Rapidly Innovate with thoughtbot

You have a new product idea, a challenge slowing you down, or an opportunity you want to take advantage of and aren't sure where to start. thoughtbot strategists will work with you to quickly conduct research and lead design thinking exercises to uncover the best path forward. With a validated strategy defined, we work hand in hand to help you reach your first milestone whether that's an investor presentation, clickable prototype, proof of concept or MVP launch.

Let's talk

Collage of 3 images: A laptop with code on the screen and a notebook, a red book that reads Playbook with cups, A colorful drawing of a prototype.

Quote from Healthify about thoughtbot

thoughtbot helped us quickly build the groundwork for our product, which enabled us to fundraise earlier, and for a larger round. If we hadn’t worked with them, we could be a year behind where we are today.

A headshot of Krishna Kulkarni

Krishna Kulkarni
Engineering Manager, Healthify

Read the case study


thoughtbot Incubator

If you are a non-technical founding team with a business idea that involves a web or mobile app, we encourage you to apply for our 8-week program. We’ll help you get the proof points you need in order to move forward with confidence.

Learn more
An aerial view of a table with open laptops and people working at the laptops, with squiggles and the thoughtbot logo overlaid

Learn and iterate

Use design thinking to zero in on the right approach, the right way, fast

You don’t have the time and money to waste on overly complicated research cycles and elongated development timelines. And you don’t need to. 

As a startup, you can learn whether your product concept is a market fit and be ready for rapid prototyping in days, not months. We have facilitated hundreds of successful sprints to help entrepreneurs hone in on optimal next steps.

For an existing company, our approach allows you to future-proof your business, and the same strategic research principles uncover how you can stand out from competitors, deepen user engagement, or make an informed decision on a new initiative.

Learn more about Discovery Sprints
Collage of 3 images: computers on a desk, a bookshelf full of books with a robot toy on top, a person in a video conference on a laptop

Quote from SplitFit about thoughtbot

When we came to thoughtbot, we just had an idea on paper. They helped us figure out this market and product together.

A headshot of Brian Gardiner

Brian Gardiner
Cofounder, SplitFit

Watch the case study

Here is your Action plan

Strategy that will align your stakeholders with confidence

Your team, including investors, needs a clear strategic vision with the research to back it up. Proof of defined user needs, product market fit, and industry insights coming together into a clear analysis and recommendation from our team of experts, are the quality insights you need to make an informed decision.

thoughtbot will synthesize collected learnings in a way that’s easy for the whole team to understand and act upon. Our recommendations to continue to test and learn are commonly rolled out in a handful of weeks - not months.

Check out our approach

Customer Discovery Playbook

In our many years of experience designing and building products, we’ve learned how important it is to regularly ask, “Is this the right thing for us to be building right now?” A key ingredient in building that right thing is knowing who you're building it for and why they need it right now. This collection of customer discovery exercises will help your team find (or regain) customer, product, and strategic focus.

Check out the playbook
Collage of 3 images: a red book that reads Playbook, a closeup of a pencil with a lightbulb drawing next to it, hands writing in a notebook.

thoughtbot Services for the earliest stage

Learn more about a few of our team's specialty areas

Design Research

Before starting to build products, we conduct research to ensure that users' problems are worth solving.

Learn more

Discovery Sprint

This offering quickly determines the right product roadmap for your idea including testing with customers, design direction and product architecture for v1.

Learn More

Research & Strategic Insight Support

Our research efforts help you explore an idea, navigate a challenge, deepen engagement with customers and grow your business strategically.

Learn More

Product Design Sprints

Product Design Sprints are essential starting points when kicking off a new feature, workflow, product, business, or solving problems with an existing product.

Learn more

Technical and Business Assistance

thoughtbot has the industry experience and the sound approach to support grant recipients with continued research and bringing scientific discovery opportunities into the market.

Learn More

Bring your business online

We build reliable, intuitive web products and services for new ventures and businesses, enabling them to adapt and thrive in a changing environment.

Learn more

Quote from Hotshot about thoughtbot

We liked that thoughtbot didn’t tell us what to build. They included us in the planning and design process the entire way. We scoped the product features and came to conclusions together about the product.

A headshot of Chris Wedgeworth

Chris Wedgeworth
Co-founder, Hotshot

Read the case study

Case Studies

Check out some of our clients

Health Match 360 logo surrounded by four screenshots of the application that are cut off.

Health Match 360 — Rapid validation of a therapist matching web app with a Product Design Sprint.

Read the case study
Real Simple Energy logo surrounded by four screenshots of the Real Simple Energy web product including the heading "Save BIG on electricity, with ZERO hassle.

Real Simple Energy — Transforming algorithms and a vision into a customer-ready product.

Read the case study
Image of The Standard website with the heading "Come to learn, stay to share."

The Standard — Conducting User Research to clarify the value proposition that will stand apart from the competition

Read the case study

Resources for you

Check out the best practices our team is writing and talking about:


Check out our resource center for entrepreneurs who want to build products people love.

Learn more

Before you MVP

Here are some of the questions thoughtbot asks early-stage entrepreneurs to see if they are MVP ready.

Read the blog post

Product Design Sprint Guide

An in-depth overview of the 5 phases of a Product Design Sprint, from design thinking to prototype.

Check out the guide

How to launch a product in 8 weeks

thoughtbot founder Chad Pytel dives into the playbook that has guided the design, development, and launch of hundreds of successful quality products.

Watch the workshop

Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots

A podcast about the design, development, and business of great software. Each week we are joined by the people who build and nurture the products we love.

Listen to the podcast

I have a product idea. Now what do I do?

Individuals come to thoughtbot in various stages, and it’s our job as product consultants to determine how we can best support them to reach their goals. Here are how some of our most successful startups get started.

Read the blog post

Let's talk

What does success look like for you?

Collage of three thoughtbot images: a designer mocking up a mobile app screen, a laptop with app code, and a post it design sprint workboard