Table XI Blog


Table XI Is an Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Company!


I’m very proud to announce that Table XI has landed a spot on the Inc. 5000 list for fastest growing private companies for 2013, coming in at No. 2114 (for reference, there are roughly 28 million small businesses operating in the US).

This is a true honor for us, given that we’re rounding out our 11th year in business. It’s a testament to our team and their work, as well as to our amazing clients, many of whom have been with us from the beginning.

Inc. Editor Eric Schurenberg put it well when he said that, "Not all the companies in the Inc. 500 | 5000 are in glamorous industries, but in their fields they are as famous as household name companies simply by virtue of being great at what they do. They are the hidden champions of job growth and innovation, the real muscle of the American economy.” That’s what I’ve always loved about being an entrepreneur in this industry—it’s not always splashy, but we have the chance to make a difference for clients in both small and big ways by always striving to embrace innovation and come up with smart, creative solutions to problems. Being awarded a spot in the Inc. 5000 is proof that our methods for growing a business work.

Fuhu tops this year’s list, and we join other prominent brands like LivingSocial, Edible Arrangements, CDW, and Lifelock. In a stagnant economic environment, the companies on this year’s list report having created over 520,000 jobs in the past three years, and aggregate revenue among the honorees reached $241 billion. We’re honored to be in such fine company.

Check out the full Inc. 5000 list at, and thanks again to all who made this possible.

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Josh Golden Talks to NBC Chicago about Chicago Ideas Week

nbc5txiEarlier this month, our CEO and founder Josh Golden chatted with Art Norman and Charlie Wojciechowski of NBC Chicago's Weekend Web. On the docket: The great work we're doing as part of our technology partnership with Chicago Ideas Week (CIW) (October 14-20).

Check out the interview below, where Josh discusses the new platform and ticketing system we built for CIW, and be sure to check back on September 1, when tickets go on sale to the public.

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Table XI Takes on TechWeek

TechWeek badge

TechWeek Chicago is just around the corner again and we'll be back (June 27-29, Merchandise Mart). As Chicago's tech scene continues to grow and thrive, we love getting the chance to listen, learn, and participate in this ever-evolving community.

This year we’ve got two Table XIers speaking at the conference, so be sure to register and get these talks on your calendar.

COO Mark Rickmeier — Mobile Prototyping: TechWeek Lab Coat Series
Fri, June 28 / Bing Stage / 3–3:30 pm

Mobile applications require massive amounts of usability testing and incremental design—nowhere is rapid prototyping more important. We'll explore the best tools for quickly creating functional prototypes that you can use for customer demos, as well as which tools to avoid. If you're still using whiteboards, powerpoint, .psd files, or balsamiq to convey your mobile app concepts, this talk is for you—you'll leave with options and ideas to put to work following your TechWeek experience.

Senior Developer + Agile Coach Noel Rappin — Welcome to Ember.js
Fri, June 28 / Technical Stage / 11–11:30 am

Ember.js is the most powerful of the JavaScript MVC tools. It takes a different perspective on managing changing data in your browser. This talk will discuss the key ideas and concepts in learning and using Ember.js.

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We’re Growing! Table XI Has Acquired Design Firm Love Has No Logic

Web banner for Love Has No Logic and table Xi partnership

I’m very excited to announce that we have joined forces with our friends over at Love Has No Logic (LHNL), the boutique front-end design firm that we partnered with on the new This marks the dawn of the next era of Table XI and our commitment to the highest quality design—founder Mike Gibson and the rest of the LHNL team are experts in branding, UX, and responsive design, skills that complement our own service offerings.

Today design and development go hand in hand, and this acquisition only increases the value we can provide our clients. It’s no longer good enough for a developer to build a site and have a designer slap a pretty face on it, or for a designer to turn over a finished Photoshop file to a developer to execute. From planning out how front-end visuals will work with backend systems, to creating websites with responsive design, the best work comes from the collaboration between developers and designers at the earliest stages of a project through its final launch.

We’ve thrived with LHNL on these kinds of collaborations. Like us, LHNL uses an iterative process and enjoys a history of long relationships with their customers, and together we have a proven track record of success. We first worked together on the fan engagement startup Pegmo in 2010, which we sold to a large marketing agency in 2012. For, Table XI drove the product strategy, project management, and software development, while LHNL created the visual design and implemented it on a cutting edge responsive framework, ensuring that the site displays seamlessly across all devices, from smartphones to tablets. We’ve gotten overwhelmingly positive praise at the result, and Mike’s design received accolades from the responsive design community.

The merger will take effect immediately, and our combined team will work out of our West Loop loft. In addition to Mike, I'd like to welcome Annie Swank and Shawn Campbell to our office—our summer is already slated with a slew of exciting new projects, including website redesigns for Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism and Chicago Ideas Week (more on those soon). There’s no doubt that together, Table XI and Love Has No Logic are a stronger team, and we can’t wait to get started.

You can learn more about Love Has No Logic and their approach to front-end development at their website. And I encourage you to check out Mike’s blog for his own thoughts on joining up with Table XI.

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CBS News Visits Table XI

CBS2 Chicago at Table XI, interviewing Chef Aram ReedEarlier this week, Vince Gerasole of CBS Chicago News stopped by our office bright and early for a morning tour of Table XI. We treated him to a walk on Josh's treadmill desk, a Nerf gun battle, and an omelete breakfast courtesy of Chef Aram Reed. We loved hosting Vince and his camera crew; take a look at the segments below.

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Table XI: “Silicon Valley Work Culture in Chicago”

Fox 32 Chicago filming inside the Table XI's offices.Word of our office inner workings is getting around. Earlier this month, Fox 32 Chicago featured Table XI in two segments for their evening and morning news. Tisha Lewis stopped by our office to tour our standing work stations, grab a bite of Chef Aram's low fat (but delicious) lunch, and witness Josh conducting a meeting from a moving treadmill. The next morning, Josh paid a visit to Corey McPherrin of Good Day Chicago and spoke about how our office is "...a comfortable and easy place to come to work. We've got standing desks for people who want to stand; if you want to sit, you can sit. [It's] very open, there are no barriers to collaboration."

When asked about the practicalities of our culture, Josh pointed out that, due to our lighter lunches and ability to work in a flexible environment, we don't fall victim as much to the dreaded "afternoon slump," and stay productive the whole day through.

Of course, our daily trips to Starbucks help, too.

Watch both videos below:

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Noble Websites Make the Grade

Photo of Noble Students visiting the White House and talking to Barack Obama.

Noble Network of Charter Schools (Noble) is a network of non-selective public charter schools in Chicago dedicated to making a college degree a reality for low income students. As Noble expanded its network over the years, their campus websites lacked consistency and a central branding message. Moreover, these sites were difficult to update, so they weren’t effective tools for announcing school events and achievements. With plans to grow to 20 campuses serving more than 16,000 students in the next few years, Noble needed an updated web presence that could better serve its families, supporters, and employees. That’s where Table XI came in, and we’re proud to say we launched the new under budget and ahead of schedule.

We collaborated closely with Noble to develop and design 16 websites and a content management system that allow the school to:

  • Simplify workflow and maintenance. 18 mostly non-technical staffers across the network keep the websites updated; now, because these sites are so easy to use, campuses are posting more information and keeping their sites better up-to-date, improving communication with families and constituents. Users can focus on sharing the stories of students and teachers, rather than spending time troubleshooting problems.
  • Provide a branded, customizable design for all Noble sites. Individual campuses can put their own colors and mascots on their sites, but still maintain the cohesive look and feel that spans the entire network.
  • Support recruitment of students and teachers. Families can find readily available information about enrollment and waitlists. Teacher candidates can access the network’s online application, and have found the new sites informative, easy to navigate, and reflective of Noble’s energy and dedication.
  • Allow for future growth and flexibility. Our site template is easily scalable, so as the Noble Network grows, they can add new campus websites without further development and design work, saving time and money. The system also supports the addition of new technology features as they become available.
  • Access social and multimedia channels, enhancing the Noble experience. Seamless integration with channels like YouTube and other social media networks has prompted an increase in multimedia use across the network. The Noble team now regularly uses multimedia materials to connect with donors, potential students, legislators, and teacher candidates.

Noble has been thrilled with the new sites and their performance.

“Overall, our new websites provided crucial momentum for a new marketing strategy and capital campaign that we launched in the past year,” says External Affairs Coordinator Sara Kandler. “The websites have helped Noble more effectively participate in 21st century technology. They allow us to respond quickly to the diverse needs of our campuses and communicate rapidly and effectively with our families and supporters. Because our campuses have a high level of comfort with the sites, they spend much less time on updates, and our support team devotes less time to troubleshooting problems, because there aren’t any!”

At Table XI we’re dedicated to partnering with nonprofits in Chicago. As we head into 2013, we’re happy to be part of the Noble team and their goal to provide a premium education to deserving Chicago students, preparing them for college and beyond.

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Come See Josh at Technori!

Web banner for the Technori Starter Series: “Beyond the Ping Pong Table" showing two ping pong rackets and a ballIf you’ve read this blog, checked out our photo galleries, or visited our office, you know that company culture is pretty important to us at Table XI. Sure, we work in a custom-built loft space, play with Star Wars Legos, and eat daily lunches cooked in-house, but fun perks are only part of building a good culture. When our CEO Josh Golden started TXI ten years ago, he and his team knew that growing a successful business meant investing in employee culture and cultivating it from the beginning, from career development to health and wellness to morale to, yes, the occasional Nerf gun battle.

That’s why we’re excited to announce that Josh will be speaking on the “Culture by Design” panel at the upcoming Technori Starter Series: “Beyond the Ping Pong Table: Learn how to create and cultivate an incredible company culture.” Josh’s panel is a session with “leaders of small to large companies about space, perks that work, manifestos, team habits, and more.” Joining Josh on the panel will be Threadless’ Jake Nickell, GiveForward’s Ethan Austin, and Gensler Global’s Carlos Martinez.

Whether you’re currently managing a team or trying to get a startup off the ground, this will be a great chance to listen to people who have paved the way by example in building unique, thriving company cultures.

“Culture by Design”
Thursday, Dec 6
1:50 – 3 pm
Gensler Chicago HQ, 11 E Madison St

Find a full list of speakers, series schedule, and registration info at Technori Starter Series.

We hope to see you there!

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Find Us at Chicago Ideas Week!

Chicago Ideas week logoWe're pleased to announce that we're partnering with Chicago Ideas Week this year to present “Building Community through Technology: Connecting Life Stories” on October 10 at Access Living Chicago (115 W Chicago Ave), from 5:30-7 pm. Our own CEO Josh Golden, Zócalo Group digital strategist and Table XI partner emeritus Jordan Ho, and senior designer Daniel Strabley will join our client, Facing Disability founder Thea Flaum (also well-known for her work creating “Sneak Previews” with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert), for an interactive presentation about digital strategy and what it takes to bring a vision to life online. We think it’s a perfect pairing with Chicago Ideas Week, an event which celebrates exchanging ideas, inspiring action, and igniting change.

Facing Disability is the first website to connect individuals with spinal cord injuries to information, support, and others who have faced similar traumas. The organization came to us to help refine and execute its vision, and now, one year later, the site has become home to more than 1,000 original videos, gained national media attention, and positively impacted hundreds of lives in Chicago and beyond.

"When we began our partnership with Facing Disability, Thea had a vision that we found incredibly compelling, but she didn't know how to get there,” says Josh. “We collaborated with her and her team every step of the way to further expand, then subsequently refine her vision into the compelling, easy-to-use, inviting online community that Facing Disability is today."

The site has proven so successful that the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago is currently working on a similar website for people with traumatic brain injuries. Josh finds it an interesting proof of concept. “Now they’re developing a whole new set of videos and reusing the technology for a new disease--it makes you think, can we do this for cancer patients? For amputees? Chicago Ideas Week has become an important event in the city, and we’re so excited to participate, since we believe this is a truly innovative way of doing things that was born and bred in Chicago.”

You can find more details and RSVP online, and don’t forget to check out the CIW website to get tickets to other events happening around town.

What else are you looking forward to at Chicago Ideas Week?

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See Us at WindyCityRails!

windycityrails logoWe’re happy to announce Table XI’s involvement with this year’s WindyCityRails, Chicago’s premier conference for Ruby on Rails, taking place September 6-7 at Chicago’s South Shore Cultural Center. We’ve always loved attending this conference, but we’re especially excited to be a sponsor this year and get the chance to lend our voice to Chicago’s vibrant Ruby scene.

To that end, our own Greg Baugues will be giving a lightning talk on his thoughtful series “Code Like a Chef,” where he examines the unusual similarities between fine cooking and programming, and how strategies he’s learned in the kitchen translate well to coding practices and other life hacks. This year’s conference will also feature sessions with speakers like Groupon’s Noel Rappin, 37signals’ Ryan Singer, and Code Academy’s Jeff Cohen, along with a series of lightning talks and lots of learning and networking opportunities for Ruby developers. You can bet our devs will be there in force, so stop by our booth and say hello!

Who are you looking forward to seeing at WindyCityRails?

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Table XI

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Chicago, IL 60661


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