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ITT 202 – How to Scale an Agency with Chad Pytel

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Chad Pytel is a developer, founder and CEO of thoughtbot, a product design development consultancy with six studios across the U.S. and U.K. For over 15 years, thoughtbot has produced top quality web and mobile apps with hundreds of clients from one person startups to Fortune 500 enterprises, universities and nonprofits. Chad co-authored two books, Rails AntiPatterns and Pro Active Record, has spoken at conferences around the world and is the host of the podcast Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots.

On today’s episode, I sit down with Chad to talk about how thoughtbot went from an idea to a small five person Web agency. From there it grew to over a 100 person consultancy. During this conversation, we also discuss how Chad has been able to grow this company over the last decade and what that’s been like to expand and grow across multiple geographic locations.

My big takeaway from today’s conversation is that there are a lot of ways to build the type of business you want to build. But the one thing that’s critical is the vision, what you care about, how you do work, who you want to work with, and the things that will separate you from others because there’s always going to be competition. The thing that’s going to separate you from the competition are your values, your goals and how you organize the work you do and why you do it.

In this broadcast, Chad and I talk about:

  • How Chad founded thoughtbot
  • In what ways Chad measured success versus unsuccess during the first few years of his business
  • How to build the type of business you want to build
  • The importance of minimizing what your company offers to find a niche
  • Why establishing clear specializations for your business attracts ideal customers
  • How value driven decisions create positive customer relations
  • What are the benefits of a team working in the same physical space 
  • What are the pros and cons of a team working on a project remotely 
  • How to measure the trade-offs of having a full staff of W-2 workers 
  • Where does Chad see his business going in the future 

How to Connect with Chad:

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