We’re Entrepreneurs, Too

We’ve worked hard to build the business we’ve always wanted. Now we’d love to help you do the same.

John Sexton

John Sexton, Ph.D.

Partner & Co-Founder

I believe that anyone with enough courage and determination can make their own path through the world.

Though my academic training is in science and engineering (brain imaging), my real world education as an entrepreneur has always provided my biggest challenges and most meaningful rewards.

Since 2004 I’ve founded/co-founded numerous businesses in industries ranging from strategy consulting, to website design, to video storytelling, to (yes, even) professional comedy. While the topics have varied, I’ve always found satisfaction in building companies and helping others do the same.

In the process, I’ve collaborated with hundreds of entrepreneurs and business owners, as well as big names like MIT, JDRF, Discover, Gregory Packs, Dreamworks, HBO, National Louis University, Vanderbilt and more.

I live in Los Angeles with my talented wife Katie and our amazing dog Piper. Before moving West, I lived in — and ate my way through — Chicago, Atlanta, Richmond, Nashville, and Memphis.

When I’m not working, you can find me hiking, playing video games, eating the hottest available hot wings, or trying to make the perfect Old Fashioned.

Clay Ostrom

Clay Ostrom

Partner & Co-Founder

I’ve spent the last 15 years dreaming up and then bringing to life multiple startups as well as a wide range of digital projects. With every twist and turn of that journey there’s been a consistent thread of weaving together strategic problem solving, creative expression, and a curiosity to better understand people.

In the businesses I created or co-founded, my primary focus has always been on strategy and user experience. For others, I’ve worn lots of hats from Executive Producer, to Designer, to Copywriter, to Developer. I’ve also enjoyed an unofficial Account Services role where I carefully honed the craft of client therapy.

Over the years, I’ve collaborated with countless passionate small businesses along with several 800lb (friendly) gorillas including Google, Sony, Universal Pictures, Mattel, FOX, Dreamworks, CBS, A&E, Home Depot, Roland Keyboards, G4 TV, and the LA Times.

When not doing mental gymnastics, I like spending time with my amazing wife and son, hiking, surfing, and watching things that make me laugh.

The Story of Map & Fire

We founded Map & Fire as a vehicle to focus our strategy and design skills (with a dash of psychology) in a way that could help other businesses succeed by working to solve their most difficult problems.

We believe our process for developing a company’s Lean Strategy is our best and most accessible expression of that goal. It’s already lead us to connect with lots of amazing and talented new people. We’re excited to see where it will lead next.

Why You’ll Like Us

Evidence over Ego

When it comes to decisions, we use research and data and try to steer clear of statements like “That’s how we’ve always done it” or “I just like it”.

Intentionally Small

We’re most valuable when we can work directly on solving tough problems, so we avoid adding extra bodies and games of telephone.

Fast and Focused

In order to learn from challenges as soon as we can, we like to get to the heart of it and then start testing solutions.

Collaborators at Heart

Our best work and best relationships have always come from openly sharing ideas and working on challenges together. Swooping in and dropping off a solution (even a good one) rarely works.

Naturally Curious

We’re always on the hunt to learn as much as we can about new businesses and teams to help them find untapped opportunities.

We Make It Fun

If you can laugh together, you can relax together. When you’re relaxed you’re more likely to share ideas and do better work. It’s that simple.