Following a career in marketing with Scottish & Newcastle Breweries, John set up Shaw Marketing & Design where he was Managing Director and Chairman for 17 years. During that time, he was also Chairman of Company Net and Waterside Television.
He left to start a new company - Theatre of Ideas- in 2002, which uses 'creative disruption' techniques to enable companies and organisations to think innovatively and devise fresh strategy for adding value and gaining competitive edge.
In 2008 he co-created Fringe by the sea, now one of the most successful small-scale, multi arts festivals in Scotland.
In 2012 he trained as a Blue Badge Tourist Guide, and spends part of the year guiding tourists throughout the country.
He continues to provide marketing consultancy for a range of clients and works particularly in the arts, tourism and professional services sectors, as well as mentoring and coaching.