A thought partner for your product strategy

I help early-stage startups navigate product challenges that are really important to get right. People hire me to think through:

• Creating a North Star and establishing metrics that stick
• Designing a process for finding product/market fit
• Deciding whether to pivot or persevere, and what's next
• Recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and retaining your first PM
• Designing an org where PM, eng, and design work in harmony

I’ll help you make high-quality decisions that save your company time, money, and heartache. Along the way, I’ll hone your team's product intuitions so y'all can solve future challenges without me.

Kind words from happy clients

I cannot recommend Nick highly enough as a product thinker. He helped our team gain clarity and direction for our product like a true pro. Nick's mentorship and facilitation skills were vital in guiding our strategic planning and earned high praise from every member of our leadership team.

You can trust Nick to provide invaluable insights and direction for your team's product development efforts.

– Matt Conlen, Our World in Data

[Nick] has the full range of skills – he was able to take us from blue sky thinking about what might be possible, to then real-time translating that into tangible mock-ups that we could respond to and refine, he then oversaw the building of the resulting technology which was game-changing, novel and functional...

On top of all of that, the design sprint was fun and interactive – generating ideas, voting on them, discussing – I enjoyed the process as well as the results.

– Laura Lewis, Rise


For people on a tight budget, or who just want to try a low-stakes way of collaborating, I offer a few mini-consultations:

  • The Product Review (AKA Roast my MVP): an asynchronous video review of your MVP, complete with a scorecard along the dimensions that you care about most. Designed for founders and product leaders who want to shorten their learning loops. Investment: $320
  • The Product-Market Fit Intensive: a half-day, 1:1 consultation where we'll come up with a ~6-month plan for finding product-market fit. The goal here is to help early-stage founders de-risk their roadmap and have a framework for guiding the team through ambiguity. Investment: $680

Deeper ways to work together

I offer a few different containers for working together. If none of these feels quite right for what you need, we can dream up something completely new.

Impact Sprint
You want to run a well-designed, time-bound product experiment

1:1 Advising
You want a regular check-in for getting my advice on whatever is top of mind for you

Product Audit
You want an in-depth health check on all aspects of product and development

Interim CPO
You need a short-term head of product to help grow your team's capacity

All engagements start the same way: with an informal chat where we can get to know each other better and discover if there's a fit.

I’ve been told that these conversations alone can be helpful for uncovering lurking obstacles, and coming up with practical steps for removing them. Plus they’re free – so I highly encourage you to reach out.

You can grab time with me here, or reach out over email: nsbarr@gmail.com.

A track record of taking products from zero to win

My product consulting practice is built on 15 years of leadership and innovation within venture-backed and non-profit ecosystems. A few highlights:

  • Cofounder of Hello World, a nonprofit initiative that helped unlock $100 million in scholarships for young people doing good around the world
  • Product leader at Khan Academy, driving our strategic initiatives in classroom adoption and exploring new possibilities within our R&D lab
  • Cofounder of Slash Keyboard, which won Product Hunt's product of the year and sold to Giphy in 2017
  • Co-creator of DrawQuest, a creativity-building iPad app that reached #1 in the App Store for Entertainment
  • Advisor and mentor within the Union Square Ventures, Betaworks, and Techstars networks

For the whole spiel, you can find me on LinkedIn.