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Tackling the talent conundrum

The bottleneck with developing new companies and innovative technology used to be funding. These days, it's talent.

Altay Guvench, partner and co-founder at 10x Management, gave iMedia Agency Summit attendees a taste of what's to come.

Guvench's company, 10x Management, for example, has created a new way for companies to find qualified talent. It's less like a headhunter and more like a talent agency.

"We work for the talent," Guvench noted. "Our mission is to optimize the happiness."

Part of what Guvench's company does is help its pool of freelancers achieve the growing desire for work/life balance. Some of them want to take over the world, but sost of them just want the freedom. They want the ability to work from home. "They work for three months, and then take a month off to travel," Guvench explained.

His company is seeing that there's a sweet spot where people like to work 20-30 hours a week. Some of them spend a portion of their days working for Guvench's clients, and then focus on their own businesses on the side. "It's a way to de-risk entrepreneurship," he explained.

Although 10x Management's talent includes Ivy League pedigrees, quite a few of them come from non-traditional backgrounds. Guvench told the story of one of their freelancers, who unbeknownst to his parents, dropped out of high school to program. By the time his parents found out he had dropped out, he was making more than both his parents combined.

While his company focuses mainly on programmers and developers, Guvench is seeing firsthand where marketing is headed. Based on talent demands, mobile is growing. And companies are increasingly excited and focusing on innovation in the wearables category, similar to the same way they felt about smart phones.

Many companies are still looking for the traditional, full-time talent. However, there's are definite benefits to focusing on freelancers. "It's a very effective way for companies to build businesses," Guvench said.

He also explained the evolution of a similarly strapped workforce. Old Hollywood used to be structured with studio monopolies. Then the laws changed and talent was allowed to sign with talent agencies instead of being tied to one studio. This also gave studios access to a pool of on-demand talent, enabling them to create whatever films they wanted instead of limited to resources on contract.

Guvench sees this change in the tech industry's workforce, with opportunities for online marketers, too.

Nanette is iMedia Communications' executive editor.   In addition to her roles at iMedia, Nanette has served as a specialist in content marketing, editorial content, public relations and social media for various clients. She's contributed to...

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