I love startups. When I'm not building my own, I want to help and learn from founders that are working on important problems. With clever engineering, thoughtful product design, and an intelligent growth strategy, startups can make a big impact on our world.
Whatever challenges you're going through, I've likely experienced as well. Think of me as your nth founder, for hire.
Strategizing — Ideas are worth a lot, contrary to popular advice. Yes, execution is important, but executing on the right idea is really important. Of course the idea will change and evolve as it meets reality, but planning is everything.
Some people love chess, I love startup strategy. My broad experience across engineering, product design, consumer growth, enterprise sales, fundraising, and absolute love of finding clever ways to gain unfair advantages against incumbents using the few resources startups have, can help you sharpen your strategy into a winning one.
Startup framing is thinking about the 3-legged stool of effectively communicating your startup to the world: a breakthrough product for your customers, a business with a big potential for your investors, and a healthy company with an important mission for your employees.
Product design and roadmap — I live for product design. Engineering is cool, but without an empathetic understanding of the customer and a clever and tasteful eye for design, it's all for naught. I think of my technical background as a deep toolbox into which I can reach to better design products.
Knowing what tools and platforms are capable of and being able to design from first principles (as opposed to reasoning from analogy by copying existing product features) is the difference between an okay product and a breakthrough product with enormous growth potential.
Launch and growth strategy, ideally, is not an afterthought but an intrinsic part of product design. Designing products with growth baked in saves customer acquisition costs and changes growth curves dramatically down the line. Let's figure this out sooner than later.
Early technical choices have long term consequences. It's true that great companies have been built with crappy technology (Facebook and Yahoo! were both built on PHP) but picking the right technology early can give huge competetive advantages from quicker iteration, scaling relatively painlessly, reduced technical debt, and recruiting top talent interested in working with great tools.
Sometimes the conservative, tried and tested is the right choice, other times a particular cutting edge platform or language makes sense for the problem. My solid background in fullstack software engineering can help you figure this out.
Recruiting key senior staff — After the core team, recruiting senior C- and VP-level staff is critical. This cannot be outsourced to recruiters. Founders can get referrals from their investors and executive recruiters, but I strongly believe senior staff must be hand picked for the role. They are almost never on the market and have to be found and convinced. I've recruited CTOs, VP Engs, Heads of Design, Product, Growth, etc.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org