There are many factors that go into building a successful business. Of course, at the core is a fantastic product or service that delivers immense value to a given segment of the consumer or business-to-business population. This is why, for many founders of new business ventures or startups, creating and building the product or core service is what consumes their attention. Even for years and years after the initial product or service gets up and running, it’s not unusual for founders and executives of any company to be almost entirely focused on continuing to build and improve upon their firm’s products.
But product alone is not enough to build a successful company. In fact, as I see it, having a successful business or product, and having a successful company, are often two different things. Founders with a singular technical expertise can build a great product, often on their own. But for founders to be able to build and scale great companies based off their products, it requires a totally different set of skills — and a whole lot of help from other smart people.
We see this play out all the time. Promising young startups with great products fail not because the product isn’t good but because the company built around the product isn’t able to withstand the challenges that come with scale and success. As startups with promising products or services begin to scale — both operationally and, perhaps most important, by adding more workers — the task of building and sustaining a successful company kicks into high gear. And this is where most founders can’t do it alone. They need help figuring out how to navigate the tall task of scaling and building a company; the right structure, values, culture and process for doing things, all while hiring the right people.
This is where Talent Economy is jumping in to help, with a new event series targeted to help high-growth founders and executives begin to think deeply about the serious challenges that come with building a successful company — all while continuing to improve and scale their products or services.
This fall Talent Economy will debut “Talent10x: Growth Hacks for Recruiting, Managing and Developing High Performance Talent,” with a pilot run in Chicago on September 6 at TechNexus in the famed Civic Opera Building.
Talent10x aims to attract about 100-130 local high-growth founders, CEOs, talent and other business executives and employees for an afternoon workshop featuring some of the top high-growth company-building minds in the area. From roughly 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., attendees will hear from six talent leaders of some of Chicago’s successful high-growth companies, including Outcome Health, Narrative Science, Sprout Social, Envoy, Jellyvision and more. You can view our full agenda and speaker lineup here.
These speakers will deliver 15-20 minute talks on topics such as recruiting, culture training and building, employer brand, and managing change through the company’s growth and continued evolution. The event will also feature a CEO keynote Q&A with Jason Weingarten, the co-founder and CEO of Yello, a Chicago-based enterprise IT startup that recently raised $31 million in Series C financing from venture capital investors including JMI Equity and First Analysis Corp.
And, of course, any good get-together isn’t complete without a happy hour of food, beverages and the chance to network with fellow attendees and speakers.
So if you’re a high-growth company founder, CEO, executive or investor, this event is for you. If you’re a founder in a startup still in the incubation stage, this is a great opportunity to come learn and network with those who came before you. The sooner you’re able to learn the value and insights required to build a great company to go along with a great product, the better.
Finally, if you’re an executive or talent leader in the Fortune 500 community, Talent10x will serve as a great window into how young and growing companies are approaching their organization-building challenge — a view valuable to you as you continue to reinvent how your large company operates and is organized as changes to the workforce continue to evolve over time.
I challenge you, founders and executives, to spend a half-day with us as we try to help you along your journey. You’ve already build a great product, now come learn how to build a great company.
Frank Kalman is Talent Economy’s managing editor. To comment, email firstname.lastname@example.org.