founded and built companies, served as CMOs, CEOs and senior executives at companies of all sizes and stages. They became category design coaches after 20+ years of designing, developing and dominating categories.

Play Bigger was founded in 2011. In 2016 the founders were joined by Kevin Maney to write Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets for Harper Collins.

CREATES RESULTS IN LIFE AND BUSINESS

Dave Peterson Play Bigger

CREATES RESULTS IN LIFE AND BUSINESS

Dave Peterson is a book co-author, adventurer, entrepreneur, category designer, and co-founder of Play Bigger. He’s a highly sought-after keynote speaker and podcast guest on the topics of category design, marketing and business strategy.

Dave spent his first 20 years in the tech industry as a business and marketing executive for both start-ups and high growth public companies. He spent a good part of his executive career creating categories at every company he worked with including Mercury Interactive (acquired by HP), Coverity (acquired by Synopsys), Aggregate Knowledge (acquired by Neustar), and his co-founded internet-talk radio company GiveMeTalk! (acquired by the dot com bust). He credits his operational category experience and pragmatic (get sh*t done) approach to being effective in helping Play Bigger portfolio companies build enduring categories with proven tactics and strategies. 

Above all, Dave is a dedicated category builder who has designed more than 50 business categories with Play Bigger and helped hundreds of individual entrepreneurs and small business owners, around the world, embed category design into their companies and products. Dave and his Play Bigger partners have helped generate more than $20 billion in category value with their portfolio companies.  

In between category work, Dave spends his personal time living by Lincoln’s creed: It’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years. He builds hard deadlines around work so that he can maximize his time racing around on motorcycles with his lovely wife, playing games with his teenage daughter, laughing till the sun comes up with friends, or even just cooking up something awesome in his cast iron skillet. 

 

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COMMITTED TO BUILDING COMPANIES AND GREAT LEADERS

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COMMITTED TO BUILDING COMPANIES AND GREAT LEADERS

Al Ramadan enjoys helping others achieve their full potential and pushing them to play bigger. He’s obsessed with technology and building categories, companies and products.

After almost 30 years of being an executive, he feels lucky to have discovered a role that suits his style. He plays a supporting role, behind the scenes, for some of the greatest founders, teams and companies of tomorrow.

Building categories is messy business. He is typically involved in the ugly parts of category design — not the glamorous ones.

Over the course of the last decade as a category designer he’s supported founders and teams create more than 50 new categories.

Al loves the alignment of he and his partner’s business model - they win by helping their companies win. He thinks the only thing better than winning is seeing Play Bigger companies win.

Prior to co-founding Play Bigger, he enjoyed working with some of the great executives at Adobe Systems, Macromedia and Quokka Sports. Prior to that he was CTO for an Americas Cup campaign and founder of an Australian Software company.

He cut his teeth writing Fortran 77 on a PDP/11 and a Vax 11/780 and still write the odd piece of Python code when necessary. He’s excruciatingly organized, focused on results and very data driven. He even likes spreadsheets, charts and diagrams.

Al’s had the honor of being named as one of the most influential people in the digital economy by Time Magazine. He’s raced in the Americas Cup, taken multiple companies public, won big (and lost big), all the while never taking himself too seriously.

He loves the outdoors and still charges big waves and big mountain lines (for a guy his age!).

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EXECUTIVE WITH A POWERFUL POINT OF VIEW.

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EXECUTIVE WITH A POWERFUL POINT OF VIEW.

Mary Forman is our fearless Ring Leader. Before Play Bigger Mary was a Corporate Concierge for over five years. Previous to that she was in management in the restaurant and hotel industries. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Santa Clara University. When she’s not Playing Bigger at work, she is mother to three spectacular children. She’s a San Francisco Bay Area native, living in San Jose, who possesses a unique sense of humor.

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CATEGORY DESIGNER IN RESIDENCE

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CATEGORY DESIGNER IN RESIDENCE

Naomi is the latest member of our Category Designer in Residence program. She brings two decades of experience to the intersection of healthcare and technology. She’s helped companies like Kaiser, Microsoft, Yale Hospitals, HP and myriad others on their digital health and technology strategies.

Early in her career she worked in hospital operations and enterprise resource planning at Deloitte Consulting, which led to her love of technology enabled healthcare. After receiving her MBA at Stanford, she helped build McKinsey’s healthcare technology practice on the West Coast.

Most recently she was a founder for Castlight Health and ran most of the business teams during her 8 years tenure — taking the company from an unformed idea with seed funding to IPO. Naomi ran Strategy, BD, Sales, Professional Services, Product and Operations during her time at Castlight. During that time, she developed Castlight’s first data rights with payors, landed Castlight’s first customers, hired and built the enterprise sales team, led the company from a single product to an enterprise platform, led the Series A-1 and B financing, and participated in the IPO roadshow. She also helped develop (and received) two patents, lectured on digital health at business schools and in the media, and became a thought leader on enterprise healthcare. She was instrumental in the Category Design process with Play Bigger, creating the Enterprise Healthcare Cloud and launched the category at Castlight’s first category lightning strike.

After Castlight, Naomi, her husband and their three kids took an epic adventure -- visiting 22 countries in 14 months. Now back at it, she is excited to return to her technology and startup roots, helping world-class companies develop their Category and POV.

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CATEGORY DESIGNER IN RESIDENCE

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CATEGORY DESIGNER IN RESIDENCE

JJ is Play Bigger’s first Category Design in residence. She is now the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Tenable. She believes category design is the missing link in the CMO’s arsenal - articulating a problem that didn’t exist before and conditioning an entire market to adopt a new and different way of working or living. And that those who embrace it will win in this new era.

Born and raised in Wisconsin, JJ grew up around her family business, a 70 year old level and tool manufacturing company founded by her grandfather and now led by her father. At a young age she was ingrained with the values of a strong work ethic, a sense of urgency, and a relentless ability to succeed even faced with the most challenging of circumstances. JJ has lived in San Francisco for almost 25 years now, but will always keep the foundation of her upbringing at the core of her leadership style. This has served her well in CMO roles at high-growth start-ups including Coverity and Tanium, as well as a year in between as a partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Prior to being CMO, JJ held product marketing and marketing roles at enterprise software giants including Veritas Software, Symantec, Mercury and HP Software.

When not designing categories, JJ loves to travel, play tennis (she is a lefty with a mean backhand) and is a huge football fan (she even loves the 49ers when they are as terrible as they are now).

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WATCH DOG

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WATCH DOG

Hi, I am Skittles. I don’t listen to Dave or Al. I am Play Bigger’s plutonium and make all the decisions around here.

Woof! — (translated to Play Bigger!)