Remember the science fair in middle school? You were required to ask a question, create an educated hypothesis and test it?  There was a reason that process was made into such a big deal, and that is because until you have evidence, it is only an assumption! You’d think the embarrassment of standing next to your poster in front of all your peers would have burned that into memory. Unfortunately though, the concept of testing your assumptions and learning from your mistakes fails to be applied in business over and over again. Many products and IT solutions today are still designed on a whiteboard, built and launched without ever validating the concept with a customer or end user! The results are failed products and over budget / under adopted IT solutions.

LeanCog was founded out of the desire to bring the benefits of fast feedback loop based methodologies, such as Customer Development, Lean Start-up and Agile, to software professional services. While much work has gone into methodologies for software development and web start-ups, there has been less incorporation of these best practices into professional services. While many services firms say they are agile, it is often poorly executed and used as an excuse to manage their scope. At LeanCog, we make sure you know where you’re going and why.

By following a rigorous methodology focused on communication, prototyping, feedback and scope management, LeanCog offers its customers the best of both worlds: user centric refinement of requirements as you go, yet awareness (and preparedness)  for the project impact.  With LeanCog, the only surprise will be how smoothly things go.


Paul Mackinaw

Founder and Principal

Paul has spent his career bringing innovation to the enterprise. He started at a large consulting firm's R&D group applying emerging technologies to business problems at Fortune 500 clients as well as start-ups. He then joined two start-up consulting firms which were focused on applying new software and technology, helping both grow to successful acquisitions.

Throughout all of those experiences, Paul was continually frustrated by the assumption that everything which is required to create a successful product or project is known at contract signature. Incorporating learnings and feedback during a development process is what creates success! Yet in consulting, it is often considered a failure as it leads to change orders and delays since the projects are structured in a waterfall manner (i.e. requirements are finalized before design is started). After meeting Steve Blank (the father of Customer Development, a process adopted by the Lean Start-up movement), Paul saw an opportunity to apply those principles in consulting to help companies launch more successful products and services and started LeanCog.

Paul holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley and an MBA from Columbia Business School at Columbia University.


LeanCog is always looking for bright, talented individuals to join our team. If you are a business savvy technologist who can talk solution strategy and then roll-up your sleeves to get hands-on, then we would love to hear from you. We especially love former entrepreneurs! Use the contact page to reach out to us.



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