How to Build Boston's Next Anchor Company [Dec. 15, 2015]

Submitted on
Thursday, January 14, 2016

By Kyle Alspach

Plenty of entrepreneurs start companies with the goal of building something small, and then selling. Acquia, which now has 720 employees, and Localytics, which employs 250, were clearly never those types of companies. So it’s no coincidence that they're two of Boston’s best candidates for becoming our next “anchor” companies—firms that grow to large scale, stay independent over the long term, hire people in droves and stimulate the formation of new startups. Acquia CEO Tom Erickson recalled an early conversation he had with company co-founder and CTO Dries Buytaert: “He said to me, ‘I want to build a company that is the only company I ever work in.’”

I’ve spoken with Erickson and Localytics co-founder/CEO Raj Aggarwal in recent weeks to find out how they’ve gotten gone about building for the long term even when they were still very much in startup mode. As Boston continues to ponder whether our companies aren't achieving their full potential by selling out too early—as suggested by a recent MIT study—their insights should be of use to many in the tech community here.


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