Toptal Blog

The Toptal Blog is the top hub for developers, designers, finance experts, executives, and entrepreneurs, featuring key technology updates, tutorials, freelancer resources, and management insights.
Patrick E. Donohue
How to Build and Utilize a High-Impact Advisory Board

Advisory boards are undoubtedly controversial. While many articles sing their praises, others condemn them as mere headshots in pitch decks. The truth is that advisory boards are usually not silver bullets. Still, they can be powerful tools and yield strong ROI—if executed properly.

This article includes an overview of advisory boards, their economics, when they can and should be used, and a step-by-step guide to building one.

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Chris Hearing
Principles of Organizational Design and Optimization: Lessons From The Great Recession

In 2006, Ford Motor Company’s losses came in at a staggering $12.7 billion; but four years later, profits had rebounded to $6.6 billion. At around the same time, Carlos Brito’s “one firm, one culture” optimization policy delivered $2.3 billion in synergies, exceeding pre-merger projections for Anheuser-Busch’s combination with InBev by 50%.

Both Ford and AB InBev’s CEOs achieved these results by adeptly applying the principles of organizational optimization—concepts explored by Toptal Finance Restructuring Expert, Christopher Hearing, in this article.

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Alex Graham
ICOs, Exotics and Platforms - An Insider’s Perspective on the Future of Venture Capital

2017 saw a number of issues arise in the VC industry and it may be approaching a watershed regarding its relevance.

This article looks into the root causes of the industry’s problems and why they have come to light. VCs can go through a pivot of their own to retain a seat at the table, with big data, exotic funds and platforms offering a path forward.

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Melissa Lin
Will Spotify's Non-IPO Pave the Way for Tech Companies?

This year, Spotify will move its headquarters from Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood downtown to the Financial District. Beyond its physical presence, Spotify will also make its mark at NYSE when it goes public via direct listing, an unusual choice. What is expected to be the largest tech public debut of 2018 has set Wall Street and the music industry abuzz, with everyone eager to see how this unconventional approach will play out.

This article covers everything you need to know: a brief overview of the typical IPO process, how the direct listing will function, why Spotify chose to buck tradition, potential motivations behind the decision, and its potential implications.

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Vladyslav Millier
Exploring Supervised Machine Learning Algorithms

While machine learning sounds highly technical, an introduction to the statistical methods involved quickly brings it within reach. In this article, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Vladyslav Millier explores basic supervised machine learning algorithms and scikit-learn, using them to predict survival rates for Titanic passengers.

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Orinola Gbadebo-Smith
Price Elasticity 2.0: From Theory to The Real World

Price elasticity theory was once the haunt of classical economists, with loose applications in the real world. Today, companies such as Uber, with its sheer volume of data and surge algorithms, are able to continuously triangulate price elasticities in real time to manipulate demand, moment-to-moment.

This article introduces the fundamentals of price elasticity of demand theory before taking us back into the real world, where theory will meet both big data and consumer psychology to create new possibilities.

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