Thinking outside of the box Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2009
Information Technology

“There is always a better way to do things. Find it.”

For Richard B. Sheridan, president and CEO of Menlo Innovations, Thomas Edison’s words hold the inspiration for his entrepreneurial spirit. Sheridan always dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur, and when he was fired from his corporate job, he decided to pursue his dream and started Menlo Innovations with Robert Simms, Thomas Meloche and James Goebel.

Menlo, a custom software design and development firm, which trains companies to use the Menlo approach and methodology, provides software development services and takes an investment position in the start-up companies it develops software for. Menlo’s approach and methodology is simple, yet unique. Before the company will agree to work with a potential client, the client must first consent to follow three simple rules.

First, it must agree to a full-day class to learn the principles of Menlo. Second, it must agree to plan a meeting to establish goals and timelines before the project begins. And finally, it must meet weekly with Sheridan for a show-and-tell to get updates on the software’s development. He believes that these three rules must be followed in order to create a successful project.

Sheridan prides his business not only on its methodology but on its work environment. The office of Menlo Innovations has no cubicles, and no employee can work more than 40 hours a week. Sheridan has a pool of freelance workers who will assist the company when a large project is nearing a deadline.

Aside from running Menlo Innovations, Sheridan is involved with the Ann Arbor community, serving on committees including the United Way of Washtenaw County and the Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce. He also guest lectures and mentors at many top universities across the United States.

How to reach: Menlo Innovations, (734) 665-1847 or