Randy Horton, Managing Principal and Founder
Randy Horton is passionate about helping established organizations break through to their What’s Next by building new capabilities and launching new products and services that are both innovative and successful.
Randy’s clients often have strong track records of incremental innovation that go back upwards of several decades. But today, these clients are nervously eyeing the pace of change in technology and business and worry that they will soon be Ubered, Amazoned or Googled by a company they have never even heard of. They have decided to take bold steps today to ensure that in five years it’s not too late to save their (currently profitable) companies from obsolesce in ten years.
But their main challenge is that their talented teams often struggle to innovate within the confines of their current environments and past experiences. After investing in smart, dedicated staff to “think different,” the results often fall far short of what is needed.
This is where Randy plugs in. He helps smart people and organizations that are ready to stop trying to innovate alone, get out of their own way and break through to their What’s Next. They collaborate on the full lifecycle of Product Strategy, Product Development and Product Execution.
For the last 25 years, Randy Horton has created tremendous business value through the creative application of information technology and new business models to a wide range of product and business challenges. From a Fortune 100 bank merger to pharmaceutical contracting, from education reform in the Persian Gulf to US healthcare transformation, from federal data collection to biotechnology manufacturing, Randy partners with his clients to solve complex problems and deliver strong results. Randy has consulted over the years wearing a variety of functional hats including product, technical, leadership, user experience, strategy, business development and operations. In 2011, after a career at other services firms, he started 94 Westbound Consulting to fill a gap he saw in the marketplace in how innovation and product management services were sold to established organizations.
Randy credits much of his passion for creative business thinking to the four years in the 1970s that he spent at a Montessori school. Noting that he seems to still live in the open classroom of his childhood, one of Randy’s executives once observed, “It’s not that you think out of the box. It’s that you don’t even have a box.”
In 1993, nearing the completion of a BA in history at the University of Michigan, Randy first encountered email, the Web and other Internet technologies. While he can’t prove it, he recalls the first time that he web surfed using the Mosaic browser until the late hours of night, stopping only when he ran out of webpages to click on. Fascinated by the potential of the Internet, Horton earned a Master’s Degree from the first graduating class of the University of Michigan’s School of Information.
Randy’s life and career is a story of moving westbound on I-94, from Detroit to Ann Arbor to Chicago’s Old Town to Lakeview to Evanston and now to Deerfield where he lives with his wife, their 3 children and a Teddy Bear dog. Outside of work, he is active the Chicago technology community. He is also active in organizational development efforts in the Jewish community on both the local/congregational and national levels. In the summer, you can join his family and the neighborhood kids for Movie Nights where they project films onto an inflated screen on their front lawn.
Maddock Douglas (MD) Fellows Profile