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Early Stage Startup Launches

Early Stage Startup Launches

"Position, design, test and repeat."


Strategically positioning, designing and conveying how early stage products solve user problems is a deeply integrated process. In partnering with founders, I work to ensure their startups get at the core elements of the market problem and succinctly convey the motivations, experience and benefits using design thinking.

Strategy & Product Positioning

Head of Design

Product Experience Lead

The Challenge

Every startup faces its own unique challenges and opportunities. When getting a startup off the ground, it is critical to position it appropriately for its unique niche within the marketplace. Many startups building products or services end up mispositioning their offering by attempting to address too many customer needs without considering what the absolute core of their offering is. Some startups build the wrong product or service for a particular need, while others build the right features but for the wrong customer. Often startups can also nail the customer and offering, but fail to deliver on solutions or simply fail to attract the customer.

Summary of Results

  • Acted as interim Head of Design & Marketing leading MVP launches including Creative and Art Direction for a holistic visual language across Brand, Product UX/UI Design and Marketing channels
  • Launched six startups from conception to MVP stage including Floorsie, Huah!, SharpCoffee, RM Interactive Menus, PropertyTap, Absolute Entertainment.
  • Partnering with entrepreneurs to define and derisked technology investments with MVP product roadmap consulting based on lean startup analysis, lean canvas, budgeting, feasibility, ROI, and team building.
  • Achieved over 300% improvement in price performance compared to industry average based on select products with novel team structures, rapid prototypes, stacking of academic resources and research financing coupled with senior industry personnel.
  • Elevated startup engagement with investors and early adopters with cutting edge product perception design including visual systems, UX and brand assets that encapsulated each MVP.
  • Developed immersive web experiences communicating key startup offering in engaging and differentiated assets including video, animation and interactive storytelling
  • Equipped startups for success and continuity post MVP with process guidelines, design systems and operational models for team passoff.
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& Insights


Target & Trends

The high ranking software engineer in a typical technology company, between the mid-twenties to mid-forties looking to improve their work productivity and focus. They value their team contribution, are high performers and are always looking for a competitive edge. Nootropics are gaining popularity in the tech space for developers and engineers to maximize their productivity.


Many available nootropics are either pharmaceutical grade or complicated multi-pill concoctions that are complicated and intimidating. This results in challenges of availability of consumer friendly products that are approachable and easy to use as part of the daily routine.

Positioning & Solution

Drinking coffee is a natural and familiar activity that our target customer engages in daily. We can leverage this activity to deliver our product as it usually is taken around the morning work sessions. Instead of trying to solve for a better coffee, we want to avoid reinventing the wheel and drag customers away from coffee products, flavors and cafes they already like. Instead of selling pills like everyone else, why not create a nootropic that works and appears as an additive to their favorite coffee. Another pitfall we can avoid.

Because consumers are used to adding packets and sweeteners to their coffee, we can take that same delivery method and packaging to deliver nootropics. As coffee is a key component of the daily productivity routine for most of our target customers, we can create a nootropic additive that works harmoniously with caffeine in the coffee to amplify the effect of focus and productivity in an acceptable, and consumer friendly way.

“Get More Done” with SharpCoffee mix for your morning coffee. Increase productivity, focus and calmness to maximize your output with natural amino acids that amplify dopamine and serotonin in the brain and work to amplify the effects of your morning coffee.

Discreet Peacock

Target & Trends

30s to mid 50s working male professionals, with disposable income for luxury goods. Experienced watch collectors who already own a few watches. They have a sense of personal style or are looking to add something new and different.They value quality, uniqueness and beautiful design. The watch market has exploded in the last 3 years. COVID has catapulted bored, stay-at-home collectors to spend their unused, disposable income on luxury watches.


The popularity of watches in social media has homogenized people’s taste to desire more or less the same thing. Original taste is lacking and groupthink is obvious. ​​Alternatively, unique vintage watch collectors focus on common models that serve as alternatives to the hot modern pieces. The inventory selection is wide and in return they lack cohesive branding, a compelling story and theme behind their business. In essence, they are glorified flippers with an instagram page in a sea of products.

Positioning & Solution

We want to appeal to collectors who seek individuality and ways to stand out from the "hype”. As more interest pours into the space, there will be an appetite to explore alternative watches from a time period of distinct designs, shapes, colors and sizes. There’s an opportunity to brand this type of collection with a modern story and a clear call-out to this type of collector. It’s a chance to carve out a clear niche and completely own it.

Discreet Peacock “Enchanting Vintage Watches”. Discreet peacock is a purveyor of artful, classic and enchanting vintage watches. Discreet Peacock is an online marketplace specializing in small sized luxury watches with beautiful designs, shapes and colors from the 60s, 70s and 80s (sub $10K). The brand is about creating statements for bold collectors who value individuality and self expression.


Target & Trends

Many software platforms are emerging to help improve team meetings and their efficacy. During the pandemic and work from home environment, executives are wondering now more than ever how their employees are feeling and if meetings are actually productive and conducive to achieving alignment. Thus US corporate leaders and managers look to improve company alignment and visibility in small to medium size businesses.


Data suggests that 67% of US corporate meetings are found to be wasteful or unproductive. Billions of hours and dollars are spent in unproductive/unneeded meetings. Lack of alignment between company leadership (goals/strategy) and frontline employees (producers). No readily available outlet for employees to express their sentiment on how their time is spent.

Positioning & Solution

Create a simple, low friction calendar add-on app that requests anonymous sentiment about team meetings. Aggregate the team sentiment to indicate whether team members believe the meetings align with its intended company goals, and whether those same meetings were a good use of time via simple thumbs up or thumbs down input.

Huah! "Focus on what matters". The platform that gives organizations insights into their teams’ sentiments & focus, and employees agency over how they spend their time. Now corporate leaders can get a pulse check on employee sentiments and see if their respective meetings align to the company mission in a holistic view.


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Design & Experience


In defining the creative direction and visual language of each brand, my focus is establishing the key visual concept that will define each brand for maximal impact. Through a design thinking process, we hypothesized, conceptualized and tested various visual elements that convey the central message for each company and incorporated them as the north star for each creative brief.


The platform that gives organizations insights into their teams’ sentiments & focus, and employees agency over how they spend their time.

The central concept in defining the brand is sentiment represented as an simplified reaction to a universal calendar invite in the form of an emoji. The simplicity of this approach both identified the contextual idea of a meeting represented as a calendar invite, but with a unique accent of the reaction to that meeting.


Increase productivity, focus and calmness to maximize your output with natural amino acids that amplify dopamine and serotonin in the brain and work to amplify the effects of your morning coffee.

The central concept in defining the brand is the sachet being poured into a coffee in a productive environment. From here we focused on a brand and tone that conveyed performance and gaining a cognitive edge.

Discreet Peacock

Discreet speaks to the focus on small sized watches and their very nature of being worn under the sleeve. It is also a nod to the collector’s tasteful restraint of showmanship and buying things to please himself first and foremost.

The central concept in defining the brand is peacocking, both represented as the animal but also embodied in the young professional male standing out in the crowd with a unique, yet subdued style.

Each central concept defining its respective brand was able to act as a key visual element that flowed through all customer touchpoints of the product or service. This consistency started with the branding designed, flowed to the marketing visuals, and ultimately into the product design itself.
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Launch & Showcase

Each startup has its own unique goto market strategy, requiring unique assets that fulfill the respective objectives. In general, each startup should be able to capture its intended audience with direct messaging and supporting visuals that quickly communicate the core value of the brand. As new entrants in the marketplace, startups also need to establish a differentiated presence and visual language to stand out. In other words they have to separate themselves from the competition.


This startup was in an interesting stage with a newly developed MVP and the need to attract seed investment. We needed to scale the pitch of the value prop, in a unique and immersive web experience that clearly communicated the value of the product in a memorable way. To do this, we combined the pitch deck and website as one asset that had a simple linear flow and told the story of the problem, the solutions and how the product worked.

Discreet Peacock

This startup was competing with online watch collectors that represented a subtle, yet classic style in the form of online marketplaces. These collectors focused on instagram marketing and ecommerce stores as their main assets for customer acquisition.

Web Experience

In competing with these brands we decided to deliver a whole new experience, that placed the curator first in an immersive web experience that was truly unique from anything else available from the competition. The key focus was to be memorable and engaging while introducing the head curator as the main focus of the brand rather than simply a watch on its own.

In Person Assets

While the ecommerce channel was key in new customer acquisition, dealer relationships were also a vital part of growing the business. Developing relationships and doing business with other watch dealers was critical in building the watch portfolio. Since most of the dealer interactions were in person, this startup needed a memorable marketing asset to continue the efforts of differentiating. We did this with high value, precision cut metal cards that stood out and communicated the value of the dealer relationship. The key was to be as memorable as possible.

Floorsie™ Elevator Automation