Hi, my name is John Zeratsky 👋

I’m a writer and speaker on a mission to help people make time for what matters.

Since you’re looking at my website, you might want to:

Photo of John Zeratsky by Jessica Kaminski / The Refinery

For nearly 15 years, I worked in the tech industry. I did design, web development, and copywriting for a startup called FeedBurner that was acquired by Google in 2007.

In 2010–2011, I designed the YouTube Channels platform.

From 2011–2017, I was a design partner at venture-capital firm GV, where I helped develop the design sprint process.

As a speaker and facilitator, I have worked with companies including Netflix, Associated Bank, IDEO, Caterpillar, King Wood & Mallesons, Google, Schneider Electric, Slack, Blue Bottle Coffee, Airbnb, Uber, 23andMe, Pocket, One Medical, Medium, Flatiron Health, Stripe, Digit, Gusto, and Nest. I have presented at conferences including Google I/O, The Code Conference, and INDUSTRY. I have given guest lectures at Harvard University, London School of Economics, and University of Michigan, among others.

My writing has been published by newspapers and magazines including the Wall Street Journal, Wired, Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, and Time.

Originally from small-town Wisconsin, I have also lived in Chicago and San Francisco. From 2017–2019, my wife and I lived aboard our sailboat Pineapple and traveled throughout coastal Central America, sailing a big “U” from California to Florida. We now live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where we’re building a slow life of contribution, community, and belonging.

I studied journalism at the University of Wisconsin and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the UW School of Human Ecology, where I’m now an advisor to the Dean and faculty.

I believe the purpose of life is to find contentment in the work of serving others. I’m grateful for the privilege to make this my life’s work.