Until its sale in April of 2002, Mark Rothman owned and operated The MYTA Corporation, one of the largest IT staffing firms in the Washington, DC area. After graduating with an engineering degree from The Ohio State University in 1984, Mark moved to Washington, DC to pursue the area’s many technology opportunities. Over the next eight years, Mark worked as a software engineer for IBM and as a software contractor for MCI. While at IBM, he helped design and implement system upgrades for the FAA’s air traffic control system. At MCI, Mark worked on several projects pertaining to the company’s growing network management system.
While a contractor at MCI, Mark saw the need for qualified IT specialists in the DC region and decided to start his own consulting company. In 1992, using the second bedroom of his condo as an office, Mark landed his first contract, a three month assignment at Fannie Mae. Over the next 10 years, MYTA assisted some of the region’s largest companies including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Verizon, The World Bank, Lockheed Martin, Cable & Wireless, AT&T, and The Discovery Channel. At sale, MYTA’s annualized revenues were nearly $30 million with a growth rate averaging more than 100 percent per year. Ranked as one of the region’s top 10 IT staffing firms by the Washington Business Journal and included in the 1998 Inc. 500, MYTA hit the 100 contractor mark in 1998 and the 200 contractor mark in 2000. In 1998, Mark was named a Maryland Small Business All Star, and in 2000, was named Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in the Washington, DC metro area.
After selling the original MYTA, Mark remained an active member of the area business community. He serves on the board of several private companies and works with numerous non-profits including Junior Achievement, The Leukemia Lymphoma Society, and Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ). In 2015, Mark opened a second IT staffing firm, MYTA Technologies, modeled after the original MYTA. Similar to the first MYTA, MYTA Technologies works with some of the largest DC area businesses including FINRA, Dominion Energy, Washington Gas, and Leidos. MYTA recently celebrated its growth by earning the 243rd spot on the 2019 Inc. 500.
Mark lives in Bethesda, MD where he is a proud, single dad of twin human daughters, Melissa and Nicole, and his canine daughter, Brandy.
Tell me about the early days of MYTA.
MYTA has had two unique instances of “early days.” The first was in 1992 when I used my skills as a software developer to springboard the start of The MYTA Corporation. I had no capital, office space, and experience, but developed a business plan that needed none of these things (although a bit of experience wouldn’t have hurt). To start the company, I found myself a contract position at a large corporation and used that position to grow my company from inside the client. What I was missing in experience and funding, I made up for with enthusiasm and youthful energy!
The second instance of “early days” was five years ago when I started MYTA Technologies – a firm similar to The MTYA Corporation. This time, however, the company was well-funded and had office space and staff on Day 1. After ten years of running the first MYTA, and then a 12-year vacation after its acquisition, the tradeoff between youthful energy and experience had come full circle! Somehow, though, I think I expected the second start to be easier than the first. Instead, it was over nine months before we made our first sale and almost three years before we turned a profit.
After twelve years of resting on my laurels and hearing people praise me for my previous success, I started to believe my own press clippings and forgot about the hard work and execution needed to make a company successful. While we have now turned the corner and reached #243 on the Inc. 500, starting this second company has been quite a lesson in humility. The pain and suffering we all endured during the first iteration of MYTA had faded in my memory, but is now front and center. I have learned that there is no substitute for hard work each day, and that your competitors and clients don’t care that you were successful 20 years ago. If you are going to start something new, you need to be prepared to dig in and do what it takes to succeed. While I don’t think I was ready for that on Cycle 2, Day 1 – I have now made the adjustment. Hopefully, it will continue to pay dividends for our company, staff, and clients.