Web and AI Application Development

Who Is Circinaut?

Circinaut is a Web and AI application development and technical advising agency. It is the consulting service of Rian Schmidt.

What I Do

I primarily build web apps, but I also do a bit of consulting, advisory, and due diligence work. Typical engagements are zero-to-one type projects where I help my clients get their product off the ground and provide ongoing support and maintenance for those projects if needed. Think of me as a "fractional CTO".

Why Hire Me?

You want to deal with an experienced, business and technical expert who has decades of expertience with technical development projects of all sizes. You need help figuring out what to ask about technology. You need a technical advisor who can also make things happen.

Who Should Hire Me?

Typically, I work with smaller companies or departments in larger companies that do not have the resources to hire full-time technical resources, but that still need the whole range of technical expertise, from product design to implementation and maintenance. Engagements are often long-term, part-time partnerships-- typically, a project, followed by on-going advising and support.

Who Should Not Hire Me?

If you know exactly what you need, and you're just looking for someone to code it, I'm probably not the right choice. There are cheaper options for that.

If you need full-time access to a technical resource, I'm probably not the right choice. I'm unable to provide full-time service to any one client.

Read Rian's latest article:

Rian Schmidt, Principal:

Rian Schmidt has held Head of Engineering and CTO roles in companies ranging from giants like Amazon’s Zappos to small venture-backed and bootstrapped start-ups.

He now serves as a full-time Chief Technology Officer and part-time freelance technical consultant.

Rian holds an MBA from Stanford University, a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota and the CISSP certification from ISC2.

He lives in Portland, Oregon with his family, his two dogs, and a flock of chickens. Yeah, 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 we won’t exceed without the client’s explicit approval. This is typically an arrangement for an initial development project, which may then convert to an on-going retainer or hourly relationship.

AI Application Development

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.

Web Application Development and Management

Data-driven, cloud-native web application development on your platform or ours. We 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.

Web Application Development and Management