ShiftUnion – What are we?

sparkles push growth - Startup Virtual CTO We help SaaS startups & businesses that are startups-at-heart. We help them go fast and well, working with founders and their teams to lay the right foundations, layering on just-enough-stuff just-in-time.

We have a solid base of skills centred around technology platform and product delivery. Our experience spreads broadly to cover a large set of the competencies you need for success in a SaaS startup. With the knowledge of how all these areas must play together, this multi-disciplinary vision of cause-and-effect is a rare strength.

Having gone through many startup journeys already, we know when to take a tactical shortcut that drives a needed result. We also recognise how to avoid critical missteps that can create long-term adverse outcomes. We keep your technology platform in its Goldilocks zone.

A startup’s differentiators don’t end at the product platform. There are other complementary SaaS tools, delivery practices and a team culture that need to sing-along-side each other to crank up the velocity. We are excellent at bringing this all together and can help you strengthen your startup’s unique character.

What we do

A SaaS business is a complex set of interacting forces. We understand this cause and effect well. The broad abilities we command start at the product thinking and definition going all the way through to the technology architecture and delivery practices that support it.

So we do a lot of things well, and many of these we do really well. It’s a long list, it makes a pretty terrible Venn diagram and we have a lot of fun doing it.

Specialists are helpful and they have their place. But we prefer the specialising generalist, we know what we don’t know, and the SaaS product and technology delivery pipeline is our thing.

Well connected

organic connectionsDespite our breadth of experience, there are many areas where we are aware of our limits in expertise. These areas are critical for success in SaaS and we know people who can help.

For advice and elbow-grease in areas including: digital marketing, go-to-market strategy, graphical design, critical content generation, and customer success…. we’re well-connected, helping you find the right people to form a killer team.

Some of our philosophy subscriptions

“It requires energy to make a system simple, and to intentionally apply that energy requires that one reason about, understand, and visualise the system as built.”
– Grady Booch

“Meaningful software architecture is a living, vibrant process of deliberation, design & decision. Its ultimate goal is to be as simple as it can be, allowing it to describe itself.”
Nick Cahill  😉

“My biggest regrets are the moments that I let a lack of data override my intuition on what’s best for our customers.”
– Andrew Mason

“A great product manager has the brain of an engineer, the heart of a designer, and the speech of a diplomat.”
– Deep Nishar

“Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand.”
– Martin Fowler

“A focus on development best practices and a killer technology platform will have limited returns in the absence of a healthy product function – knowing what to build, how to sell the vision, and how to say no.  Maximising SaaS potential means you must level-up all areas, embracing their overlap while aligning all to a vision.”
Someone @ ShiftUnion

Blog

Technical Due Diligence – an Art supported by a Checklist

This list should help you think about the various aspects to cover in a technical due diligence exercise. In my experience, no due diligence exercise follows the same script; they always take a unique path. This list can help as a trusty guide, not a script. It really helps to request some documents from the …

The cost of client specific customisation on SaaS products

When it comes to managing a SaaS product roadmap, consumer focussed SaaS product teams have it easy. Sure it’s not trivial to work out what to build at first.  But once they have established a product-market fit, the consumer-SaaS know who their customers are,  and can coordinate a good sampling of people to help them …