I’m Brian Johnson, Father, Husband, Tinkerer, and Founder of Aerbits.
I'm a dad to two amazing kids, and a dog. A husband to my soulmate, who I met here in San Francico. We met in an incubator, which is the perfect place to meet your spouse. As a startup kid. I'm living my dream, and I'm grateful for it every day.
My wife and I love to travel, and have been fortunate to have visited Turkey, Romania, Estonia, Denmark, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Canada. Prior to us meeting I spent time in China and almost every state in the US.
I love tinkering. Which is probably why fly fishing has been a passion of mine since 12 year old. In particular I love fishing for trout in small rivers and streams. The patterns and colors of the fish are amazing, and the places they live are beautiful. I love the challenge of trying to catch them, and the feeling of being in nature.
I’ve loved making things for as long as I can remember, and wrote my first program when I was 12 years old, after my mom brought home the brand new Macintosh Plus. I used a piece of shareware called Worldbuilder to illustrate and script an interactive virtual world modeled after my home and neighborhood. I was hooked.
The only thing I loved more than computers as a kid was RC Racing (and fly fishing). When I was 8, I built my first RC car from scratch, and by the time I was 12, I was racing in our local hobby shop weekend races. I spent many weekends working on my cars, and racing them. I loved the competition, and the community. I was fascinated with telematics systems, and although they were still in their infancy, I dreamed of someday integrating my software skills with my RC hobby.
I grew up and earned my Engineering and Law degrees, and spent the next 20 years working in the technology industry. I' studied and learned to combine my love of technology with my love of cities and nature, along the way gathering skills in embedded systems, robotics, and artificial intelligence, and web development.
One particularly inspiring project, during a stint in China as a professor of Law, I was introduced to the world of Second Life. I was fascinated by the idea of a virtual world, and spent many hours exploring the world, and learning how to build things.
I joined a Star Wars role playing guild in the game, and helped build a virtual planet for our guild to live on. As a measure to protect our planet while we were offline, I programmed a fully autonomous virtual drone, that could act as security for a virtual planet. Imagine a Star Wars universe where the Empire has taken over the planet, and you are a rebel trying to infiltrate the planet. The drone would detect you, and shoot at you. I was able to integrate the drone with a real world RC car, and control it from my computer.
I’ve worked at companies large and small, and have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work on some amazing projects. I’ve worked on everything from Trulia.com and Zillow.com, to autonomous military robots for DARPA.
Today, I’m the founder of Aerbits, where we're working on AI powered drones to patrol cities and keep them clean, well-maintained, and safe. My goal is to build a company that will help make cities better for everyone, and in the process, help us live in harmony with nature.