Exploiting the Talent Pool

7741811024_d40959e1cc

Yesterday I wrote that it takes a lot of effort to keep our Ljubljana and New York offices in sync. I'm sure it will be interesting to know how this setup came about in the first place. Zemanta started in Slovenia five years ago, but went international almost immediately. We have spent the first two years of our existence looking for a native business model. Once we have decided that our business model will be about Zemanta becoming a content distribution network, we quickly figured out that most of our clients would be coming from Madison Avenue in New York. It takes a lot of knowledge and insight to work with such clients, so it was only natural to set sales in New York since no other place in the world has enough experienced and capable sales people to work with big marketing agencies and marketing departments of big corporations.

We have kept product development, research, and engineering in Ljubljana. Probably the main reason for such a decision was a recent renaissance of New York's technology sector, which makes it very hard and expensive to hire good engineers and product developers in New York. While it would definitely be beneficial to keep our research and development close to our sales, marketing, and business development, keeping engineering in Slovenia let us tap the large talent pool of Central Europe and also let us keep costs of R&D much lower.