Douglas Merrill

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Douglas Merrill
Born 1970 (age 46–47)
Institutions RAND Corporation
Alma mater University of Tulsa
Princeton University
Thesis Facilitating the development of problem-solving skills with reasoning-congruent learning environments (1994)
Doctoral advisor Brian J. Reiser

Douglas Clark Merrill[1][2][3][4] (born 1970) is the CEO and founder of (formerly ZestCash),[5] a Los Angeles-based financial services technology company that uses big data [6][7] to help make better credit underwriting decisions in order to provide credit alternatives to the underbanked.[8][9] ZestCash announced a $19 million round of Series A funding in July 2011, and a $74 million round of Series B funding in January 2012. The company was one of Forbes’ Names You Need to Know in 2011.[10][11][12]

After being the CIO at Google, Merrill served as president of EMI Music's digital unit.[13] In March 2010, Merrill published the book, Getting Organized in the Google Era: How to Get Stuff Out of Your Head, Find It When You Need It, and Get It Done Right.[14][15][16] Merrill is also a former researcher with the RAND Corporation and is listed among the organization's participants.

Merrill is a regular contributor for, where he writes on innovation [17] and culture [18] and how the two coincide. He also speaks regularly on innovation, reforming the U.S. financial system, and how credit providers can harness technological advances to change the way creditworthiness and risk are determined.

He is a graduate of the University of Tulsa with a major in social and political organization. Merrill attended Princeton where he received Masters and Doctoral degrees in psychology. His academic publications include articles in The Journal of the Learning Sciences,[19] Cognition and Instruction,[20] Reliable Distributed Systems, and a paper in the book series Lecture Notes in Computer Science.[21] He currently sits on the board of The Filter.


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  5. ^ Quentin Hardy (2012-05-07). "Big Data for the Poor". New York Times. 
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  8. ^ Kenneth Cukier (2012-05-19). "Crunching the Numbers". The Economist. 
  9. ^ Ari Levy and Dakin Campbell (2012-01-23). "Rethinking Credit Scores". 
  10. ^ Sarah McBride (2011-07-21). "Micro-lender Zestcash latest to win VC backing". Reuters. 
  11. ^ Sarah McBride (2012-01-19). "Lender ZestCash Wins $73 Million in Funding". Reuters. 
  12. ^ Quentin Hardy (2010-10-27). "The Rich Future Of Money: The Poor". 
  13. ^ Elinor Mills (2008-04-01). "Google's CIO leaves search giant for job at EMI". CNET. 
  14. ^ Thomas Claburn (2010-03-18). "Ex-Googler Douglas Merrill Talks Organization". InformationWeek. 
  15. ^ Renee Montagne (2010-03-22). "Former Google Executive On Getting Organized". NPR. 
  16. ^ Abbie Lundberg (2007-10-08). "IT's Third Epoch...and Running IT at Google". CIO. 
  17. ^ Douglas Merrill (2012-03-15). "To innovate, or not to innovate, that is the question". 
  18. ^ Douglas Merrill (2012-06-20). "Make your customer service actually serve your customers". 
  19. ^ Merrill, D. C.; Reiser, B. J.; Ranney, M.; Trafton, J. G. (1992). "Effective Tutoring Techniques: A Comparison of Human Tutors and Intelligent Tutoring Systems". Journal of the Learning Sciences. 2 (3): 277. doi:10.1207/s15327809jls0203_2. 
  20. ^ Merrill, D.; Reiser, B.; Merrill, S.; Landes, S. (1995). "Tutoring: Guided Learning by Doing". Cognition and Instruction. 13 (3): 315. doi:10.1207/s1532690xci1303_1. 
  21. ^ Merrill, D. C.; Reiser, B. J.; Beekelaar, R.; Hamid, A. (1992). "Making processes visible: Scaffolding learning with reasoning-congruent representations". Intelligent Tutoring Systems. LNCS. 608. p. 103. doi:10.1007/3-540-55606-0_14. ISBN 978-3-540-55606-0.