A Global Band of Category Designers

Led by CDA co-founders Kevin Maney, co-author of Play Bigger, and Mike Damphousse, a veteran CEO and category designer – Category Design Advisors will guide you through the strategy and a methodology built around the goal of creating a new category of business.

The History

CDA was founded in 2016 to help companies identify, define and win new market categories – a methodology detailed in the book Play Bigger, co-authored by CDA co-founder Kevin Maney. CDA’s other co-founder, Mike Damphousse, for three decades had been a CEO and CMO in the same category design circles as Kevin. They were joined in 2022 by London-based Daniel Honeywell, who was previously CEO of a CDA client that developed a new category.

CDA Team By the Numbers


Companies and New Categories
More than

Books Published


Combined years of experience guiding companies

The CDA Team

Kevin Maney

Founding Partner

Kevin Maney is co-author of Play Bigger and has been a bestselling author and award-winning columnist writing about technology for three decades. That allows him to bring broad and deep context to Category Design conversations. Kevin’s most recent book is Intended Consequences, co-authored with his long-time collaborator, Hemant Taneja, who runs the VC firm General Catalyst. His other books with Hemant are UnHealthcare: A Manifesto for Health Assurance, which proposes a new category of healthcare, and the 2018 book Unscaled: How AI and a New Generation of Upstarts Are Creating the Economy of the Future. He also authored The Two-Second Advantage (a 2011 New York Times best seller), Trade-Off: Why Some Things Catch On and Others Don't, and The Maverick and His Machine: Thomas Watson Sr. and the Making of IBM. Kevin has written for Newsweek, Fortune, The Atlantic, Fast Company, Conde Nast Portfolio, The New York Times and USA Today, and has appeared frequently on television and radio, including CNN, CBS Sunday Morning and NPR. He also writes music for and plays in a New York band, Total Blam Blam.

Mike Damphousse

Founding Partner

Mike brings an experienced, pragmatic aspect to category design, baked in from three decades as a company founder, CEO, CMO and startup advisor. He understands how companies work, how markets react, and how to design and build categories. Mike was most recently founder and CEO/CMO of Green Leads, which introduced the pipeline generation category and was acquired by Next 15 (LON:NFC). He was previously CMO of Asteria, which IPO’d on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TYO:3853 Asteria). Mike has served on several boards of both commercial and non-profit ventures. Mike holds a BS in Computer Science from Merrimack College. Mike speaks regularly at conferences such as Dreamforce, Inbound, etc. Mike has three daughters, two granddaughters, a grandson and lives on the water in both New Hampshire and Florida with his wife and business partner, Linda.

Dan Honeywell


Dan is a serial entrepreneur and former client of Category Design Advisors as founder and CEO of Zedsen, where he built the category of biosignal analysis and led the company to be one of the fastest growing in the UK. Dan also founded and led Honeywell & Partners, a strategic consultancy business with franchises around the world. John Sculley, former CEO of Apple, PepsiCo and Vice-Chair of Zedsen describes Dan as “one of the best CEO’s I have ever worked with”. Having experienced the game-changing power of category design in bolstering fundraising, acquiring talent, and conditioning the market; Dan became a passionate advocate and firm believer in its ability to transform business. He brings a grounded and applied approach to the process, remaining committed to all aspects of category execution to drive rapid growth and build an unfair competitive advantage. Dan has advised companies from start-up to global enterprise in a variety of sectors. As a keen networker and investor, Dan is an active member of YPO, the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council and Founder’s Pledge. He holds a Joint Honors Degree in Mandarin and Business from the University of Leeds.

Julie Schmit Category Designer-at-Large
Linda Flanagan Chief of Staff

Our Partners

Category design is a unique discipline. CDA has partnered with firms that understand the process and can help companies mobilize their category strategy, whether the need is PR, video production, branding, content or other functions. Our partners include: