Jonathan Schaffer, Product Manager in Burlingame, CA, United States
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Jonathan Schaffer

Verified Expert  in Product Management

Product Manager

Burlingame, CA, United States
Toptal Member Since
September 4, 2019

Jonathan is an unabashed customer-centric product innovator and entrepreneurial leader, operating at the cross-section of business strategy, technology, and design. Jonathan offers over a decade of experience in innovation strategy, product development, and business operations, working with some of the most well-known brands in the world. He is a team player recognized for his ability to motivate through inspiration and lead by example.

Project Highlights

The Path Toward Connected Living
Led the product design and development of over 70 connected concepts across four brands leading to nine CES Innovation Awards.
The Changing Heroes of Grocery
Led a critical aspect of the portfolio diversification that resulted in a $9 billion private equity buyout.
America's Greatest Makers
Won $100,000 and secured the distinction of an undefeated fan favorite in audience voting on a show with over 1 million viewers.


Work Experience

Head of Product

2019 - 2022
  • Led a product at Riven, an innovator in 3D data capture, computing, and communication for advanced manufacturing. We accelerate new product introduction and reduce waste by helping engineers solve development problems and collaborate across teams.
  • Launched Riven's first and second hardware and software products. Demand and revenue doubled quarterly since launch.
  • Defined the detailed operational strategy and projected financials, instrumental in successful $1.5M pandemic raise.
  • Facilitated the product vision and roadmap definition for the Riven platform through a deep and empathetic understanding of customer feedback, market dynamics, and relevant team expertise.
  • Brought an additional scanning service business from concept to market in less than a month to increase near-term revenue during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Successfully led the rebranding and renaming effort to support our more platform-centric business model.
  • Collaborated with notable investors and accelerators, including BMW iVentures, Ulu Ventures, Wireframe Ventures, Creative Ventures, and StartX.

Chief Operating Officer

2018 - 2019
Ondaka, Inc.
  • Co-founded a company that makes industrial sites easier to understand using computer vision and machine learning to deliver digital twins of sites built.
  • Obtained full P&L responsibility, successfully maintaining the projected burn rate.
  • Led the product strategy and defined the product roadmap–100% of product milestones were achieved as projected.
  • Led the team of engineers, developers, and designers–launching two core products using a combination of augmented reality and virtual reality to enable intuitive interactions with 3D models of equipment alongside mission-critical data (iOS and web).
  • Ran all recruiting, hiring, and staffing plan efforts – resulting in 0% turnover.
  • Managed market analysis and pricing strategy activities, resulting in $250,000 in annual recurring revenue within ten months.
  • Defined the detailed operational strategy and projected financials–instrumental in a successful $1.6 million raise.
  • Researched and defined the tech stack and led all developer operations, resulting in 99.999% uptime.
  • Collaborated with notable investors and accelerators, including Plug and Play, NoName Ventures, Sterling Road, David Helgason, Alchemist Accelerator, and StartX.
  • Helped customers like Schlumberger, Chevron, and Caterpillar improve their time to revenue, decrease their health and safety risk, and reduce downtime costs.

Chief Executive Officer

2016 - 2017
  • Co-founded a wearable fitness company that used technology to provide insights to fitness enthusiasts and professionals, helping them track their progress and reach their goals.
  • Invented and patented the Delta Gloves' technology (hardware, firmware, software, algorithm), resulting in two patent grants.
  • Managed a distributed team of industrial, apparel, graphic, UI/UX designers, electrical and mechanical engineers, back-end and app developers, and data scientists through the successful development of the beta version of the Delta Glove system.
  • Conducted ethnographic style research consisting of over 150 customer interviews, lift-alongs, gym sessions, and alpha hardware tests.
  • Co-produced the launch video, which successfully led to over 60,000 views and over 2,000 interactions in the first few days after launch.
  • Launched a performance marketing campaign to refine variables such as price, copy, and creativity, ultimately lowering CPA by 76%.
  • Cultivated and maintained strategic partnerships with Intel, Flex, Olympia Sports Co., Nanopaint, and Interwoven Designs.
  • Built a world-class advisory board with former executives from Best Buy and Under Armour, and domain experts from Seahawks, IBM, and Bain.
  • Raised $300,000 in venture funding. Notable investors and accelerators included Tandem, Intel, and OneTeam Collective.

Head of Office

2012 - 2016
Idea Couture (acquired by Cognizant)
  • Led office business development efforts, increasing office revenues by an average of 60% year-over-year for each year of my tenure.
  • Managed an award-winning project (nine CES innovation awards) to define the product strategy for the future of the connected home and retained to build functional prototypes as a part of a larger home kitchen experience prototyping project.
  • Led two projects defining the future of premium and value grocery, a key component of the client's portfolio diversification strategy resulting in a $9.4 billion private equity buyout (national food retailer).
  • Managed all aspects of the office's operations, including business development, financial planning, and the hiring and development of new employees.
  • Led teams of designers, developers, strategists, anthropologists, and engineers on multi-million dollar projects for Fortune 500 clients in the technology, business service, retail, and consumer goods verticals.
  • Worked with notable clients, including AT&T, Avaya, Citibank, FedEx, HTC, Linde, Mozilla, Pepsi, Reckitt Benckiser, Safeway, Samsung, United Technologies, and Whirlpool.

Senior Strategy Analyst

2011 - 2012
American Airlines
  • Worked with sales, operations, and finance teams within the cargo division of American Airlines to manage cargo revenue growth.
  • Managed Western US and Asia cargo products worth over $320 million in annual revenues.
  • Managed the domestic mail cargo product with the US Postal Service worth over $43 million annually.
  • Headed the effort to create and promote the first internal competitive cargo unit revenue metric, which led to the identification of revenue opportunities worth over $100 million.
  • Optimized the traffic mix, resulting in a seven-month, year-over-year revenue increase of $11 million or 14% on the optimized lanes.

Patent Examiner

2005 - 2008
US Patent and Trademark Office
  • Examined patent applications from a technical standpoint, to arrive at a final determination of patentability.
  • Developed an expert level of knowledge in both patent law and the technical art of image processing, which included but was not limited to biometrics, machine learning, and Computer Vision.
  • Spearheaded the development and implementation of the first intranet patent examiner collaboration tool, resulting in an estimated 10% average reduction in examination time. Recognized and awarded by the Director.

Telecom Engineer

2004 - 2005
US Army
  • Provided engineering solutions for relocation, upgrades, modifications, and new acquisitions of telecom infrastructure.
  • Performed site surveys to gather user requirements, develop cost estimates, and prepare system design plans and drawings for upgrades to existing telecom systems.
  • Led the telecom design and implementation effort for the Command Operations Center, completing it early and over $100,000 under budget.

Electrical Engineering Intern

2001 - 2002
  • Engineered the mechanical and electrical components for scientific instruments used in the processing of data obtained from astronomical infrared detector arrays and developed the firmware to run these systems.
  • Successfully completed three major projects in the time allotted for one including designing and implementing technical solutions for the AIRES and KEPLER projects.

The Path Toward Connected Living

Led the product design and development of over 70 connected concepts across four brands leading to nine CES Innovation Awards.

With the expectation that the future of the home is increasingly connected, the client recognized that as an appliance manufacturer and not a consumer technology company, it was at a disadvantage relative to its more connected competitors.

• Connect the brand of today to the brand of tomorrow.
• Identify the value drivers, impacts, and desired consumer and enterprise experiences for connected products and solutions across a three to five-year time horizon.
• Define and prioritize the aspirational value of the brand for the target consumer in the context of the client's existing brand architecture.
• Understand the customer intersection of the connected segments with the client's existing segments.
• Explore and recommend preferred ecosystem partnerships to deliver consumer and enterprise benefits that can leverage a deeper and more integrated end-to-end experience.
• Define a range of user benefit scenarios for the client to achieve aspirational consumer connectivity benefits.
• Build out an entire connected kitchen experience prototype with four new functioning appliance concepts.

The Changing Heroes of Grocery

Led a critical aspect of the portfolio diversification that resulted in a $9 billion private equity buyout.

Changing consumer expectations require a reimagined portfolio strategy. To reassure potential investors in their bid to return to private ownership, the client's leadership team needed to develop a comprehensive strategic plan designed to stem market losses resulting from the continued bifurcation of the grocery retail market into stronger premium and value offerings.

• Define a master vision, value proposition, and unique characteristics for two holistic store concepts to include a design theme in each value and premium segment.
• Develop a thorough macro competitive positioning and differentiation strategy for each concept.
• Identify assortment gaps, merchandising principles, and consumer-centric curation for each category.
• Create "hero" concepts and experiences for each premium and value category.
• Determine high-level category space allocations.
• Develop an overview of the shopper journey, which includes a store flow concept.
• Deliver forecasted financials based on key store economic assumptions.

America's Greatest Makers

Won $100,000 and secured the distinction of an undefeated fan favorite in audience voting on a show with over 1 million viewers.

Compete in a product design reality television competition that aired on TBS and was produced by Emmy-award-winning producer Mark Burnett in collaboration with Intel. Twenty-four4 teams of inventors selected from thousands of applicants contended for the title of America's Greatest Maker.
2015 - 2016

Berkeley | Intel Hardware Accelerator Program in Hardware Product Management

University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business - Berkeley, California, USA

2008 - 2010

Master's Degree in Business Administration

Cornell University, S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management - Ithaca, New York, USA

2002 - 2004

Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering

Northeastern University - Boston, USA


ASA Certified Skipper (ASA 101, 103 & 104)



Registered Patent Agent

United States Patent and Trademark Office


Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, GitHub, Slack, AWS IAM, Pivotal Tracker, Trello, Microsoft Word, Sketch, Autodesk Fusion 360, Adobe, QuickBooks Online, Intuit QuickBooks, Financial Data, Git, GitHub Pages, HipChat, Google Docs, Google Forms, Sketch 4, MongoDB Atlas, Google Analytics, Jira, Rally, iOS SDK, Figma, Asana, MURAL


MacOS, Windows 7, Adobe Suite, Arduino, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Kali Linux, Debian Linux, Anaconda


Design Thinking, Agile, Waterfall Development, Scrum, Agile Product Management, Human-centered Design (HCD), User Testing, Requirements Analysis, Agile Project Management, B2C, Augmented Reality (AR), Human Interface Design

Industry Expertise

Exercise & Fitness, Consumer Products, Electronics, Startup Accelerators, High-tech Startups, Oil & Gas, Industrial & Manufacturing, Open Innovation, Digital Agencies


CSS, Consulting, Product Growth, Wearables, Product Roadmaps, Product Management, Adobe Photoshop, Patents, Technology Consulting, Management Consulting, Business Consulting, iOS, iOS App Design, HTML, Windows, Design Management, Lean Startups, Innovation, Innovation Management, Software Innovation, Product Design, Product Strategy, Product Vision, New Products, Product Delivery, Design, Strategy, Pricing Strategy, Business Strategy, Channel Strategy, Revenue Strategy, UX Strategy, Design Strategy, Company Strategy, Digital Strategy, Brand Marketing, Branding, Brand Management, Brand Design, Brand Architecture, Brand Identity, Brand Development, Consumer Electronics, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), Consumer Insights, Consumer Technology, Business to Consumer (B2C), Consumer-facing Product Design, Consumer Services, Microsoft Excel, Financial Analysis, Financial Modeling, Financial Reporting, Microsoft Office, Microsoft, Hardware, CEO, CAD, Customer Research, Customer Discovery, Customer Interviews, Customer Journeys, Customer Insights, PDF, Product Requirements Documentation (PRD), Product Research, Competitive Intelligence, Requirements, Product Owner, Product Ownership, Data, Data Mining, Data Analysis, Data Analytics, Data Modeling, Data-driven Decision-making, Data Management, Analysis, Analytics, Research Analysis, UX Analysis, Price Analysis, GAP Analysis, Project Analysis, Decision Analysis, Process Analysis, Technical Design, Technical Leadership, User Flows, User Needs, User Research, User Journeys, User Requirements, Requirements & Specifications, Business Requirements, Design Requirements, Functional Requirements, Startups, Startup Consulting, Early-stage Startups, Digital, Digital Health, Digital Analysis, Digital Services, Digital Product Management, Digital Product Design, Digital Project Management, Discovery Workshops, Product Discovery, Mobile, Mobile Prototypes, Design Research, Graphic Design, Ideation, Ideation Workshops, Leadership, Team Leadership, Leadership Development, Design Leadership, Remote Team Leadership, Thought Leadership, Organizational Leadership, UX Leadership, Hiring, Mentorship & Coaching, Mentorship, Team Mentoring, Agile Sprints, Projects, Project Tracking, Project Delivery, Project Design, Project Management, Software Project Management, Technical Project Management, Mobile/Web Project Management, Marketing, Growth Marketing, Market Research & Analysis, Marketing Analytics, Customer Segmentation, Positioning, Data-driven Marketing, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Forecasting, Financials, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Operations, Operations Management, Business Operations, Technology Trends, Google Sheets, Excel Modeling, Microsoft PowerPoint, Business Systems Analysis, Business Analysis, Growth, Product Launch, New Product Development, Roadmaps, MVP Design, Project Timelines, Feature Prioritization, Technical Requirements, User Stories, Scope Management, Apparel & Accessories, Virtual Reality (VR), Amazon S3 (AWS S3), Amazon EC2, SQL, Startup Funding, Logo Design, UX Design, UI Design, IT Strategy, Branded Content, Brand Activation, Electrical Engineering, MongoDB, Embedded Hardware, Firmware, Embedded Systems, PHP, Python, JavaScript, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Finance, Databases, Big Data, Data Architecture, Data Collection, Human Factors, Human Capital Strategy, Web Analytics, Systems Analysis, Technical Recruiting, Technical Consulting, Technical Research, User Onboarding, User Retention, User Engagement, Software Requirements Specifications (SRS), Digital Marketing, Mobile Web, Mobile UX, Mobile Apps, Mobile Design, Mobile UI, App Design, Test Design, Lean Project Management, B2B, Business to Business (B2B), Manufacturing Product Manager, WordPress, Dashboard Design, Product Coach, End-to-end Implementation (E2E), Website Redesign, User Experience (UX), Data-driven Dashboards, Pricing, Big Data Architecture, Amazon Web Services (AWS)

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