Our key differentiators
Experience - Proven in-market expertise spanning business, experience design and IT services.
Economics - Outcome-focused. Fixed price, fixed duration projects.
Neutrality - Your interests first. No “partnerships” or referral fees. Our only source of revenue is our own work.
The People of Coherent Ways
Oscar Aird, President & Founder
Oscar’s journey into delivering human-centric technology began early in life with a Commodore 64, a 300 baud modem, a few hundred floppy disks, a Brooklyn Public Library card, and a decent public school education. He acts in service of others from a desire and ability to learn, transform and apply information in complex situations (often “just in time”). Additionally, he is driven by an overdeveloped sense of empathy towards people who might not “get the tech”, and often advocates on their behalf when decisions affect the end user’s experience. Oscar is also charming, and his mother says he’s very handsome.
Martin Focazio, CEO & Founder
Transforming content, commerce and community literally from the start of the digital revolution, Martin has worked with the world's leading brands to envision, validate, and activate entirely new forms of business, transform ways of working and refactor old businesses into modern digital enterprises. Comfortable in the worlds of business, design and technology, he makes the important connections between the potential and the practical, knowing what's possible in five years, but important to do Monday morning to make it real. An accomplished presenter and trainer, his passion is helping others understand and use new knowledge to the betterment of everyone. He formed Coherent Ways with Oscar Aird in 2020 to transform this passion into a purpose-driven business.
Sharan Sklar, EVP & Founder
Sharan Sklar is a management consultant with a strong track record building systems and strategies that grow businesses. In particular, Sharan works with companies integrating and making innovative use of technology, from research and assessment to planning and implementation. Most recently, she worked with the City of Houston to develop business processes and the data management system needed for the distribution of Hurricane Harvey Relief; launched and headed OVEE, public television’s real time social television platform; and led the re-development of operational and digital strategies for the San Francisco Film Festival. Past clients include Tribeca Film Institute, TED Conferences, New York State Council on the Arts, SAG/AFTRA, POV/American Documentary, and Games for Change.
At the core: Our Values.
Everyone at Coherent Ways has worked 20+ years in various roles conceiving, designing, building and deploying digital products, content, services and experiences at every scale and on every device.
We've worked at IT services firms, digital agencies, and software companies. We know how things work and we know what's broken. We know that the traditional business models of technology and design consultancies are not geared towards empowering and uplifting clients, only giving them the latest shiny gizmo with service contracts and perpetual upgrades. After a lot of drama, time and money, all too often, most of the technologies our clients have put in place are not being used well at all.
We knew there needed to be a different, values-based and client-positive approach.
At Coherent Ways, we want to help break the never-ending dependency on the so-called "rare" skills, closed systems, and proprietary knowledge of these firms. We want our clients to learn and grow technology and experience design skills as a core competency so they can treat technology as their strategic advantage, not just a cost.
Our Core Values
At the beginning, co-founders Oscar Aird and Martin Focazio developed a core set of values; these are the essence of how Coherent Ways thinks and works.
Focus on the purpose of the organization, not the technology.
A fire truck does not put out fires. Firefighters do. This seems obvious, but when it comes to digital technology, the focus seems to be on the new web site, the new eCommerce platform, the new CRM tool and so on. So when we put "Be Thoughtful" a the top of our values list, we mean literally ignoring the technology and thinking about the purpose of the organization and what it does.
Make technology serve the needs of people.
Ask a doctor about Electronic Health Records and you'll almost universally get a sad sigh - this and other similar technology reduces humans to "users" and "use-cases," not people with things to do. We rigorously defend humanity from the idiocy of bad technology experiences and insist that technology is supposed to help people, not vice versa.
Take the magic out of technology.
There are people who have never driven a car but they could learn at any time. To drive, they don't need to know how to rebuild the engine, but they do need to know the fundamentals of vehicles and the rules of the road. Technology is no different - and people can learn to "drive" technology in the same way they can learn to drive a vehicle; it isn't magic, it's just a mix of skills and knowledge. We teach skills and transfer knowledge so there's no magic in how technology can best work for people and organizations.
Work only for the benefit of our clients.
Kim Kardashian and other social media "influencers" have a lot in common with most technology service providers. They both extol the benefits of whatever they are being paid to talk about - from laxative teas to cloud platforms. We don't form these kind of partnerships; we can't let any economic incentive bias our recommendations to add or remove technology. Our only source of revenue is our work.