Hi! I’m Brian Rhea

Hello! I’m Brian Rhea.

I’m a product designer with a background in development, and I help businesses ship profitable software.

Do you need to get to know your customers better? I like talking to people.


Nothing builds momentum like knowing you’re going in the right direction, focusing on the right market, and building the right features. With a mix of qualitative and quantitative measures, I can help you discover where your product roadmap is spot on, and where it needs to change course.

JTBD (Jobs to Be Done)
Kano Model Discovery (Delighters, Must-haves, etc.)
Lean Customer Development
Design Sprint Facilitation

Do you need development support? I build stuff.


If you’ve got an idea you want to prototype but your core engineering team has a backlog a mile long, let’s talk. Keep your team focused on moving the master branch along and I can help you make big bets on new ideas in parallel.

Web apps
Chrome extensions
Electron applications

Do you want to market smarter not harder? I can integrate all the things.


Every SaaS company should have full-time engineers dedicated to the marketing department. Can I take a wild guess and bet that your marketing manager has had to wait over a week to get a JS snippet installed? I can be your marketing team’s dedicated dev to give them the data and leverage they need while your product engineers stay focused and happy.

A/B Testing
API Integrations
Salesforce & Hubspot Integrations

I’m available for contract work, so you can think of me as your Fractional Head of Product. Someone with the breadth of skills necessary to understand: the core promise and business goals of the idea, the engineering required to build it, and the marketing tools available to help the message stick.

Or if you’d prefer …

I’d be happy to come in and lead your team through a Jobs-to-Be-Done introduction

JTBD or the Kano Model, your pick. I’ve presented on both of these topics at Startup Weeks, RefactorU, and Galvanize, so poke around, decide which one seems like a better fit for your team and let’s talk.

JTBD Session
Overview of JTBD
Forces of Progress
Live JTBD Interview
Awesome JTBD: a list of resources I maintain on github. There’s plenty here to get you started.
Understanding the Job: Clayton Christensen’s classic intro to JTBD theory.
Bob Moesta on Critical Path: JTBD theory and the process of understanding why people hire and fire milkshakes and candy bars.
Kano Model Session
Intro to Kano
Feature Types
Kano Survey and Analysis
Understanding the Kano Model: My post about the Kano Model. Easy-to-read intro that makes liberal use of GIFs and emoji. Enjoy!
Jared Spool: Fantastic talk by a brilliant thinker at Mind the Product

A Little More About Me

So, how does someone with development chops also know a thing or two about product design?

Well …

I was doing freelance development work in Dallas in 2012. My wife and I had wanted to move to Colorado for a while so I built a goofball site (the original hirebrianrhea.com) and Brad Feld tweeted it. Life was pretty insane for a couple of weeks there. Brad asked me to write about it for Startup Revolution and you can get a more complete version of the story here. I still can’t believe it happened and am humbled that it did.

I came on as a front-end developer with the most kick-ass team in the world at Mocavo, moved up to Director of UX, and eventually Chief of Product before we were acquired by one of our largest competitors in the UK. I thought the hirebrianrhea stuff was a wild ride but that was nothing compared to the thrill of the acquisition. I wish I would’ve bought stock in Red Bull once the wheels were set in to motion.

I stayed on with the new management team for a little while and continued gaining experience in product leadership. It was around this time that I first heard about Jobs-to-Be-Done. (I think via an @rjs tweet. You should follow him.)

I remain completely fascinated by the approach and it never gets old doing a Q&A with a room full of people who are hearing about JTBD for the first time.

Why Me?

But maybe you’ve been burned by consultants or contract hires in the past. Or you’ve got a list of referrals a dozen deep that you’re reaching out to. Why work with me?

I won’t oversell. I won’t let you down. I will communicate.

If there’s a piece of your project that could mean some additional revenue for me but it’s not in my wheelhouse, I’m not gonna say yes just to chase the money.

I don’t do UI design anymore, I won’t do content marketing or copywriting, I can’t tidy up your AWS containers.

I know extremely talented people who do and I’ll give you their names, but I’d rather turn down work in an area out of my range than say yes and leave you disappointed with the results.

Finding reliable employees is hard enough; finding reliable contractors is even harder. In both cases, it often comes down to communication and if you’re this far along then you can tell I take good communication seriously and you can expect me to remain engaged and keep you informed.

Don’t just take my word for it

Here is a sample of the things people I’ve worked with and know me best have to say.

In my four-part email course you'll get a high level understanding of JTBD, the Forces of Progress, and JTBD interview technique. You'll know all you need to conduct your own JTBD interviews, tailor your marketing and product roadmap to address your customers' needs, and move ever closer to product-market fit.