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Local Startup

Circa 2020

The Opportunity

A local startup wanted to leverage their technology background to help solve the staggering rates of suicide among our veteran population. They felt this population was underserved, resulting in overlooked opportunities.

The Process

Lean, lean, more lean. Customer and buyer discovery started day-one and ran the duration of the engagement. The goal being, through iteration, to clearly frame how these identified solutions addressed such a tangled and multi-faceted outcome such as suicide.


The startup walked away with a white-label-friendly prototype for each of their value propositions to further their discovery efforts as well as garner investor interest. The started from a loose problem and ended up with a strong, compelling, solution.

What made this project special?

If one would could describe startup mentality, it would be passion. And the state of the world requires more startups passionate about tackling a social need as daunting as veteran suicide. Additionally, the morale of the team was top of mind and their emotional support being a primary concern as our efforts had to cover suicide, addiction, PTSD, death, and loss.

In addition to supporting such an amazing mission, it was as amazing to help them unblock that sticking point that frequently comes between talking about an amorphous idea to making it come to life. To make their idea have a tangible definition, measurable definitions of success, achievable milestones, and a starting point was immensely gratifying for me and it also empowered the team to operate at their highest potential rather than flailing about.

What about me?

Activities performed

  • Leading our designers, UX, and client through the discovery process.
  • Leveraging the large bodies of research and statistics on this challenging topic.
  • Overseeing discovery and validation efforts.
  • Azure backlog creation.
  • Pitch deck curation.
  • Workshops for alignment, ideation, and vision creation.

Things I loved

I thrived being surrounded by such a talented, creative, and interesting group of people to work with. Everyone was creating all of the time, in and out of the office. The projects frequently jumped into uncharted waters, so we were constantly tasked with creating the real out of the ambiguous. Not for the faint of heart!

About the company

Forest Giant was a group of collaborative thinkers that specialized in creating unique and beautiful experiences. The company shut its doors in 2020 after 17 years of providing product development on a global scale.