Modernizing Idealist’s Tech Infrastructure

Executive Summary

Idealist, a successful nonprofit founded in 1995, enlisted 10x Management to rebuild its technology, which included a data migration to the cloud and a complete modernization of its website. Originally contracting three 10xers to lead the rebuild, Idealist was so pleased with the 10x experience that they engaged an additional six 10xers over time to add features and grow their platform.

Q&A with Ami Dar, Founder of Idealist

Why did Idealist originally reach out to 10x Management?
Idealist is a 25 year old nonprofit, and by 2016 our tech was outdated. We wanted to rebuild, update, and move our data to the cloud. We knew we needed to re-do our entire product from scratch.

What were Idealist’s requirements?
We had a tech team of about 25 people (engineers, designers, managers) in Portland that was geographically separated from our headquarters in New York. Eventually this setup created an unmanageable divide within our organization. While the people were great, we knew there was room for improvement. We needed to generate a cohesive work culture where our engineers and internal customers were on the same page with the products and services we were rolling out.  

Did the shift work?
It really did. The experiment worked exactly as it hoped in that we were able to improve every aspect of our platform and our process alongside it. 

What was it like working with 10x Management?
10x initially provided two engineers and a UX designer to rebuild the core of Idealist’s platform. While meetings often occurred in NY, much of the work was performed remotely. Since then, we’ve brought on quite a few additional 10xers to add features to the platform. It has been wonderful working with 10x as they are able to provide us with people who can do great work and then go off and do the other things they love. 

What were the results?
The results of working with 10x were amazing. The cloud-based system that the 10x engineers architected and built for us worked very well and radically improved performance. As I understand it, we run at Amazon-level speeds in processing our transactions. We saved a tremendous amount on technology costs working with 10x since our needs were met by a fraction of the number of people. Our systems were modernized and we were able to add new tools and functionality to our technology. One of the biggest enhancements is a testing system which automates quality assurance and does over 300 tests each time we deploy a new version of our tech. This has been a huge plus for our quality control. 

How has working with 10x changed your company?
From our experience, 10x has done an amazing job bringing on some of the best and brightest engineers to its roster. Having access to that talent, without the challenge of going out and finding it ourselves, has been an absolute pleasure for us, and it saved us a lot of time and money.