Kartick Vaddadi: Consulting CTO
Are you not getting the outcomes you want from your tech team? I'll identify why, and fix it, helping your company achieve the next milestone. I contributed to a million-dollar outcome to one of my clients.
I stand by my work. In the unlikely event that I don't deliver what I've committed, I'll happily refund every dollar.
Upgrading your company
This package delivers the following benefits:
Put your company on track to achieving your next milestone, so that the tech is not the bottleneck to achieving business results.
Upgrade your company along multiple axes — management, tech, engineering processes, team — to scale to multiple times the current business.
Ensure that features work as expected when delivered.
Upskill founders, functional leads and engineers.
Prioritize outcomes to work towards.
Reduce attrition, improve team cohesion, make the team run smoothly rather than chaotically, make employees engaged, and improve company reputation in the job market.
Timeline: 2 quarters.
1 quarter to come up with a prioritized list of changes to make, for $100K...
1 quarter to implement them, for an additional $90K.
Scale one app
This package will contribute to the following outcomes:
Enable your systems to support 2x more users than you have, so that you can go aggressive on customer acquisition, including being able to confidently take on customers who demand more scale than any of your existing customers.
Fix system slowdowns or unavailability in peak hours, increasing customer satisfaction.
Reduce support incidents.
Identify and fix management problems that are causing technical problems, thus transforming your company to continue to build scalable software after this engagement is over.
Timeline: In the first month, we'll identify what needs to be done, and prioritize it. You'll start to see results from the second month, and the full results will be delivered in 6 months.
This package will contribute to the following outcomes:
Make high-stakes and hard to reverse decisions with lower risk and increased confidence.
Upskill the entire team, from founders to functional leads to individual contributors.
I'll be available to your team members to advise, and I'll also advise proactively.
Identify and fill gaps in team skills, processes or technology.
You'll retain decision-making authority (I won't make any decisions and step on people's toes).
Price: $100K for one year for unlimited hours. Or $4K/month for twice-weekly advisory meetings.
Hire one person
This package will give you the following benefits:
Identify and prioritize business outcomes to invest in.
Ensure that insufficient staffing won't delay business results.
Identify great engineers, the needles in the haystack, and impress them so as to convince them to work with you.
Train your engineers in hiring, to make your company self-sufficient rather than depending on consultants in the future.
Identify other functions which are needed for the new hire to be productive, like leads, managers or designers.
Price: We'll begin with a strategy session ($19K), after which I can either train your engineers in hiring ($4K per engineer) or interview myself ($19K per candidate qualified).
Interview upskilling (resources only)
This package delivers the same benefits as the Hire one person (see the previous package), in a DIY form. You won't have access to me; instead you'll use the following resources to upskill by yourself:
Recordings of interviews with an engineer, a lead and a Director, showing how to interview people at various levels of seniority, with timestamped comments showing to interpret responses.
A video showing how to evaluate a take-home assignment before an interview.
A hiring planner to identify missing critical skills or insufficient manpower.
Price: $900, with a 2-month money-back guarantee. Or $90 for one mock interview.
If you have one specific question like "Should we use serverless?", schedule a 1.5-hour call to discuss it in detail and get clarity.
Price: $400. No-questions-asked money-back guarantee if you're dissatisfied. Free if you're okay with it being posted on YouTube.
If none of the packages work for you, we can do a custom engagement: tell me the business outcomes you want, and I'll plan an engagement to achieve those outcomes.
Price: A typical engagement costs tens of thousands of dollars, but yours can be less or more, depending on the scope.
Ankit Malhotra, Founder
“In my role as CTO of Graviti.in, Kartick helped make a critical back-end architectural decision, saving time and money on future rework enabling faster time to market.
We were also making mistakes in our hiring process, leading to many unproductive engineers, taking up a lot of the founders' time on mentoring, and ultimately being let go. Kartick provided key inputs on our hiring process, enabling a 4x better result from a ratio of 20% engineers being productive hires to 80% being productive.
Kartick's YouTube videos and blog constitute a validated library of decisions providing valuable insights to build on top of, which I have referred to and discussed with my cofounder to make better decisions.”
Lakshmi Narasimham, Engineering Director
“Kart as an adviser has given significant inputs to the company work culture which fixed the gaps and improved the work culture a lot. He pulled a couple of engineers from his network on short notice and helped Loktra to fill the urgent opening in just 3 days. He has helped Loktra in key hiring. He is a great value addition as an adviser.”
Alok Goel, Founder
“We had a key process that was becoming the bottleneck to our entire business, so we contacted Kartick to address this. He understood both the business and technical aspects of the situation, and our users' needs, and delivered a solution quickly that relieved the bottleneck, helping our company process a lot more leads with the manpower we have, while saving time and money by eliminating a labor-intensive manual process.”
Sahil K, Head of Design
"Kartick's ability to take in complex problem statements and turn it into a sophisticated yet simple solution is unparalleled. He is able to understand key points within any feedback or requirement and is clearly able to articulate a solution to all the stakeholders involved. Having worked with him closely on a number of occasions, I have really come to appreciate his insights on building and managing product startups.”
Satish Kadu, Founder
“When we were hiring an engineering lead and were unsure of a particular candidate, I consulted with Kartick, who helped us identify what we need in the lead, then interviewed him, and gave us a clear evaluation of this person and what roles he'd be suitable for, helping us make a better decision. Further, Kartick connected us to two other engineering leads from his network.
On another occasion, when we had a crisis and I was stressed, I called Kartick and he reassured me and gave me a roadmap of how to deal with the crisis, both immediate and longer-term actions, which helped me proceed with confidence, knowing that I'm ready to handle whatever comes next.”
Arjun Vedak, Tech Lead
“I was stuck trying to fix a bug, so I asked my founder, who introduced me to Kartick. He solved the problem and gave me a framework to resolve such bugs 10x faster in the future. We spoke for only 20 mins, but the value added was high.
On another occasion, we were considering an architectural change in our backend. Kartick helped us understand that this would tie up the entire team for two quarters and still not be the right fit for us. Kartick suggested an alternative that saved the 2 quarters, which we spent growing the business instead.
Kartick is also helping me lead my team better regarding making difficult decisions, hiring, running the team, and helping my team members grow.
Sometimes I go to Kartick with dumb ideas but rather than saying “you are dumb”, he helps me analyze those ideas patiently, and based on the analysis it becomes apparent whether they will work. This attitude is really something that we don’t find easily. While analyzing the idea, he goes really in-depth into business things and I wonder how a tech person is so smooth with analyzing business ideas and can be fast at it too.”
Kiran Kumar, Founder
“When we had a business-critical problem (premium content was not getting unlocked after payment), Kartick evaluated the code and identified the root cause as bad code quality. He advised us to rebuild the code from scratch as the best way to solve the problem, and advised us on which stack to use. He also connected us with a Design Leader who delivered an excellent design for us on time and on budget.
I highly recommend Kartick.”
Shekhar Sivaraman, VP Engineering
“Kartick had been invaluable in getting JSW One off the ground. His major contribution was in hiring key positions like the Principal software Architect and the front end tech leads. In addition his clear structured thinking helped us uncover vendor issues more easily. Also he was able to provide user experience consulting for our product lines with hires which allowed us to both shorten our time to market and improve NPS. He has a lot of experience with startups and has a structured plan for taking your startup off the ground. I would wholeheartedly endorse him as a consulting CTO for startups.”
Kewal Krishna, Head of Engineering and Product
“Our multi-million dollar ARR company was making a critical decision regarding our tech foundation which is hard to change later. Kartick's insights helped convince the CTO and Directors, de-risked the decision, and gave us increased confidence to go ahead, knowing that it will result in easier hiring, faster time to market and higher reliability of our product.”
Neeraj Bhope, Senior Staff Engineer
“Kartick helped us build our iOS engineering team. We needed someone with deep iOS expertise to evaluate candidates and did not have someone matching the profile on our team at the time. The depth he covered in the interviews helped us hire the right engineers who have helped us build a great product over the last two years. iOS is very important for us as a neobank since a large part of our affluent customer base uses iOS.
The feedback provided on each candidate was very detailed. He also went beyond his brief and provided technical guidance to our team when we asked him to. The team was able to incorporate best practices on architecture and coding from this guidance.
I highly recommend Kartick for the expertise he brings on engineering, iOS in particular, and his ability to cover all details.”
Ramakrishna R, Founder
“Our Engineer did not have core IOS expertise and was stuck on an issue for some time. I reached out to Kartick, who had built a company on an advanced iPhone app. He quickly agreed and helped us resolve the issue. He also guided our Engineer with good coding practices in Swift language. Later on, he referred us to a fantastic engineer whom we hired.”
Anshul Garg, Software Engineer
“Kartick streamlined lots of processes which unburdened me and channeled my energy towards the right things.
I learnt from Kartick to think about any problem from the customers' standpoint before addressing it on the technical front, which has helped me build solutions that work better for customers. And to think through a solution before just implementing it, which is letting me come up with better solutions.
Thanks to Kartick I'm a more effective engineer than before.”
Priyaank Choubey, Founder
“Kartick helped us to streamline the iOS engineering hiring for us. Kartick gave us a useful perspective to help us improve our shortlisting process to identify great engineers and hire them faster while spending less time on unsuitable profiles. He set up insightful interviews, and identified good talent, who were hired and went on to do well in the company. Kartick delivered more than what we expected, and in a timely manner. I'd work with him again.”
Shubham Tewari, Software Engineer
“I was introduced to Kartick when he was hired to act as a Consulting CTO to a team of 10 mid level developers.
Kartick was able to take the role of a consultant and mentor immediately. He practically guided me by hand to write industry-level API documentation.
Our SDK was old and had repeated, bug-ridden logic that took twice as much time to work with. Kartick helped us do multiple runs of refactoring and rewriting. It made the code less prone to bugs and crashes and onboarding new developers into the code base less time consuming.
Reducing mobile network chattiness and decreasing DB query time in our mobile app were strategic and well planned improvements by him that made the UI smoother, run faster and overall make the user experience better.
When I was stuck, I’d ask Kartick or refer to his Youtube videos, and I was able to make progress again.”
Prasanna Ranganathan, Founding Engineer
“Hiring is one of the most critical and challenging things for startups, especially early. We did not have sufficient skill in-house in a business-critical technology, so we worked with Kartick, whose evaluation of candidates and inputs were extremely valuable for us. The people who joined were solid, which validates Kartick's work.
I recommend Kartick for his combination of experience, strong opinions and the expertise/skill to back it up and deliver solutions.”
I graduated from IIT Bombay with a Masters in CS, after which I worked at Google, on Gmail, Google search, Google Sheets, and more. After that, I ran my startup Futurecam:
After that, I worked as a CTO, where I presided over a 5x growth in 6 months while maintaining 99.9% reliability. In addition, I've been advising startups for years.
I now work as a consulting CTO, working with your time and pulling in my team as needed, to deliver the desired outcomes. In this role, I contributed a million-dollar outcome for a client.