Sygnyl Project Summary
Syngyl is a mobile-assisted immersive augmented reality and participatory arts adventure set to debut in the San Francisco Bay Area. A little bit escape room and a little bit Pokemon Go, Sygnyl is comparable to a mixed reality collectible card game played out on the streets of your local neighborhood. We overlay a fictional world on top of your local environment, then ask you to embark upon on physical adventures to discover hidden treasures and insights.
As interim COO of this remote team of 5 (supported by several contractors), my responsibilities include strategy, operations, project management, product development, marketing, legal, finance, business development, hiring, payroll, events, and everything else that is not directly managed by our creative director, field manager, lead designer, or engineer.
In this role, I helped the team turn an idea into a product, then launch and test two prototype experiences (each containing several prototypes of their own) in Oakland and San Francisco. In addition to guidance and support of our internal resources and operations in search of product-market fit, I embodied the lean-startup ethos in order to extend our budget as well as our exploration and discovery runway.
Once the prototype products and experiences were defined, I researched and analyzed potential no-code software solutions to facilitate user testing while reducing costs. I then embarked on a self-guided journey of learning, design, and implementation to build a prototype account and progression system powered by a combination of Webflow, Mailchimp, Typeform, Slack, CozyCal, Eventbrite, Google Sheets, and Google Analytics, then automated and personalized the entire user experience through a combination of direct integrations, Zapier, query strings, merge tags, and a few bits of code I found on the internet.
When we later added SMS to a mixed reality experience that already included a website, mobile app, collectible cards, books, audio, email, retail partnerships, scheduled events, and a variety of street installations, I added Twilio to our no-code stack and built a two-way SMS contact center in Slack, delivering feature requirements that were not yet available in off-the-shelf SMS software.
This scrappy, DIY approach combined with a multi-faceted skill set (i.e. product strategy, no-code development, writing contracts, accounting, negotiations, etc.) and a personal desire to learn and solve problems saved Sygnyl hundreds of thousands of dollars in development costs (-$163k and -$122k in the forecasted alpha and beta budgets, respectively).
A few other notable achievements:
- Designed user surveys complete with branching paths and a friend invitation mechanic (only if primed) that resulted in a 70% invitation rate among participants
- Recruited, hired, and negotiated contracts with teammates and contractors
- Developed internal project management processes, reports (WBRs), and tracking templates
- Re-wrote the Sygnyl NDA, automated the previously manual NDA process, then successfully enforced the NDA in an infringement dispute with a major television network
- Developed and issued monthly/quarterly/annual financial statements
- Created an event and e-mail campaign to sell out a local screening of In Bright Axiom
// Appendix A - Entity Card Set A
// Appendix B - SYGNYL Heroes on Instagram
// Appendix C - The Tome You Hold Landing Page
// Appendix D - The Tome You Hold
// Appendix E - Example Codicil
// Appendix F - The Mural