Your Guy You Call About The Technology Stuff

Custom Technical Solutions and Advising for Small and Medium Businesses and Teams


I'm Rian

Circinaut-- named after the iconic Pacific Northwest Vine Maple (Acer Circinatum) tree-- is a boutique technology consulting firm. Working with Circinaut is working with me. You will not find yourself being introduced to a "partner agency" or "an associate" to handle your engagement. I typically work with a small number of clients at a time to ensure that I can provide the highest level of service and attention to each client.

In addition to my part-time consulting work, I serve as the full-time Chief Technology Officer at Portland's largest independent ad agency, where I lead all technology efforts across IT, products, and internal development. Read my article "Don't you HAVE a job?" to learn more about why I do what I do.

I've held hands-on tech leadership roles in companies ranging from giants like Amazon’s Zappos to small venture-backed and bootstrapped start-ups. I also hold an MBA from Stanford University, a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota and the CISSP certification from ISC2.

I live in Portland, Oregon with my family, my two dogs, a flock of chickens, and a jar of kombucha on the counter. Classic Portland.

How I Work

Hourly or Retainer

My most common relationship is on-going and based on an hourly rate or monthly retainer. Retainers can be quoted at a discount to on-demand hourly service and allow me to reserve time to provide guaranteed access when needed.

Fixed Price Projects

Given a clear deliverable, I can quote a fixed price that I won’t exceed without your explicit approval. This is typically an arrangement for an initial development project, which may then convert to an on-going retainer or hourly relationship.

Technical Advising / Fractional CTO

Just look at how happy these models are! That could be you.

Technical Advising / Fractional CTO

My relationships with my clients are long-term and based on trust. I work with you to understand your business and your goals, and then help you determine the best way to use technology to achieve them. Most importantly, I am unflinchingly (but politely!) honest about my opinions and recommendations.

Sample Engagements

Ongoing engagement-based advising for a financial marketing team to optimize and enhance their use of technology to attract and retain clients.

Long-term retained relationship with a legal industry marketing team to monitor results, enhance applications, and act as the technology checkpoint for 3rd party relationships.

AI Application Development

I have built real-world AI applications that are easy to use and provide real value. I can help you determine if AI is really right for your business, and if so, how to best implement it.

Sample Engagements

Develop a corporate Slack chatbot to utilize Natural Language Processing to efficiently provide information to employees, saving hours of accumlated time answering common questions.

Create a questionnaire to determine fine gardening client preferences, which are then fed to ChatGPT to generate a custom, AI-generated gardening plan for the client and to inform the consultant.

AI Application Development

This guy is pretending to do AI stuff. Intense!

Web Application Development and Management

"OMG, look at all the profit, Karen!"

Web Application Development and Management

Data-driven, cloud-native web application development. I build or rescue your project and then work with you as a technical advisor to develop a plan to keep it operating at peak effectiveness.

Sample Engagements

Long-term contract CTO for an immigration law firm to completely redesign a travel assessment application from its unmanageable prototype to a modern, API-driven web and mobile application, work with clients, and manage staff.

Create a dynamic, CMS-based questionnaire for a financial services client to help them guide their own clients in assessing and improving their business practices. The system calculates industry benchmarks and scores while allowing for the client to adjust questions and weightings over time.