Stacey Jones

Go into each venture, job or other assignment with an outline of your goals and those of the space you’re in. Where the two sets of goals align is the ‘sweet spot’.


Dr. Stacey Franklin Jones, from Boston, Massachusetts, is a computational scientist with experience in systems architecture and technology management specializing in intelligent training systems, and has more than a decade in private industry as a defense and electronic systems phased array sensor, image processing, and command and control software engineer. Jones holds a BS in mathematics from Howard University; two masters’ degrees in numerical science and technical management, respectively from Johns Hopkins University and a doctorate in computer science from George Washington University. Jones achieved [Agile] Certified ScrumMaster® status in 2013.

Dr. Jones’ accomplishments include leading an ailing organization to achieve a clean and flawless state financial audit, fundraising in excess of $20 million, securing a research innovation facility on prime downtown real estate in a major city, co-design of a cyber-psychology complex, publications in the areas of predictive social media, Agile, and STEM education, and recently served as keynote for the World Congress in Computer Science, Computer Engineering and Applied Computing highlighting interdisciplinary collaboration between industry, higher education, and the government sectors. Jones has received numerous awards and recognition for her work in research and development of state-of-the-art systems, and innovative science and technology education.

Where did the idea for O Analytics come from?

O Analytics represents a new era of exploration of timely technology solutions. It is inspired by ideas that significantly improve or fill a void in our space, and are supported by analytics for continuous measurement.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

A typical day involves research of team ideas and subsequent correspondence with those with similar interests and/or who can in other ways facilitate the realization of the concepts. In very practical terms, I spend quite a bit of time reading publications and articles, sketching ideas and algorithms, writing and/or conversing with others via in-person meetings, WebEx and/or teleconference. I’ve learned to schedule in transition time. I find that a brief/debrief period in between thought sessions, interactions, and other activity (with, if at all possible, some form of exercise/movement) increases my productivity.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Most of our ideas are generated as a result of an observed void or significant opportunity for improvement. Then through extensive study of earlier work, lessons learned, errors, risks and related issues, an initial strategy is developed. In cases where the concept is deep in unchartered territory, a ‘blind risk’ assessment is derived based on ‘gut instinct’ and vetted through at least one other trusted external source. If it passes the test(s), the work begins. If not, its placed either in a virtual ‘parking lot’ or scrapped. For those that pass the initial muster, a team is formed to consider the next step. Every idea is unique and commands its own path to ‘life’.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Exploration of ways and methods to use publically available information to enhance intelligence in a number of sectors is an exciting trend. It is a wide open area with unlimited opportunity for research, development, and engineering in e-commerce, healthcare, education, national intelligence, defense and many other sectors.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Not being afraid to ‘park’ or retire a concept if it doesn’t seem to be moving toward being clearly understood as a significant improvement or filling a void. If an idea [not necessarily its implementation] is progressing, I find that it is easier to express it in simple terms. Both the narrow [or immediate], and the [broader or] longer term impact seem to clarify with each iteration of thought or discovery activity. If things are moving in the opposite direction (i.e. getting more complicated in terms of the ‘what’) with each iteration, then I generally ‘park’ or retire the concept. It will resurface, perhaps under different circumstance, if it’s a solid idea. Not being attached to a particular idea, but rather to the overall value-added proposition helps me to be more productive and sustain proper focus.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Go into each venture, job or other assignment with an outline of your goals and those of the space you’re in. Where the two sets of goals align is the ‘sweet spot’.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

That opposition is not usually personal, it’s just that you’re getting in the way of something that someone else wants.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Constantly reevaluate the value-added of your ideas and/or work. If it doesn’t have the potential of significantly adding value (or filling a void), you may want to rethink whether you should continue to do it.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

A focus on continuous improvement is key to business growth. Also, devising a realistic plan that adjusts to changes in the environment is important. Staying nimble and standing ready to respond or move out when the opportunity for “creative disruption” arises spurs growth.
When I identify a single strategy, you’ll be the second to know.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

It’s only a failure if you don’t learn something from it.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

A business that creates safe spaces for ideas to incubate without [fear of] competitive disclosure would be great. Perhaps ‘retired’ serial entrepreneurs or those with a little time and interest could create such a safe space. It wouldn’t be to generate investment interest or for a definitive [or immediate] thumbs-up or thumbs-down, just a place to say here is an idea, what do you think, discuss options, and recommended next step(s), if any.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

The best $100 I recently spent was on customized journal materials that help to organize my personal and professional thoughts, favorite reads, goals, stressors and blessings. Its amazing how when you actually write these things down (or if you prefer type), how your perspective on achieving or appreciating them changes. Its not rocket science, but highly recommended it to all.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

I’d have to say GoDaddy. I like to check out the availability of domain names associated with new ideas. If the domain name is taken, someone may have already thought of the same or similar idea. Of course it may be the case that the domain name is in use but under a very different interpretation of the phrase or tag. But, if it’s not in use in a straightforward manner, then there’s a reasonable chance that the idea hasn’t advanced to implementation.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Whatever book keeps you fueled to continue on your entrepreneurial journey with enthusiasm is the one I’d recommend. I’ve found Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws of Success helpful as it reminds me that our deeds [and aspirations] are best when they bridge to a sense of service to the world in which we operate. I think that understanding our signature connection to a world that may seem filled, but always has or makes room for one more idea that either makes life better or fills a void, is powerful. That’s what I get out of reading this book. So, I do so cyclically.

What is your favorite quote?

One of my favorite quotes is “Great ideas are the fuel of progress.” Author unknown. There are some monumental leaps. But the incremental progressions that are the result of ideas about ideas, are much more common.

Key Learnings:

  • While the world may seem full or crowded with new technologies, there is always room for one more idea that either makes life better or fills an important void.
  • Read what helps you to continue with enthusiasm.
  • Keep track of your journey. It reminds you how far you’ve come or how close you’re getting, and sharing it may be of great help to someone else one day.
  • While there are indeed monumental leaps, most progressions are incremental and the result of layers of ideas.