You have an idea. An idea for your first start up — or your next one. Whether you’re a Dreamer or a Builder, you’re a difference maker wanting to make your “dent in the universe.”
You might be experiencing the awe and excitement of your new idea. It feels good doesn’t it? And yet, you feel a gnawing sense that there are still risks and unknowns. Entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs like you don’t enjoy risks. But you tolerate risks and mitigate them. Helpfully can join you to reduce the risks of a new venture.
Venturing is hard. But nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Helpfully’s value is giving you confidence in the future. Enabling you to develop and maintain a positive mental picture of what’s to come — and act without reservation.
Helpfully is, at its heart, a consulting firm. Our purpose is to be your guide to the new — and the better.
We all find ourselves in the midst of a blur of technological and cultural changes that have infiltrated every aspect of life — and every industry. Taking stock of these changes, deciding what matters, and finding a way forward is why we’re here. Although our work spans many sectors and stakeholders, health and well-being have always been a sweet spot for us.
Helpfully plays at the fuzzy front end of projects where things aren’t always well defined yet. We help clients distill and crystallize current realities. We roll up our sleeves and do the fieldwork necessary to discover the right problem to solve.
Specifically, we’re a hive-minded constellation — a concentration of domain experts who give you cognitive diversity and emergent thinking. We apply our insights to invent the right new thing. We’re here to help you get — and stay — ahead.
Helpfully is good at simplifying the complex into the doable.
Helpfully embraces and celebrates human idiosyncrasies, biases, baggage, heuristics, and logical fallacies. We’re patient-centric, customer-centric, and just simply people-centric. People are complicated beings with rich emotional and intellectual lives. We may be understandable, but we’re not certainly predictable. Why? Because uncertainties are constant and people’s behavior is variable.
You have to uncover the rhythms and routines of people’s lives — immersing yourself in the ways people think and act on a daily basis. We love to investigate how people behave in different situations. The dynamics at play can sometimes confound, complicate, and contradict all that is rational.
To get a product or service right, you have to get people right. And it’s messy. It’s philosophy + sociology + anthropology + psychology. We help our clients understand people because it’s people who ultimately solve problems.
New ideas rarely come from conventional thinking. We believe that most answers can be found beyond the office walls. Curiosity propels us to explore the real world where customers and users live and work. And, we see possibilities in the most common of situations. If we’re not asking questions, we’re not doing our job.
Curiosity is a search for clues. Seeking and recognizing patterns, signals, anomalies, and contradictions. And then connecting the right dots. Albert Szent-Györgyi, a Nobel Prize-winning biochemist, put it best, “Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what no one else has thought.”
We understand the importance of asking the right questions, challenging assumptions, distilling and interpreting what we’ve learned and then testing hypotheses. We probe situations with prototypes.
Prototyping is a way to create deep — and common — understanding. It’s also a way of uncovering requirements and constraints. Most importantly, prototyping is a way to get an idea out of your head and off a whiteboard or piece of paper. Across tech platforms, we can bring high-fidelity prototypes to life.
The world is faced with such diverse and complex problems to solve that we need access to all the perspectives we can collect in order to make smart decisions and better choices. It’s about contributing to a common goal and drawing on the resources of others.
Helpfully is a deeply connected company with a network of talented individuals with diverse skills, perspectives, and expertise. A community of like-minded achievers who all play well with others.
We build our project teams around your specific problems. What that buys you is intellectual horsepower to stay ahead in today’s uncertain environments.
The pace of innovation matters. The more brainpower you can throw at a problem, the greater your chances are of break-through thinking and ideas. That means it’s more likely it will get solved faster which can give you significant competitive advantage and fuel future growth.
Clients commend us for how well we gel seamlessly with other teams — both internal client teams or partnering with other outside partners. We operate Helpfully as if our organizational walls are a semi-permeable membrane. We reject a rigid structure and forced distinctions between ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ the company.
Zach Pousman has built a career pursuing tomorrow’s best ideas. Zach founded Helpfully in 2016. He serves as the chief design researcher at Helpfully, carefully working to develop insights into human behaviors and attitudes.
Before founding Helpfully, Zach worked on product at Citibank, Microsoft and several digital agencies and innovation studios. His focus has always been on helping both startups and global enterprises navigate through the fuzzy and ill-defined phases of digital product invention.
Zach holds a Philosophy degree from the University of Chicago, and performed advanced graduate work at Georgia Tech, blending anthropological techniques, design, and technology studies.
Zach speaks frequently to audiences on topics including product design, service design, customer discovery research, and futures thinking.