Austin, TX


Baltimore, MD

Josh Jones-Dilworth


  • Josh Jones-Dilworth founded Jones-Dilworth, Inc. (JDI) in June of 2009. JDI is a communications firm focused on shaping and bringing new technology ventures to market. Before JDI, Josh spent 5 years at global agency Porter Novelli, splitting his time between the New York and Austin offices and specializing in digital strategy.
  • Josh is an advisor to almost a dozen startups and an active angel investor in early-stage companies, with current investments in ventures including Totem, Bottlenose, The Daily Dot, and Bluxome Street Winery. He is a frequent speaker and guest blogger, with particular expertise in the fields of artificial intelligence, big data, semantic web technologies, and predictive analytics.
  • Prior to committing to a life of technology PR and marketing, Josh went to NYU film school and was a producer of narrative films. He co-founded Eighty-Watt Cinema, a New-York based production company that is still alive and kicking.
  • Josh did his undergraduate work at Haverford College, and graduated with degrees in English and Philosophy. He spends his free time obsessing about Hunter S. Thompson, and the almighty breakfast taco. He is also married to the incomparable Liz Jones-Dilworth.
  • I am good at communicating very difficult technological concepts and/or trends or visions about how the future is going to be to everyday normal people who may or may not be technological or tech savvy.
  • So, I can take new things, complex things, aspirational things, you know, anything that the company is trying to use to change the world and I can make it palatable, understandable, and enticing to an end user, a customer, a partner, but someone who usually up until that moment hadn't been running around asking for that thing.
  • Henry Ford famously said, "If I had given people what they wanted, I would have given them faster horses."
  • The first company I ever founded was 80 Watt Cinema, the production company, the film production company in New York City, fresh out of NYU Film School. Jones-Dilworth is the second company I started.
  • The third is The Daily Dot, of which I'm a co-founder; it's also an Austin startup. It is an online media venture that is the hometown newspaper of the World Wide Web. So, insofar as you might have Catonsville Times or the Sandusky Register, The Daily Dot is an online newspaper that treats web communities like they're real communities, whether that's Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, Etsy, FourSquare, or Digg.
  • We actually report from inside of those communities as if we were living in Sandusky, Ohio or Austin, Texas or Baltimore, Maryland, literally knocking door-to-door on users and calling on them to do interviews and to tell us what's going on in the community. The Daily Dot's doing really, really well. It's actually blowing all of its goals out of the water, so we're really happy right now.
  • The other company I have founded most recently, is called Totem, and it's actually a company that we have incubated at Jones Dilworth. It's a separate company, but all of our colleagues have worked on it and it is a press page tool.
  • So, many companies don't have a press page. The press really wants you to have a great press page and many companies that do have press pages they're, unfortunately, pretty poor.
  • Totem's a very simple press page builder that allows you to treat your early and often most influential audience, the press, analysts, and influencers, with the respect to giving them all the information that you need.
  • There's a Phase 2 and a Phase 3 of Totem that we're not talking about yet, but we think we have an opportunity to build the next great PR tools company and the tools that we'll offer will be multifaceted and unique.
  • The talent pool in Austin I think is better than people give it credit for. I do think that Austin has a few unique characteristics. One of them is that we have more of precisely what I called before "Bo Jackson" people.
  • So, for those of you who weren't following sports in the '80s, you know, these are people who can play more than one sport and I think we have an unusual number of those people who are not merely specialists but can do -- you know, marketers that can program, designers who can code, coders who are great spokespeople, evangelists who, you know, have great SEO skills, so on and so forth.
  • So I think we have a lot of that, and that's unusual and I think that's pretty exciting for Austin. A lot of people are moving here, and the city is growing and the talent pool is growing and I think the best thing we can do is just focus on making this a great place to be, as people and as institutions, and the rest will follow.
  • Ten years from now, I actually think that Austin won't be all that different. And I think the temptation is to say that we will be bigger or we will be more. But I don't think that anyone in Austin who really has their head screwed on straight wants us to be much different than we are today.
  • We do a lot of things really well, and I think we should continue to do those things well, and we should continue to improve, but I don't think we should try to make Austin into something it's not. It's quite wonderful and it's at the top of so many people's lists for [inaudible].
  • The breakfast taco can definitely be accounted for being a big reason that I decided to move here in the first place.