Chris Zempel

Working with me

I run a boutique consulting practice helping companies build and use software effectively.

I've been working in software consulting for 3 years, and as an independent consultant for the past year - advising on technical strategy, user experience, development and growth.

I think of clients like partners and typically don't get hired to be a pair of hands building exactly as they're told. I'll be building your software, but only after making sure the design and implementation do what you actually need them to, you'll get the desired business outcomes you want, and the software will gracefully fit into the lives of the people using it. You hire me to bridge business & development so you don't have to worry about the technical details while still getting the ROI you're after.

Some past projects

As an independent consultant the work I do is varied and always tailored to the project and the team. To get a sense of what I can do for you, here are some of the public projects I've done:

At the startup Invisible Girlfriend/Boyfriend, I developed the first version of their product, designed a large portion of it’s UX, and initially launched to ~40,000 users. Later I placed and advised the development team.

At the podcasting app Satchel, I helped migrate their backend from Parse (shut down by Facebook) to Ruby on Rails. I laid the technical foundation for their team to take advantage of rapid application deployment, low cost of ownership, and easy updates over time.

At Calendar with Notes, I paired with a client to help them replicate the existing Mississippi Legislation website via scraping it every 10 minutes, and then layer on modernized functionality to make it easy for legislators to coordinate and communicate about bills inside their organizations. This was a dual-purpose project - in addition to shipping useful software, they kicked off the project as a complete novice to Rails, and can now maintain and enhance a complicated production setup.

Typically, there are a couple ways people work with me:

Custom Software - Do you have that nagging suspicion "this shouldn't be so hard" around some part of your business? Click here to email me and briefly describe your current situation. If I think developing custom software might be the solution to your challenges, I'll let you know and offer some advice on feasibility, what business outcomes you should measure and how to proceed intelligently (regardless of whether you go with me or not!).

Embedded Development - A lot of times, it's not clear what the value of a project is. Nowhere is the more true than in a startup because it's essentially a giant research project. I'll work with you and your team on a weekly basis to learn the best way to run your project, find your cadence, and discover your business model. You don't just get a slot of hours, you get my full focus and access to the questions I assign myself to mull over while I'm asleep.

Pair Programming - Have a nasty bug? Need a technical sounding board? I'll hop on a call with you for an hour or two and help you tackle it. If I'm not able to substantially help, you don't have to pay.

Unlike other consultants, you’ll work directly with me instead of with junior employees who bill you hundreds of dollars per hour to learn on the job.

Get in Touch

Need help with Ruby, Rails, Javascript, UX or Responsive Design?
Not sure how software can fit into your business?

Shoot me a message! [email protected]

Things I've Worked On

Invisible Girlfriend

Finally, you can get the girlfriend (or boyfriend) you've always wanted.

See here or here.


Help people with mobility difficulties find accessible properties around the world. Enable anyone to go anywhere.

See here

Konza Technology

Data analysis tool for private equity firms. Find answers to complicated questions about your firm's data in seconds instead of hours.

Deceased :(

Certascan Technology

Forensic infant identification via custom machines in hospitals. Save the babies.

See here for one of said applications.

Recruiting Board

College football recruitment for D2 & D3 schools.

See here


Support your favorite podcasts. Listen local.

See here