Daniel X. O'Neil

Daniel X. O'Neil
(Mark Campbell)

Dan X. O’Neil is director of business strategy and product development at Ad Hoc, a digital government services firm.

He is former executive director of the Smart Chicago Collaborative, an organization focused on increasing Internet access and improving technology skills for city residents.

“I will continue to have a voice as a resident of this city in the way things are run and how they go,” O’Neil said when he announced he was leaving Smart Chicago. “You can’t build good products for hundreds of millions of people in this country without caring about their digital skills and their access to your tools.”

O’Neil was also a co-founder of EveryBlock, a neighborhood news site serving 16 cities. During his time there O’Neil became involved in the open data/open government movement, advising governments and candidates on policy issues.

O’Neil spoke to Blue Sky about the importance of meeting market needs: “People go out and scratch their own itch — but scratch somebody else’s itch,” he said. “You generate money that way.”

Previously, O’Neil spent 10 years as an Internet strategist and project manager for Chicago web design firm Streams Online Media, before moving on to Dunn Solutions Group. There he focused on the development of web-based tools for training, ecommerce, and content management, creating websites for city government, including the first website for the Chicago Inspector General.

Since 2002 he’s run a number of independent projects, including CTA Alerts/CTA Tweet and CityPayments.org. In 2011, he was honored by the White House as a Champion of Change for Technology and Innovation.

O’Neil has a degree in English and Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Chicago.