“Upfront Work has been instrumental in driving the product development process for our CBD venture. We’ve benefited from their expert-level knowledge of the variables involved in launching a new product, as well as their incredible work ethic, sense of humor and passion for the industry. ”

Emily Tennison, Director

Launching a new cannabis product in 30-days

Client: Well Beings (MNML)

In early-2018, the Well Beings team led by MNML had an idea: If their cannabis partner could introduce CBD (low dose THC cannabis), then more people could experience the homeostasis effects of hemp–without the fear of getting high to do it. But how could they develop a feasible product line with limited resources and time?

The Challenge

In December 2018, the Farm Bill passed making hemp legal in all 50 states–kind of. Different state-to-state regulations cause massive confusion for hemp companies. What laws and regulations need to be followed? Which states can we ship to? What banks support us? Regardless of the complications, investors wanted to see physical samples and financial modeling. With the time-to-market clock ticking, how could we develop this new product line in 30-days?

The Solution

Understanding time and resource constraints, Upfront Work started filling in the gaps. First, we moved the team to a weekly sprint and daily stand-up cadence to keep the team on track and force a much needed decision-making process. Second, we filled the market and user research gaps by completing a competitive analysis for feature prioritization, pricing strategy and user targeting. After identifying our strategic advantage, our product specifications needed to align with the right vendor. To do that, we did a SWOT analysis to determine the target price, chemistry functionality and partner risk. Once we agreed on our method, we developed a financial model for the product line and the company itself with recommended areas to invest for maximum profitability.

With a customized process and clear strategy, Well Beings now has the tools and resources to launch a competitive CBD product line to meet the target customer’s demand.


“Before Upfront Work, we had little idea the risks and necessary steps needed to develop a SaaS product.”

Dr. Matt Feinstein, Co-founder

Bringing product management structure to a new healthcare startup

Client: Healthority
Industry: Healthcare, technology

Six months ago, the Healthority team (part of MATTER, a healthcare incubator) had an idea: If users had a trusted, scientifically-backed source for lifestyle health information then they would be less susceptible to harmful health decisions. But how could they develop a user-centric service that serves both businesses and users?

The Challenge

The cardiologist co-founders of Healthority knew one thing clearly: they had little product development knowledge to build this platform. As doctors, they were inspired to develop this product to help their patients but they didn’t understand how to take a SaaS product from concept to execution. How do you build a product right from the beginning? What risks should be considered?

Moreover, the product’s profitability relied on a B2B model, selling to companies that wanted to support the wellness of their employees. But how do you develop an experience that intuitively communicates a service benefiting employees rather than a tool to help corporations save money?

The solution

Understanding the challenges of the healthcare industry, we provided the team with foundational product development tools and resources to clearly articulate what they were building to their development partner.

First, user personas were created so the development could see the product through the eyes of its future users. Second, we completed a competitive landscape and identified Healthority’s unique advantages to support its go-to-market strategy. Third, we developed a process for translating user feedback into actionable steps to help avoid scope creep.

With a customized process and strong scope strategy, Healthority has the tools and resources to launch a user-centric SaaS product.


“Before Upfront Work, we were not as efficient with our process and user research. Upfront Work provided us with custom strategy to successfully build our product.”

Enes Umur Gokcek, CEO

Bridging the user research gap between digital and physical product users

Client: Niche
Industry: Smart Home, IoT

In 2017, the Niche team led by Enes Umur Gokcek had an idea: If busy grocery shoppers could intuitively keep track of home essentials then more people would avoid running out, overstocking or forgetting to buy necessary home supplies. But how could they identify the right users to test their prototype?

The Challenge

Managing user research for both software and physical products is complicated. But the Niche team needed to understand how users reacted to their product–what worked, what didn’t? The challenge became identifying the optimal research methods and selecting the right users. Identify digital users is fairly straightforward and low-cost, but identify physical development users is expensive, slow, vague, and complicated.

The Solution

We had the team identify their hero user specifically with surveys, observational feedback and 1-on-1 interviews. Then, we recommended products to be tested– the team selected two families with one week to iterate, then testing with 10 families post updates.

Once a clear path was laid out to identify insights, leadership wanted to establish the right tools and roadmap to inspire their team to execute. We provided a roadmap and process tool with step-by-step guidelines to extrapolate into a long-term vision. With a customized user research and roadmap strategy, Niche has the tools and resources to target the right user while consistently motivating their team.