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Life and career
Kao was born in 1950 to Chinese immigrant parents. An accomplished jazz pianist, he spent the summer of 1969 playing keyboards for Frank Zappa. Kao studied philosophy at Yale College, received an MD from Yale Medical School, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He taught at Harvard Business School from 1982 to 1996, where he specialized in innovation and entrepreneurship. He has also held faculty appointments at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, Yale College, and the Naval Postgraduate School.
In 2000, Kao became CEO of Ealing Films. He also founded Kao Ventures, and San Francisco-based The Idea Factory, working with Internet-related startups. He also shared producer credits for Sex, Lies, and Videotape and Mr. Baseball.
Key publications include:
- Kao, John (1996). Jamming: The Art and Discipline of Business Creativity. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-88730-864-3.
- Kao, John (2007). Innovation Nation: How America Is Losing Its Innovation Edge, Why It Matters, and What We Can Do to Get It Back. Free Press. ISBN 1-4165-3268-4.
- Robinson, Joe (April 26, 2011). "Innovation Gurus: Bruce Mau and John Kao". Entrepreneur.
- Seelye, Katharine Q. "RACE; Now Bending Clinton's Ear: An 'Out of the Box' Adviser". query.nytimes.com.
- "New owners to wheel Ealing onto the Internet". variety.com. 2000-05-01. Retrieved 2019-09-19.
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