Don Thompson

Don Thompson

Senior Partner Product Experience & Engineering Lab


With a career-long focus on agile product development, Don creates the growth fuel for clients ranging from venture-backed startups to Fortune 50 corporations. He has helped many organizations evolve from “idea” to “success,” including a healthcare provider that debuted on NASDAQ in 2021 and is now valued at more than $1 billion. 

In 2000, he and four colleagues emerged from the dot-com crash to form Carbon Five, an agile product development firm that is now part of West Monroe. As COO and co-founder, he profitably grew the firm through various economic cycles, technology waves, and competitive threats. Two decades of experience managing the bottom line has equipped him with unique viewpoints about creating business value through product development. 

He loves the human side of technology and relishes fostering long-term relationships between team members and clients. He considers this the reason that his work is so enjoyable and successful – and why 85% of his firm’s projects have come from repeat clients or referrals. 

After graduating from San Diego State University, he began a technology career in Tokyo. After backpacking around the world, he settled in San Francisco and returned to enterprise technology before co-founding Carbon Five.

What makes Don different

On most days, he commutes by bike over the Golden Gate Bridge. He is up for almost any outdoor sport – but now that his kids are grown, they are teaching him to surf and snowboard (again). 

Diving with manta rays in Yap, trekking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal, and camping with his family in the Okavango Delta are among the most memorable experiences from decades of adventure travel. 

Where Don makes an impact

He is known for an even keel and pragmatic approach to management and problem-solving, which comes in handy when working in the highly competitive and volatile technology sector. 

Meet the Product Experience & Engineering Lab team