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John C. Butman

John Butman was an idea and book developer, author, author's representative, and founder and principal of Idea Platforms, Inc. He was also a speaker at leading forums and venues, including Talks at Google, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Business School Association of Boston, BigThink, Chautauqua Contemporary Issues Forum, and others.

Select books by John


NEW WORLD, INC.: The Making of America by England's Merchant Adventurers (Little, Brown and Co., 2018), by John Butman and Simon Targett. "The result of extensive archival work and a bold interpretation of the historical record, New World, Inc. draws a portrait of life in London, on the Atlantic, and across the New World that offers a fresh analysis of the founding of American history. In the tradition of the best works of history that make us reconsider the past and better understand the present, Butman and Targett examine the enterprising spirit that inspired European settlement of America and established a national culture of entrepreneurship and innovation that continues to this day."

BREAKING OUT: How to Build Influence in a World of Competing Ideas (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013), by John Butman. "In 'Breaking Out'...Butman shows how the idea entrepreneur breaks out--by combining personal narrative with rich content, creating many forms of expression (from books to live events), developing real-world practices, and creating 'respiration' around the idea such that other people can breathe it in and make it their own. The resulting idea platform can reach many different audience groups and continue to build influence for many years and even decades. If you have an idea and want to make a difference in your organization, build a change movement in your community, or improve the world in some way–this book will get you started on the journey to idea entrepreneurship."


TOWNIE (Permanent Press, 2002), a novel by John Butman. "Townie takes place in Oldon, Massachusetts, a burgeoning New England village that has become the favored residence of the mega-rich, a town whose historic past has been preserved and polished until it gleams with the arrogant intensity of a Colonial theme park....a picaresque novel of the countryside, funny and skewering about our social and business pretensions, moving and true about our need for roots and authenticity."

JURAN: A Lifetime of Influence (Wiley, 1997). "In the annals of business history, the name Juran resonates with near mythic status. This is the man whose thinking about quality and management revolutionized the way the world does business, a living legend who, along with a few other giants of our age, shaped the course of industrial history. Written with the support of Dr. Juran and the Juran Institute, Juran: A Lifetime of Influence gives us an intimate look at the man, his times, and the evolution of the concepts of quality and management that so profoundly affect business today."


THE BOOK THAT'S SWEEPING AMERICA!: Or Why I Love Business! (Wiley, 1997), by "Steven Michael Peter Thomas." "A tongue-in-cheek satire of 'how-to' business books. This book introduces Stephen Michael Peter Thomas, a pompous, know-it -all consultant who has something to say about everything. From the Pyramid Paradigm to Domestic Process Reengineering, this book will give business readers a much needed opportunity to step back and laugh at business."

Select talks by John

"How to Succeed as an Idea Entrepreneur," BigThink

"The Making of America by England's Merchant Adventurers," Talks at Google

"Breaking Out," Talks at Google

John on Breaking Out at the Harvard Business School Association of Boston

John's Bibliography

New World, Inc.: The Making of America by England's Merchant Adventurers (Little, Brown and Company, 2018), by John Butman and Simon Targett.

Breaking Out: How to Build Influence in a World of Competing Ideas (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013), by John Butman.

Townie (Permanent Press, 2002), by John Butman.

Juran: A Lifetime of Influence (Wiley, 1997), by John Butman.

The Book That's Sweeping America!: Or Why I Love Business (Wiley, 1997), by Steven Michael Peter Thomas (a.k.a. John Butman).

Flying Fox: A Business Adventure in Teams and Teamwork (Amacom Books, 1993), by John Butman.

Car Wars: How General Motors Built the Car of the Future (HarperCollins, 1991), by John Butman.

Co-authored or written with John


Women Want More: How to Capture Your Share of the World’s Largest, Fastest-Growing Market (Harper Business, September 8, 2009), by Michael J. Silverstein, Kate Sayre, and John Butman.

Five Future Strategies You Need Right Now (Memo to the CEO) (Harvard Business Review Press, January 29, 2008), by George Stalk and John Butman.

Payback: Reaping the Rewards of Innovation (Harvard Business Review Press, January 9, 2007), by James P. Andrew, Harold L. Sirkin, and John Butman.

Treasure Hunt: Inside the Mind of the New Consumer (Portfolio, May 4, 2006), by Michael J. Silverstein and John Butman.

Grapevine: The New Art of Word-of-Mouth Marketing (Portfolio Hardcover, November 3, 2005), by Dave Balter and John Butman.

Hardball: Are You Playing to Play or Playing to Win (Harvard Business Review Press, October 1, 2004), by George Stalk, Rob Lachenauer, and John Butman.

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