We make the other people in the room smarter. 

 

You know what you do. And you know why you do it.

But sometimes when you're stuck and the way forward is unclear;

or the approach that used to work no longer works so well—

you need to step back and find a new way.

That’s when we can help.

Deep Branding

We help organizations pinpoint the distinctive value they offer the world.

Whether you’re building a pitch for funders, a promise for customers, or a vision for your team—We can help you find just the right words to say what you really mean.

Design Strategy

We use design thinking to understand the customers you’re solving for, uncover key insights, develop transformative solutions and test them out in prototypes and pilots.

Heres what a design project can look like.

Culture of Innovation

We help people learn the mindsets, skills, and habits they need to make innovation part of their everyday work.

We build innovation labs, teach courses in design thinking, and coach you through your own projects.


Services

 Dan on a design strategy project exploring the future of banking.

Dan on a design strategy project exploring the future of banking.

User Insights. Through interviews, observations, and other qualitative techniques, we work with your team to explore what your customers need and value; figure out what drives them to do what they do; and map out the jobs they need to get done. These insights shape high-level strategy and all the ways in which it's implemented: experience design, marketing, organizational structure, etc.

Blue Sky Sessions. We partner with founders looking to step back from the spin, and teams hoping to get unstuck; start-ups figuring out who they want to be, and mature orgs figuring out who they want to be next. No matter what their stage or size, our clients are looking for that place where Why should the world care? meets Why do you?—to put their finger on the intersection between what their work means to them, and why it might matter to their customers.

branding brand strategy

Strategic Planning. We help teams build clarity and consensus on where they’re headed and how they want to get there. Along the way, we often help them figure out better ways of working together—so they can actually deliver on their grand strategy, and make their bold ideas real in the world.

High-stakes Storytelling. Whether you’re pitching to funders, selling to customers, or inspiring your teammates, we can help you build a story that’s crisp, clear, and compelling. We help you catch the flash of silver that threads through your ideas, the passion that pulses underneath them—the words and images that let your audience feel the force of what you really mean.

design thinking thru space planning

Workshop facilitation. We work with for-profit product design teams and non-profit boards; teams that are eager to get back to the drawing board, collections of random folk who’ve never met before, and groups that need to learn to love each other a little more. One way or another, we get everybody in the room working together. (And most of the time, laughing, too.)

Design-thinking Courses & Coaching. Whether half-day workshops or semester-long seminars, our courses immerse people in real design challenges. Our coaching sessions help you and your team translate general innovation methods into the day-to-day work you need to get done—the skills, mindsets, and practical tools to actually start innovating.

design thinking workshop

Get in touch to set up a complimentary consultation.


Approach

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Clients

 
Dan is our secret weapon for storytelling—a spellcaster who helps CEOs boil down their stories from maple sap into sweet maple sugar. Techstars has dozens of talented mentors, but none are better than Dan at helping CEOs craft a narrative that gets straight to the heart of what makes their company unique—that captures the impact only they can make on the world. And the proof isn’t just in what the CEOs say about Dan; every team he worked with increased their customer-base and were oversubscribed in subsequent funding rounds.
— Ty Danco, Director, Techstars Boston

Dan really is a coach: for 5 months he partnered with our team on a human-centered design project—interviewing users, understanding their needs and values, turning these insights into a sharp-edged set of design principles that we can build toward. But we also got an unexpected bonus: a deep infusion of organizational capacity. The project is over, but we’re still feeling the impact: we’ve got a disciplined, simple process for ongoing user research; a way to learn from our customers what makes them happy and what makes them hurt; and the tools to course-correct as we go. I couldn’t recommend Dan more highly.
— Dave Meyers, CEO & Co-Founder, TeachersConnect
 

 
We’re a literary organization full of great writers, but we’ve struggled for years to get our brand right. It felt impossible to find a single message that captured all the different parts of who we are, why we matter, and why our stakeholders should care. Along came Dan! Dan led us through a thoughtful, rigorous process that took us deep. He asked tough questions and pushed back when we weren’t being clear or going far enough. He helped us peel back the layers to get to what we really mean. The whole team is thrilled with our new branding: it’s honest, authentic, and aspirational.
— Eve Bridburg, Executive Director, GrubStreet

Dan’s our compass. He keeps us clear on the core value we’re offering—what our clients really want and what we really care about. He keeps us focused on the problem we solve better than anybody else out there, and plugged in to our reasons for doing what we do…so when we put ourselves out there—through the service we offer, or how we talk to prospects—we’re saying something true and authentic.
— George Boyar, Partner Success, Shearwater International

Dan has an uncanny ability to ask the right question. When he’s coaching me or the teams I lead, Dan helps us see the situation we’re in more clearly, identify the obstacles that are getting in our way, and recognize the opportunities we could take advantage of. I leave our conversations feeling like I’m focused on the goals that can make the greatest impact, right now. Because he understands how teaching and learning really work, Dan doesn’t give advice: he helps us discover what we really want to do, and figure out the best way to get it done. And he’s so happy when we do!
— Emilee Harris, Director of Middle School Math, KIPP NYC

design thinking workshop
Dan has a gift for finding the image that’ll make an idea clear to all the different kinds of people in the room. His design thinking workshop brought home for us the importance of knowing your users in order to create a system that works for them.
— Barbra Rabson, President and CEO, Massachusetts Health Quality Partners

Dan led our team through a re-branding process that helped us see why our customers should care about what we have to offer—and reminded us why we do. As we built new brand guidelines, Dan made sure we communicate our value proposition in a way that’s compelling to our customers and meaningful to us.

Working with Dan has helped us think about ourselves and our company in a way that until now we have never been able to.
— Nikolay Piriankov, CEO, Taylor & Hart

Dan’s human-centered approach to problem-solving has been crucial in helping us work through important challenges we’ve faced as a startup, like better articulating the value proposition of our product, improving our client on-boarding experience, and finding better ways to support and communicate with each other as a team. The inquiry process he takes us through helps us reframe our challenges—and generate new and original solutions to seemingly intractable problems.
— Cristina Herndon, Director of Partner Relations, AdmitHub
design strategy

Dan took a room full of HR execs who’d never tried design thinking and enabled them to suspend judgment long enough to discover connections you would’ve thought could only be unearthed by seasoned design thinking professionals with high-flung titles and years of experience.
— Joseph Chehouri, Program Manager, WDHB Strategic Learning


Get in touch to set up a complimentary consultation.