10x ascend grew out of the 10x Management practice which since 2012 has represented the most sought after tech freelancers. It’s not uncommon for the contracting companies to be so impressed by the quality of freelance work that they end up making W2 employment offers.
Whenever this happens, the freelancer typically ask 10x to help them negotiate their salaried compensation packages. Seeing how valuable and impactful our negotiation help has been in these cases (and how sorely it was needed) led Michael and Rishon to create a standalone company with the sole focus of helping senior level tech talent negotiate the most favorable employment terms possible.
In 2012, Michael and Rishon co-founded 10x Management along with a third partner who exited the company in early 2016. They brought decades of experience managing musicians, directors, and other creative entities to the technology sector. As the first talent agency for tech professionals, 10x Management has carved out its place as a trusted and exclusive resource for companies seeking the best and most coveted, high level freelance tech talent.
10x’s story — rock star managers who now manage the new rock stars — has been heralded by several national media outlets, putting Michael and Rishon at the center of the conversation about the tech talent shortage, and what the future of this work holds.
10x Management has been featured in The New Yorker and Tech Crunch, and Rishon has presented at TEDx in the fall of 2015, published an article in Harvard Business Review in early 2016 and was featured on the cover of the Wharton Alumni Magazine in 2017. In addition, Rishon has presented at SXSW, NYU, and for the Wharton Alumni Association. He has appeared on Bloomberg Television and BBC.
Michael frequently appears on MSNBC, Bloomberg, BBC, Al Jazeera, and other television networks.
In 1995, Michael and Rishon co-founded Brick Wall Management. What started as a music management company that managed, marketed, and shaped the careers of musicians like John Mayer, Citizen Cope, and Vanessa Carlton, now includes a consulting business that touches nearly every angle of the arts.
In 2007, Brick Wall expanded its roster to include award-winning and chart-topping songwriters, producers, and directors like Marshall Altman, Michael Counts, Jarett Bellucci, and Adam Landry. Entertainment consulting clients include Young & Rubicam, The Rock Boat, Jon Landau Management, Bruce Springsteen, Shania Twain, Natalie Merchant, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Human, The Clive Davis School of Recorded Music at New York University, Miramax, and more.
Brick Wall helped produce John Mayer’s music film, Any Given Thursday, which was certified platinum. It also produced TV specials for its clients, including Operatic Heat for PBS. Collectively, Brick Wall’s roster has earned more than 12 Grammy Award nominations and four wins, multiple Emmy Award nominations and two wins, and more than 10 million albums sold, resulting in multiple platinum and gold records.
Michael and Rishon serve as pro-bono administrators for The Kristen Ann Carr Fund (KACF), a nonprofit dedicated to finding a cure and treatment for sarcoma and improving the lives of all cancer patients. It’s a cause close to Michael and Rishon’s heart — it was founded in 1993 after Michael’s girlfriend of four years and close friend of Rishon’s, Kristen Carr, lost her battle with sarcoma. KACF has raised more than $20M as of this writing.
Working with The Kristen Ann Carr Fund inspired Michael to co-found Musicians On Call (MOC), a nonprofit that brings live music to the bedside of hospital patients. MOC currently has programs in 30+ cities nationally and volunteer MOC musicians have played for more than 750,000 people nationwide since the organization’s first performance in 1999. Michael remains an active member of MOC’s Board of Directors and Rishon, a long time advisory board member.