The 10x Story
Here's your Ari Gold.
Like a Hollywood agency, we hand-pick the world's best talent and manage them throughout their careers.
The key difference is our clientele: instead of A-list actors, 10x represents the world's best freelance programmers and other technology professionals.
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The 10x community -- made up of the world's best freelancers -- is constantly growing.
"Normally it takes months to find and hire a really good engineer. 10x Management has allowed us to bring on really strong engineers at a moment's notice. The 10x engineers we have worked with have been able to understand and complete a project quickly, and write code that will require minimal maintenance in the future."Richard Price - Academia.edu
"We turned to 10x when a coder let us down at the last minute. Altay and his team lined us up with someone who was very sharp, a great communicator and seemingly never slept. Everything worked to plan, which got us out of a big hole. Highly recommended!"Jim Giles - MATTER
"Working with 10x was an incredible experience. I started with a basic idea and 10x gave me the brilliant team to bring this idea to life. The design was creative, the programming efficient and cost-effective, the process absolutely smooth. My feedback and thoughts were always respected and executed perfectly. Not only was the professionalism absolutely top-notch, but I came away with a better idea than I started with, and the best product I could hope for."Tracy Dennis - Associate Professor, Hunter College, The City University of New York
"Barron Cuadro is a stone-cold, one-stop, webmaking badass. We brought him on for a last-minute project that required some crack coding and design work and he knocked it out of the park. The guy is unbelievably responsive, has a solid design eye, and is nimble enough to adjust to whatever unexpected changes might come your project's way. Hire this dude."Tim Hwang - Mozilla
"10x rapidly found me an amazing designer who has exceeded expectations in both skill and work ethic. They have a true eye for talent and are highly adept at matching skills and personalities to each project."Alyse Speyer - NimbleCommerce
"Sam Kaufman is exceptionally smart and talented. He was the technical lead for our iOS application and Britely. He used his very broad and deep knowledge of iOS to design and code a great-looking app. He also helped get our other engineers up to speed on iOS and contribute to the application so they could maintain it when he left."Hamilton Hitchings - Britely.com
"Working with 10x has been the perfect blend of the freedom of freelance and the dependability of regular employment. Michael and Altay have been awesome about ensuring that my pipeline stays full of interesting and enjoyable work on my terms. I'd highly recommend 10x to anyone looking to take their freelance career to the next level."Ryan Waggoner - iOS developer
"I'm so glad to be a part of 10x. No matter the nature of the project, from mural design to iPhone app design, the management team at 10x makes sure everything runs smoothly. I get to enjoy the freedom of being a freelancer, plus the support of the 10x team. I'm confident that the business aspect of each project will be handled with great professionalism, which allows me to focus on doing great work."Shawn Feeney - Designer, Illustrator, Fruit and Vegetable Carver
"10x Management has transformed my freelance graphic design career by becoming part of my team - my agent and sidekick. 10x helps me negotiate bigger and better gigs with clients at the top of my dream list, while proudly representing me as a great designer. I trust their intuition and process with the clients and projects I bring their way - and have loved the clients and work they have brought to me. Grand slam for freelancers who want to skip the busywork! Thanks, 10x."Sara Argue - Designer, Illustrator
In 1993, Rishon Blumberg graduated from the Wharton School of Business with a degree in Entrepreneurial Management and entered the entertainment industry. His career began in concert promotion, first at Nederlander Concerts, then at Delsener/Slater Enterprises (now Live Nation). After leaving the concert world, Rishon co-founded Brick Wall Management, an entertainment management and consulting firm representing musicians, producers, songwriters, and filmmakers, with partner Michael Solomon.
At Brick Wall, Rishon has also helped produce several music films and TV specials for the firm's clients, including John Mayer's Any Given Thursday (certified gold), Operatic Heat, and Remember Me for PBS. Brick Wall client William Fitzsimmons' documentary, Finding Home, produced in early 2010, garnered two awards at the LA International Film Festival, including Best Documentary Short.
With an ever-growing passion for technology, Rishon and Michael co-founded Setlistics in 2009. Setlistics develops iPhone apps centered around music, including the first-ever app for Bruce Springsteen fans. The company is currently developing additional apps for multiple platforms, and has also filed a patent for a consumer electronics product. In 2012, identifying a need for the representation of technologists, Rishon and Michael teamed up with Altay Guvench to form 10x Management, a talent agency for technology professionals.
Rishon also helps to administer The Kristen Ann Carr Fund for cancer research, and serves on the advisory board of Musicians On Call. Rishon also spent two long but fruitful years coaching his oldest son's little league team, arguably his greatest achievement to date.
Altay Guvench graduated from Harvard University in 2003 with a degree in Biology (with a focus on neuroscience, under the Mind/Brain/Behavior program). After college, Altay (pronounced "I'll tie my shoe") explored a number of career paths, including business development and professional musician -- he's toured with the Indigo Girls and worked as a recording engineer/producer at Harvard's Quad Sound Studios -- but soon taught himself to program and got sucked into the exciting world of startups.
Altay is a two-time alum of Y Combinator, the most prestigious startup accelerator in Silicon Valley. Through Y Combinator and with additional investment from SK Telecom Ventures and a number of angel investors, he founded and built MightyQuiz.com, an online user-generated trivia game, and served as consultant and advisor to Scoopler Inc.’s JustSpotted.com (acquired by Google in 2011).
As a full-stack Ruby on Rails developer, Altay has extensive freelance programming experience on projects ranging from consumer internet, to app development, to renewable energy, to conservation, to biotech... with a penchant for projects that use web technologies to help improve the quality of life.
In 2011, a mutual musician friend introduced Altay to Michael and Rishon at Brick Wall Management, and he soon realized that many of the services Brick Wall provided to musicians would also be of use to freelance programmers like himself. So he hired Michael and Rishon to manage his programming career. Brick Wall's representation of Altay proved to be so successful that they partnered to build 10x Management, bringing the talent agency model to the tech industry.
Michael Solomon began his career in the entertainment industry touring with Bruce Springsteen in Europe, and working at Sony Music International and Epic Records International. In 1995, after three years in the major label system, Michael's entrepreneurial spirit prevailed and he co-founded Brick Wall Management, an artist management and entertainment consulting firm, with childhood friend Rishon Blumberg.
Over the years, at Brick Wall Management, Michael and Rishon have managed, marketed, and developed many artists' careers. With Michael McDonald of Mick Management, they co-managed John Mayer from the release of his first album to multiple Grammy wins, sold-out arena tours, and eight million worldwide album sales. In addition to John Mayer, Brick Wall's diverse client roster (past and present) includes such artists as Citizen Cope, Martin Sexton, Marc Broussard, Cherry Poppin' Daddies, Vanessa Carlton, Charlie Mars, Ari Hest, The Clarks, The Spring Standards, and William Fitzsimmons, to name a few.
At Brick Wall, Michael has also produced several music films and TV specials for Brick Wall's artists including John Mayer's Any Given Thursday (certified gold), Operatic Heat and Remember Me for PBS. The documentary about Brick Wall client William Fitzsimmons, produced in early 2010, garnered two awards at the LA International Film Festival, including Best Documentary Short.
Michael's understanding of artist management and marketing has led to multiple speaking engagements at music events such as SXSW and CMJ, and invitations to teach music and philanthropy at NYU. In 2007, Brick Wall expanded its roster to include award-winning and chart-topping producers and directors. Entertainment consulting clients include Young & Rubicam, The Rock Boat, Jon Landau Management, Bruce Springsteen, Shania Twain, Natalie Merchant, Miramax, National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS), Human, The Clive Davis School of Recorded Music at NYU, and Starpolish, among others.
Michael continuously lends his business acumen and music industry connections to the nonprofit sector, and was featured in the top-selling philanthropy book, The Art of Giving (2010). Brick Wall Management also serves as the pro-bono administrator for The Kristen Ann Carr Fund (KACF), a nonprofit founded in 1992 to find a treatment and cure for sarcoma and improve the lives of all cancer patients. Michael has close personal ties to the KACF, as it was founded after his girlfriend of four years, Kristen Ann Carr, lost her battle with sarcoma.
The KACF was also the catalyst and inspiration for Musicians On Call, a nonprofit that Michael co-founded in 1999. Through its chapters in New York, Nashville, Philadelphia, Miami, Washington DC, and Los Angeles, Musicians On Call brings live music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities. Since its inception, volunteer musicians have performed for more than a quarter million people.
In 2012, Michael joined the board of tech startup Charitable Checkout, and teamed up with Altay Guvench and Rishon Blumberg to cofound 10x Management, bringing his deep knowledge of talent management to the technology industry.
Here's your Ari Gold.
The concept of 10x Management emerged from the unlikely connection of a freelance web developer to two long-time music managers.
As Altay explains it, "Michael and Rishon suspected that their business model could apply to my industry, and I thought they might be on to something. I was freelancing at the time, so I became the guinea pig: they took over all my negotiations, contracts, invoicing, collections, etc., while I focused solely on code."
"Overnight, I stopped worrying about the uncomfortable conversations and mountain of paperwork that I had assumed were necessary evils of a freelance lifestyle. Plus, career advice, support, and mentorship was always a phone call away. Needless to say, it was great. More and more of my friends started asking me how they could get in on this, so I told Michael and Rishon that I didn't want to be their client any more. I wanted to be their partner."
And, thus, 10x Management was born.
For Michael and Rishon, applying their entertainment industry experience to tech professionals was a natural progression.
"Our roles at 10x closely resemble the service we provide within the entertainment world: we strategize the big-picture goals and oversee the many day-to-day details necessary to reach them," says Michael. "We're excited to help tech professionals shape and grow their careers, as we have with artists for the past 18 years."
Rishon adds, "Our criteria for signing new clients is central to the 10x philosophy. We set a high bar, and screen not just for technical prowess -- that's a given -- but also for product development expertise and stellar communication skills. The companies that hire our clients have come to trust our standards and our reputation for representing the smartest, quickest, and most innovative minds in technology."
10x Management now represents dozens of freelance professionals working in all aspects of the tech industry: from web and mobile development across multiple platforms, to UX and visual design, to more specialized skills like SEO and SEM, data science and visualization, and even bioinformatics. For larger projects, 10x's expert project managers -- trained at Apple, Google, and Microsoft -- can guide a project from idea to launch, bringing in other members of the 10x community as needed.
Collectively, the "10x'ers" hold degrees from top schools including Harvard, Yale, Stanford, MIT, and RISD, and have worked with a number of high-profile organizations including Microsoft, Intel, Warner Brothers, Industrial Light and Magic (Lucasfilm), the World Bank, and the aforementioned Apple and Google.
Altay's deep understanding of technology, the startup community, and all things digital blends perfectly with Michael and Rishon's three decades of career management experience. This partnership puts 10x Management at the forefront of a new kind of business -- one that marries a tried-and-true management model with a cutting-edge field -- and will undoubtedly build and sustain many successful technology careers while simultaneously raising the standard of innovation in organizations around the world.