John Arms is the owner of J.P. Arms Marketing Innovation in Minneapolis. He also is a hunter, angler and conservationist, with an eye on generational and other changes affecting traditional outdoors activities in Minnesota and beyond.


“Ten Types of Innovation” by Larry Keeley. I’m reading it because the data shows that no efforts in growing outdoor participation are showing a significant blip on the screen. It’s not for lack of effort. People are trying very, very hard at the [Minnesota Department of Natural Resources], in the R3 community, at NGOs, and at the brand and retail level. We need [a] Tesla, Netflix and Amazon level of innovation. So I’m hoping to learn how to get innovation involved in the problem of reduction in hunting and fishing.


Scott Galloway, for his viewpoints, insights and data on tech, media, branding and consumer behavior in relation to the global markets.

Gary Vaynerchuk, for his never ending well of energy and ideas on innovation, technology, social media and what drives consumers’ behaviors.

• The Locavore movement. I think there’s something deeper than just good food in there.

• Millennials. Because they are an endless sea of humanity to explore [and] that matters immensely to our economy, culture and the formation of our country for the next five decades.


Just watched “Darkest Hour,” because I love history. It’s full of lessons. It’s an amazing movie on Winston Churchill’s ascent to defender of Europe as it collapsed all around England. Time and time again, history shows that strength and leadership show up where it’s least expected.


Ted Talks. They always deliver a fresh viewpoint. Listening to people who are motivated and in love with their work is energizing to me. A favorite: Simon Sinek “Start with Why.” Another favorite: Galloway “How Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple Manipulate Our Emotions.” There’s no way in today’s world of just staying alive in the middle class I can sit on a rock and get the amount of perspective needed to be successful. I feel like I gain 10 IQ points every time I listen to a Ted Talk. Same thing for a podcast I like called “99% Invisible.” I’ll close it out with something that is just pure fun for me. NPR’s “Wait Wait ... Don’t Tell Me!”


I’m making handmade duck calls on my lathe. It’s like therapy for me. I carve about five per week. I find interesting salvaged woods and see what comes together.

Guest speaking

I obsess over the American outdoor experience. From the reduction in fishing and hunting to the selling off of our public lands, it takes very little to get me fired up.

We are facing MASSIVE conservation, economic and social changes, and consequences with the fall of outdoor participation. I don’t know how else to put it, but people don’t seem as panicked as they should be given the data. We are about to lose nearly a billion dollars in economic activity in Minnesota as fishing and hunting decline. That’s the data talking, not me. And good data. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service data. Well-fielded and analyzed. Yet, by and large, I observe most agencies, brands, retailers and NGOs staying within familiar lines or throwing ideas out there to see what sticks.