Meet our Core Team
Robert Payne, Co-Founder
For Robert Payne, interactive marketing is something he lives and breathes.
Robert has garnered a wealth of experience during more than 25 years in marketing, software development, software consulting roles across many vertical markets. His passion is working with companies to transform their ideas and goals into interactive applications and intuitive technologies that build brand value or deliver efficiencies that reduce cost.
Robert has worked internationally but a visit to San Diego during an America's Cup Race in 1993 inspired him to move California as Marketing Director for Strategic Information Group, a company that specializes in Global Supply Chain Software Implementations for Fortune 2000 manufacturers. MORE...
In 2000 Robert moved to San Diego as Business Development Director for Xerago, one of the early web integrators for high profile clients including Looksmart, AT&T Cable, Novel, Credit Suisse, Zurich Financial, Compaq, e-Trade. Later he joined Knowledgelinks in a similar role working on specialized web application projects with companies such as Sharp Electronics, Minolta and Pioneer.
Passionate about the fast-paced evolution of the web as an interactive marketing platform, he started Acorn Interactive in 2001 with business partner d'Arcy Muller. Now, when he is not busy working on client projects, you'll find Robert trimming sails on large racing yachts, catching the perfect wave or indulging his enthusiasm for wildlife photography.
Robert's clients have ranged from start-up companies to Fortune 500 firms, including Ericsson, Sharp, Boston Scientific, Sara Lee, Heinz, Cocoa Cola, Black & Decker, Formica, Colgate Palmolive, Mobile Oil, Mars Group, Unilever, Canon, Lion Nathan/Steinlager, Nestle and AT&T.
d'Arcy Muller, Co-Founder
d'Arcy is a native New Yorker with a background in Marketing and Finance. Now based in San Diego, she still has her East Coast energy, passion for life, and enthusiasm and brings that energy to all aspects of interactive marketing.
With a career spanning over 25 years in Marketing, Operations, and Project Management, d'Arcy brings solid short- and long-term business strategic thinking to each project.
In 2001, d'Arcy teamed up with Robert Payne to start Acorn Interactive. She manages Business Development and Project Management, overseeing the development teams for each project. When not working, d'Arcy can be found sailing in One Design or Big Boat regattas, raising money for charities, and indulging her passion for all types of travel. MORE...
d'Arcy's started her career in the fast-paced Wall St. of the 1980s as a Government Securities Broker, then moving to Boston in the 1990s working in the Operations and Marketing departments for Fidelity Investments then on to Project Management in the Telecom field. d'Arcy's background provides clients with solid ROI-based business plans for all aspects of ther web development and marketing plans.
d'Arcy moved to California in the late 90s and worked as Senior Business Development Manager and Project Management with ComputerFocus, a Web and Custom Software Application Development company. Clients ranged from The County of Ventura, Amgen, The Bungee Company, and small start ups who needed to build a web presence and develop e-commerce strategies.
In 2000 d'Arcy moved to San Diego as a Senior Account Executive to work with Xerago, a key partner of Interwoven and other large-scale web-based application development software companies. Interwoven remains as one of the world leaders in web-based content management . Xerago's software integration and customization teams worked mainly with Fortune 1000 companies and some of the largest web companies in the US.
She continued her work in the web content management delivery as a Senior Account Executive for business development for Percussion and E-Business Technologies. Both companies provide Fortune 2000 and startups with web-based content management systems.,
Software Architect/Developer with 15+ year’s experience across multiple industries. Highlights include:
Over 9 years hands-on experience developing in C#, .Net and over 10 years hands-on experience developing with MS-SQL Server including 64 bit clustering techniques.
Design and development of distributed cloud-based product and service delivery platforms utilizing Microsoft Technologies and design patterns.
Design and development of user facing applications for the desktop, the web and mobile devices using Microsoft .Net Presentation technologies.
Generic abstraction layers to obtain metadata from 3rd Party data sources via HTTP, SOAP, REST and XML and parsers for conversion of data from SOAP and XML results.
Experienced in the design and development of network connected high through-put distributed server based image, voice and data processors and real-time hosts.
Use of RAD, Waterfall, SCRUM and Agile full SDLC methodologies.
Clients have included Aerovironment, Guidance Solutions, Encore Nationwide, Central Parking System, Wilshire Media Los Angeles, Disney, Map, Inc., Vicon Motion Systems, Enablinx Corporation and more.
Steve Adler, Business Development Consultant
Steve Adler is an experienced business development professional who has been deeply involved in the connected mobile device space since 2005, starting as a co-founder of Chumby.
He has extensive experience throughout the value chain in this market: silicon providers, ODMs/CMs, OEMs/CE companies, carriers, operators, retailers and a network spanning hundreds of app/content providers that run the gamut from the internet behemoths (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, AOL, Yahoo!) to media companies (e.g., NBC, ESPN, CBS, TBS, ABC, Viacomm) to gaming (e.g., Rovio, EA, Halfbrick, Zoodles) to music (e.g., Pandora, Slacker, TuneIn Radio, Napster, Warner Music Group, Sony Music, Shazam) to news (NY Times, AP, WSJ, Gannet, Meredith, Hearst) to services (ACCUweather, Amazon, Craigslist, Match.com, MediaFly) to enterprise apps (SAP, Salesforce, Cognos) and more. As the VP Business Development for OpenPeak, he built the entire Android/tablet application ecosystem from the ground up from business framework to contracts to deals to developer programs.
Steve had previously done the same at Chumby in a Flash Lite app ecosystem, which was the first of its kind and pre-dated the iTunes app store. Steve is also currently serving as a tablet/mobile device/mobile apps subject matter expert for a West Coast Investment Bank, advising their clients (other IBs, large financial firms, hedge funds, etc) on all aspects of this market and the viability of the various players. In addition, he has been working as an industry expert member of a mobile application/device strategy group advising Meredith, Kraft Foods and P&G to help them develop and deploy an effective and impactful customer-facing presence in this space.
Steve also has a broad foundation in technology, having both hands on architecture-through-implementation and executive level CTO experience in a number of software verticals. He is also the co-author of 13 technical patents.
Steve has successfully closed dozens and dozens of revenue and licensing deals in this space, not just had great meetings, but continuously closed new deals and expanded existing ones. He knows just about all of the players and the few he does not know he can reach via his vast network.
Steve is in a unique position to assist companies of all sizes, from startups to large, established OEMs/brands in driving the success of their device (tablets, handsets, digital internet TVs or other connected devices) offerings, mobile application deployments or media/content-centric services. He has a long track record of success in this space of rapidly building and deploying mobile application ecosystems, one of the very few that has done that successfully outside of Apple and Google.
Steve received his B.A. cum laude in Biology and an M.S. in Computer Science from University California, San Diego.