Tom Nassr is CEO and Cofounder of Checkmate Digital (New Haven, Connecticut), a design and development agency that works with startups and company subject matter experts to build marketable digital products these startups can use to solve specific problems and generate income. These projects range in size from a single piece of software to complex, integrated systems.
Before working with a company, Tom conducts candid, in-depth validation discussions to determine the likelihood of project success and whether he wants to work with a client:
Is the problem real and not client-specific? (Do other people “feel the pain”?)
What is the client's background/expertise? Does the client possess the resilience to deal with setbacks and the collaborative and executive decision-making skills to drive the project forward?
Tom knows that projects may morph over time as problems and their desired solutions become better defined . . . and that success more often depends on a CEO's ability to adapt to these changes, so, Tom says, “Bet on the jockey, not on the horse.”
Once Tom knows a project is feasible, his team meets with company representatives to explore issues in-depth, refine the objective, flowchart business processes, identify primary and peripheral stakeholders and impacts, and brainstorm strategy. The $5k charge for this “discovery process” recognizes the value of the project design “product,” engages only those clients serious enough to make that expenditure (no tire-kickers), and ensures that, even if the client goes elsewhere to have the work done, Tom's team gets paid for delivering what can be the most important part of any project . . . a blueprint which, if followed, will ensure the right things get done for the right reasons.
Tom is excited about the future of Blockchain technology and notes that Blockchain is not just about cryptocurrency—it has the potential to give users full control, access. and ownership over all of the their content and data . . . instead of “centralizing power in the corporation.” With blockchain technology “Smart Contracts,” the entire contract and its logistical system could be integrated with the application, so that work completed would automatically trigger payment, vastly improving privacy and security.