Fractional CPO
Profile picture of Thomas
Thomas Purnell-Fisher
helps companies win faster by building super-impactful product cultures & teams.
With over twenty years of experience at companies of various sizes and phases, including Netflix and YouTube at critical moments in their history, Thomas has developed an approach that delivers repeatable success. With extensive experience working directly with founders and CEOs, Thomas possesses a rare combination of understanding, empathy, and urgency necessary to be an effective change agent in intense environments.

He is passionate about mapping shortest path from where you are today to selling a product your customers love.
Track Record
Product Launches
Companies Served
Logo: Airtime
This is for...
@ companies that have some existing product-market fit and funding, and must accelerate growth. Start-ups, scale-ups, turnarounds, or any case where achieving a critical value unlock requires a world-class product operation.
A typical client is a startup that has enjoyed early commercial success on the back of what is essentially a prototype and founder chutzpah; and now has raised venture funding to accelerate into a new era of growth.

The next stage demands ‘professionalization’ of product dev and, often, a re-achievement of product-market-fit on a scalable product platform.

To accomplish this Thomas works closely with the founder / CEO, product, eng, marketing, and sales leadership, and of course the board to infuse a product mindset and systems that set the backbone of further value creation.
How it works...
2-6 Quarters
20-80% Time
As a fractional CPO, Thomas assesses a company's product posture and makes adjustments to structurally align future product development with the company's growth objectives. He prioritizes durability and long-term scaling in his approach, and he crushes anti-patterns that undermine the relationship between commercial and product teams.
The System
Product Development Efficiency
Conversion rate at which market insights are gathered and implemented relative to time and resource usage.
If Thomas has a thesis, this is it: efficiency of product development determines how close a business will approach to theoretical max outcome.
The system maximizes PD efficiency by applying principles and practices developed by Thomas during his time as a founder, employee, advisor, and investor. The system is confidently contrarian and grounded in common sense and lived experience.

It provides a structural connection between product development activities and business objectives. It also provides means of evaluating progress over time.
Do you have a reliable way of knowing what your business sees in return for a unit of investment in product development?
Killer sales and marketing are useful, but only so far if your end-to-end product experience fundamentally sucks. Vapor selling loses steam eventually.

Thomas helps clients improve their value proposition with "old-school" product-first Silicon Valley-style value creation, driving customer acquisition, engagement, retention, and upsell on the back of legitimate product value.
Aspects of engagement...
Each project is unique. These are the common areas of contribution and some of the specific things that Thomas can work on to increase PD efficiency.
Modes of Engagement
Team, Culture, Practice
Installation of a product-first way of thinking and working that reliably produces velocity and direction.
Team Building
Assist with finding and interviewing candidates for a permanent Chief Product Officer role. Build a strong product department made up of product managers, designers, and engineers.
Design Thinking
Improve the use of finite engineering resources by leveraging your design team and implementing design thinking across more teams.
Sustained Teams → Sustained Velocity
To avoid burning out your product managers and engineers, prioritize continuity. Don't try to change things all the time. With practice and teamwork, you can achieve near-perfection.
Product Epistemology
Sharpening of the team’s self-awareness around knowledge — knowing what you know and how you know it in order to chart a rational course for further product development with humility and rigor.
Strategy & Roadmap
Destination Statement
Define what success looks like for the product in a year. The statement should be easy to track over time and not change much.
Plan the common sense steps to reach the destination. Figure out the right sequence of launches to create commercial opportunities and respect technical constraints.
Status Assessment
Discover the product by examining the end-to-end user experience with customers. Map user personas and psychology. Determine how close the winning product experience is.
Info Arch & Tooling
Product Information Architecture
A source-of-truth about your product that the whole company actually uses, including your customer personae, their problems, and their desired outcomes. Keeping this information organized combats the natural entropy of information in product development and helps you make better product planning decisions and increase overall PD efficiency.
Product Value Tree
A crisp definition of the layers and causal links between git commits and shareholder value.
Introduction of a set of tools in the product development system including Notion, Figma, Webflow, Loom, Jira, Slack, Airtable Retool, and many others.
Working hand-in-hand with clients on the design and implementation of mobile and web apps.
Product Workshopping
Triage product ideas, interview potential buyers & users, design and implement prototypes in support of validation before green-light
Product Dev Through Launch
Bringing a product idea to life by defining its requirements, building it, preparing it for market, and releasing it.
Software Engineering
Tech Selection and validation. Future-proofing system architecture for evolving product requirements and iteration.
PIA & Value Tree
Buildout of your Notion product information system for your company including user & buyer personae, user stories, user tasks, platform components, features, roadmap, and API structure.
Investor Advisory
Industry expertise consulting, due diligence support, and board advisory.
Product Strategy Assessment
Evaluating the credibility and viability of a company's product strategy.
Product Leadership Assessment
Bringing decades of experience and perspective to evaluate in-place product leaders and candidates.
Due Diligence Support
Conduct a thorough investigation of the product and team to identify potential issues that could impact the success of and investment or acquisition.
Industry Expertise
Sharing rare experience and perspective in streaming entertainment, consumer social, and fintech.