Menlo Innovations: Rich Sheridan
Ann Arbor, Mich.
2009 revenue: $3.2 million
Menlo Innovations develops custom software for start-up companies and trains clients to develop software themselves.
Menlo Innovations practices extreme programming, which stipulates that all programmers work together in a wide-open space and everyone works in pairs—two people to a computer. At week's end, the pairs switch. On Monday, employees start fresh with new partners and, often, new pieces of the project puzzle. Sometimes a veteran and an intern work together, with the veteran passing along his knowledge and the intern explaining what's new in college computer classes. Sometimes two veterans work together for the fun of seeing how far and fast they can push the job.