top of page

Product & Strategy Consulting from a Chief Product Officer, founder, and venture partner

Partnering with founders, CEOs, and product leaders since 2010 to build businesses that make a difference.


About Yue

Yue Zhao is a coach, advisor, and published author. She was formerly the Chief Product and Technology Officer at Fuzzy Pet Health, Product Management lead at Instagram and Meta, and Head of Product, Professionals at Thumbtack. Yue is also an venture partner with LifeX Ventures. 

Yue is passionate about supporting founders in building the best product and product team. She jumps in when founders inevitably get those "hair on fire" moments in product development where there are too many priorities, not enough urgency, and conflict between engineers, designers, and PMs. 


Yue is from the Bay Area and China and enjoys pottery, wine, and travel. 

Target Company Profile

  • Stage: 50-500 people, Seed to Series B

  • Funding: Venture Backed

  • Working Style: Remote or Hybrid

  • Industry: Marketplaces, Social, Creator Economy, Healthcare, FemTech, Pet Health, Remote Work, AI tech

  • Location: North America or Europe

Common Founder Dilemmas

What I can solve and check off your to-do list

Strategy & Prioritization

"Our roadmap is a laundry list of items. We don't have a strong framework and we're not making the best use of dev time."

"Our roadmap reads disjointed and feels like we're taking a scattered approach. How do I fix this?"

Freemium or Subscription?

"My investors want me to go freemium but I think subscription is best. Should we run more pricing tests? Is Free trial an option?"

Build New PLG Channels

"Our early growth campaigns are hitting their caps. How do I kick off the next phase of growth?"

"I need to build out referrals, SEO, and Community. But I don't have the resources."

Leverage AI effectively

"We know we need to get ahead on AI but we're behind. I need someone to figure out and prioritize where we should invest. "

Progress towards fundraising

"I've only got 6 months left before I need to show progress to raise again. Where do I focus my product and engineering resources to ensure the best round?"

Scale the Team

"I have a more junior PM on my team and I don't have time to coach them."

"I need to scale my product and engineering teams with my latest round of funding but I don't have a VP product yet. I want to take the time to hire the right person."

By stepping into a coaching or fractional operator role, I help boost the teams' productivity and focus for short time periods (e.g. pre-raise, pre-launch) and help CEOs create a sense of urgency on their teams.

I also allow cash-constrained companies to bring on the expertise and credibility of a Chief Product & Technology Officer, Entrepreneur, and Venture Capitalist that they otherwise would not be able to afford. 

Example Engagements

Focus, Create Urgency, Execute

Help early stage startups focus their constrained and expensive product/engineering/design resources on the most impactful work towards their next milestone. Translate product and business strategy into realistic, prioritized roadmap items the team is bought in on. Establish planning and review cycles based on size of team. 

My superpower is helping companies hone in on the critical problem to solve, and solve it well. I've successfully done this myself at Thumbtack, Instagram, and Fuzzy Pet Health, and have helped multiple startups in simplifying and focusing their strategy to achieve impact quickly.

Uplevel Your Product or Business Leaders

Partner with or coach Directors, early PMs, or Heads of product to unlock next level of impact at the company. We work on topics such as: ​

  • building longer-term vision and strategy

  • gaining alignment from an increasing number of stakeholders

  • instilling a sense of urgency

  • improving cross-functional collaboration

  • learning how to manage managers

  • improving the quality of the product

I've coached hundreds of clients. Learn more here:

Fundraising Support

Develop pitch strategy and pitch materials to resonate with top investors.  Work with founders on their narrative and business case.  Drive fit and finish for decks and demos. Help founders network with the right VCs. Where needed, supplement the team for early companies. 

Get guidance from an experienced investor and entrepreneur who has been successful on both sides. 

Hiring & Scaling Team & Org

Help develop and scale the EPD organization, including hiring, process, culture, performance reviews, leveling, etc.

Set your teams up for success with guidance from an experienced leader with expertise building highly efficient, goal-oriented, and autonomous teams like those found at Google and Meta. 

Intro Call

Interested? To see if there's a fit for us to work together, please schedule a 20-minute intro call.

Engagement Format

Each engagement is different based on the needs of the company. The most common format is a 3- or 6-month retainer for a minimum number of hours per month.

The reason I work on a retainer basis is that I do work often above the minimum to make sure that strategies turn into execution plans, new processes are actually adopted and successful, and coachees have a resource they can contact any time with questions.

I do not usually charge per hour or on a project basis unless for unique circumstances. 

bottom of page