Very Little Gravitas

We helped found the California Child Welfare Digital Service, California's first Digital Service, and California's State government transform digital delivery.

Now we're working with others to do the same.

You don't want strategy, but you need it. Here's why.

You want a product director or product manager. Or a design director. Or a program manager. You don't want "strategy".

Nope. You need a strategist, too. Because we solve the problems you have, and get you the answers you need.

We're your backup for leading and your backup for doing.

We make plans clear, easy to read and great at persuading.

We ask the dumb questions when nobody else can or will.

We help turn bad ideas and directions into great ones. We make what's important actually important, what everyone wants to do, actually get done.

We extricate from ruts, we bring down walls.

If you're in an IT prison, we run a jailbreak and get you started solving business problems.

Learn more about why you need strategy.

How do we do all of this? We do it with very little gravitas. We don't bullshit. We don't hide things. We tell you the truth, but we don't blame. To move forward, you need to know where you really are.

If this sounds like what you need, if this sounds the slightest bit intriguing, transgressive or just on the right side of acceptable blow-shit-up, then

An advice column?

Hi Questions and Answers,

I've heard you're running an advice column in the style of a relationship advice or modern manners column, but for anonymous questions about government and technology. Is this true?


Intrigued and trapped in a Microsoft Teams Channel

Dear Intrigued and trapped in a Microsoft Teams Channel,

Yes, it's true, we do. We run a regular advice column in Dan's usual, irreverent and candid tone of voice.

You can tell your friends to send a question by emailing They might want to use a free anonymous email service like Protonmail.

We also love to have guests take part in answering questions; if you'd like to put yourself forward, drop us a line at the same address.

Vision 2023

The State of California's Strategic Technology Plan

In January 2021, we delivered Vision 2023, California's Statewide Strategic Technology Plan with our client, Department of Technology.

Over the 6 months of preparing Vision 2023, our work included:

We're proud to publish with the Department of Technology our report of what we learned from our user research, including quotes, survey results and the themes that emerged.

You can also read Vision 2023 as a PDF.

Coverage of Vision 2023:

Digital transformation with the State of California

California Child Welfare Digital Service

In 2015, our principal's work with Code for America led to California's Health and Human Services Agency, Department for Social Services, Office of Systems Integration, Government Operations Agency and Department of Technology working together to found the Child Welfare Digital Service.

Read more

Government Operations Agency and Department of Technology

Our work has helped California make sure government services meets user needs. Our work included:

Read more

Health and Human Services Agency and Office of Systems Integration

Our work with CHHSA and OSI has included:

The Administration for Children and Families

We worked with the Federal Administration for Children and Families to help states:

Who is Very Little Gravitas?

Very Little Gravitas is:

Dan Hon, Principal

Dan Hon is the former Editorial Director for Code for America, where he led the program to modernize California's procurement of a new child welfare technology system. Dan was most recently featured in the MIT Technology Review article Why is it so hard to build government technology?

Over the last 15 years, Dan's work has focussed on how the internet has changed publishing, entertainment, advertising and health.

Nora Ryan, Business Manager

Nora works with organizations in tech, gaming, and media and partners with exceptionally creative boutique firms to up their strategic planning, product development, project management, fiscal oversight, negotiations, client management, and conflict resolution.

We've recently worked with:

... and our previous collaborators have included:

If you think we might be able to help you, drop us a line at