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INC. 5000 APPLICANT OF THE WEEK

Stockpiling Tech Stars: Drupal Connect

Drupal Connect's founder John Florez drives the fast growth of his company by stacking his team with top tier talent, making his Drupal development company eligible for the Inc. 5000.

John Florez, founder and CEO of Drupal Connect with Lisa Lohrum, Internal Project Management and Sales, Jessica Marland, Client Services Coordinator, Julie Woodside, Office Assistant, Nicole Landry (tall in back) Executive Assistant, Katelyn Cushman, Operations Manager

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As we process applications for the 2012 Inc. 500|5000, we thought it would be worthwhile to shine a spotlight on some of the companies that are vying to appear on our ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States. One that caught our eye was Drupal Connect, in Newport, R.I.

John Florez had been running his San Francisco-based technical recruiting company for six years, when in 2009, Florez-;like so many others-;saw his company’s growth come to a halt in the recession. He took a step back, taking time to find a space-;that despite the struggling economy-;was still growing. 

With a new focus and a great deal of research, Florez found Drupal-;an open source content management system which powers millions of websites and applications-;and in January of 2009, Florez started Drupalstaffing.com which specialized in recruiting for Drupal development companies. Within one year, however, Florez realized he had the resources to start his own Drupal development company, and thus began Drupal Connect. 

Today, Drupal Connect is home to 48 employees (the majority of whom are developers) and has become a crucial player in the Drupal development arena, with 2011 revenue of $3.65 million and a three-year growth rate of 1,360 percent.

“We have established ourselves as a key player in this space in a short amount of time. We are positioned very well,” says Florez, founder and CEO of Drupal Connect. 

Drupal Connect works with companies seeking a strong web presence-;which it helps them develop through a process of assessment and implementation. Florez defines the Drupal realm as still being “in its infancy” and a relatively untapped sector and while the demand for Drupal Connect’s services is high, the supply remains low as there are only about 2,500 people in North America who can program for Drupal, according to Florez. 

“The demand is increasing at a faster pace than the supply is able to deliver,” says Florez. “We do have competitors, but we also have top-tier talent that really sets us apart.”

Florez stresses that it is this talent that has fueled the company’s success over its three-year life span. 

“I come from a hiring background and one thing that I have learned is that the companies that succeed are those that are hiring top-notch people,” says Florez. “That’s what we do. We hire the best of the best.”

Florez says his hiring background is another key factor, giving him the best training he could have asked for-;providing him with the ability to assess talent and giving him the tools to recognize if a hire will fit within the company-;something Florez insists upon. He hopes to continue to build upon the culture that he has created at Drupal Connect.

“We have a defined culture that is very unique and that took time, but Drupal Connect will continue to expand and be this place where people love to come to work,” says Florez. 

Last updated: Feb 27, 2012

ABIGAIL TRACY is a staff reporter for Inc. magazine. Previously, she worked for Seattle Metropolitan magazine and Chicago magazine.
@abigailtracy




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