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FROM READERS: Columbia-based startup recognized as leading job creator

Friday, December 6, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CST

Bobby Campbell is the CEO and founder of 3 Interactive/Division-D.

As a business owner, it’s extremely satisfying and a great honor to be recognized by Inc.com for the 2013 Hire Power Award, which features the country’s top job creators. Being included alongside so many innovative and disruptive companies leading the way in job growth and the new economy is very exciting. It’s a testament to the fantastic work our team produces.

Division-D (formerly 3 Interactive) and AdKarma are two of the fastest-growing companies in both revenue and employees in the United States. I’m proud that both are based here in Columbia. Our growth is fueled by two things: the intelligent and driven people we hire and our ability to monetize disruptive technology.

1. We look for people across the country and around the world to come work for us. But having a great feeder of talent like the University of Missouri in our backyard has been critical to our success. The university has been a great partner, and we continue to hire bright, energetic and talented journalism and business students. Of the 21 new employees we added in the last few months, 15 were Mizzou grads.

All of these new hires were Millennials, a much talked about and unfairly maligned generation. The average age of our office is 25, and as CEO, I find myself surrounded by driven, ambitious and smart Millennials. The media narrative around Millennials is that they are narcissistic, self-absorbed and unprofessional, but that has not been our experience. Our Millennial workforce is a key part of our success and we actively recruit them into our company. We’ve discovered that they are uniquely adapted to thrive in the digital economy.

Millennials grew up in a culture where business and technology paradigms were constantly shifted and disrupted. They have experienced huge technological and cultural changes, including the rise of the Internet, social media and mobile devices (to name a few). They navigated these new ways of engaging the world and learned to consume new technology while adapting it for use in their day-to-day lives. This has given them unique skills to succeed in the digital business world, and operate in the disruptive world of startups.

2. Division-D and AdKarma work on the cutting edge of disruptive advertising technology. Nearly every day there is a new tool or technology that we are consuming and using. To continue our success, we need people who feel comfortable engaging with that technology and implementing it. Our Millennials have proven themselves very adept at doing this and doing it well.

The online media world continues to explode with opportunities and startups are growing with it. For instance, right now we are extremely focused on video and the changing consumption habits of people. People are consuming media across multiple platforms, tablets, phablets, smartphones and TVs. These new consumption habits are shifting how advertisers reach their audiences and creating opportunities for both our companies. As these changes progress and evolve, this trend will continue to fuel our hiring and growth.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.


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