On Building the Spotlight Team

Typically our blog posts focus on the content of what Spotlight is taking on: making education data accessible, comprehensible, and actionable for educators, students and parents.


In this blog post, though, we want to update you on Spotlight itself, and to wax a bit about our approach to growing this business.


2018 was an exciting one for us. We doubled in size, however you measure it: revenues, employees, square footage of our office, reports delivered…lives impacted.


Ask many entrepreneurs about their foremost challenge and they’ll tell you it’s building the right team. Read one of the countless books about starting a business, or listen to one of the many entrepreneurship podcasts – we’re fans of Masters of Scale – and you’ll hear the aphorisms: Hire slow, fire fast, and Build a team around belief in your mission.


Easier said than done. When you’re a still-small but rapidly-growing business, and you sign a big new client, you need to bring that new team member on – now! And you need them to be able to knock off the technical requirements of that big new project – maybe regardless of how they feel about the company’s mission.


But at Spotlight, we’re not compromising. We’re not finding that we have to. We lead with our mission – the impact we can have on learning, and on lives – and communicate that the technical challenges to working at Spotlight are inherent in pursuing that mission.


Turning data into a story – into millions of personalized stories – is a massive technical and technological challenge; turning that pursuit into a business begets a different kind of challenge. We’re constantly meeting new people who want to work for us because they believe they have the experience and acumen to solve the very challenges we must solve to pursue our vision.


We’re building a diverse, fired-up, and highly skilled team at Spotlight as we head into 2019 – which we believe will be our biggest year yet, however you measure it.