Successful companies evolve their product anD platform substantially over the first few phases of growth. As a result, the leadership needs the experience to adapt rapidly.
To assist with this, many companies require a ‘jack of all trades’ to support the creation and execution of a user-focused plan. Once the the right processes, product, and cadence are in place, the team can build around a stronger core after several important interactions and iterations with a deeper focus on their product offering.
This transition can often be difficult for founders to manage, which is why I started Awecelot (pronounced “ocelot”). Our goal is to join and embed within a team to fill their needs, but with the expectation that our job is to make ourselves irrelevant and facilitate the transition as the client's company grows and matures. We do this by helping get the product to a position where both the strategy and tactical implementation plan (and any additional elements necessary) are in place during the company’s early and high growth stages.
Specifically, we focus on providing the following services:
Acting as an interim product lead (and sometimes a hybrid CTO) for very early to mid-stage startups. This works because the companies have immediate product needs but understand hiring the right person takes time. Given that, we can come in, get to work, and help set product practices and direction. Then, we can concurrently assist with finding, vetting, and training our replacement. This helps the startup spend their money smartly and often hire a product person at a more reasonable rate who can focus on execution.
Engaging with companies of any size or stage who are at an inflection point with their product. This can take the form of:
Building a functional prototype to ensure product/market fit
Defining and executing a go-to-market plan
Setting up a project management methodology
Determining and implementing the right metrics to track
Conducting quantitative and qualitative user research
Writing user stories, wire-framing, and more.
- Working as an “EIR for Hire” with "Office Hours" where we can help portfolio companies within incubators, accelerators, and venture firms on an on-demand basis.
Our own experience coupled with a trusted network of entrepreneurs, advisors, subject-matter experts, VC's, and additional specialists ensures we can offer a unique class of help.
Typically, an engagement begins with determining the degree of involvement necessitated and the level of effort required. This informs a bi-weekly rate for the services I provide. After the completion of a one month long calibration period, we ensure that we're all on the same page with regards to next steps, and then it moves to an open-ended auto-renewing contact. This helps build trust since we are not constantly negotiating SOW’s nor creating tension by counting minutes, but instead focusing on collaborating.
Over time, the goal is for Awecelot to make ourselves obsolete by building institutional knowledge and helping create the right product armatures to ensure future success. This can mean training someone to take on a new role, assisting with hiring and transitioning a new employee to be the perfect permanent product person, or making sure the house is on a strong new foundation for the positive progress to continue. Regardless of what may mark the end of our work together, we ensure that everything is in a good place before we go.