Blackdragon is a full-spectrum management consultancy focused on helping federal contractor bidders win targeted government contracts. After receiving his award with CEO Monthly, we got in touch with Rob Rosenberger to find out more about how he earned the accolade CEO of the Year 2020 – USA.
Launched in 2015, Blackdragon is a rapidly climbing consulting firm revolutionising the way new contracts with the US Federal Government are identified, pursued, and ultimately won. Going into further detail, Rob begins by kindly offering us more of an insight into the values of the firm and some of its specialisms.
“The founding mission of Blackdragon was to improve the efficiency of the federal contracting industry where contractors compete to win contracts with the US Government. We set out to fundamentally transform the way target contracts are identified, analysed, qualified, pursued, and ultimately won by bidders. The objective was to establish a new paradigm whereby the right bidders consistently win the right contracts, while streamlining market inefficiencies caused by absent or uncompetitive bidders. Typically, clients can range from top 10 mega-firms with hundreds of thousands of employees to very tiny contractor firms with a handful of employees, and everything in between. Blackdragon doesn’t have a preference on the type of contracts to be won and the crowdsourcing model enables the formation of expert dream teams of all backgrounds and experiences. Clients can register for free access to participate in the Blackdragon online marketplace and can purchase products a la carte, as needed.
“From the contractor perspective, Blackdragon helps them to create more competitive bids and from the Government’s perspective, Blackdragon’s influence on the industry boosts better proposals from the right bidders while indirectly discouraging non-competitive proposals that can bog down the selection process. These combine into Blackdragon’s slogan, “Bid Smarter. Win More. Live Better.”, which describes a marketplace yielding enhanced benefits to all participants.
“The aim of disrupting the hyper-mature federal contracting industry with an innovative platform was based on the key principles of global coalition, technology, a virtual workforce, and high-quality products. Not just a global ecosystem of talented experts, Blackdragon is also an emerging community and a family of empowered entrepreneurial individuals proactively using the platform as a means of forming into custom ‘Dream Teams’ that know how to win select contracts. It’s a bottom-up approach compared to the conventional top-down process where bidder firms first decide what contracts to pursue and then seek talent to achieve it. The first and only of its kind, Blackdragon breaks longstanding paradigms by revolutionising one of the largest, most mature industries (the US government contracting industry), renowned for its resistance to change.”
The matchmaking marketplace previously mentioned is what helps Blackdragon distinguish itself from some of its closest competitors as Rob explains further.
“The online matchmaking marketplace combines powerful aspects of the Gig Economy, big data and predictive analytics, business automation, and personal networking connectivity that completely rethinks the value chain. Arguably our most unique selling point is the fact our suite of on-demand products help bidder clients win targeted contracts with low investment risk and minimal disruption to daily operations. It is a powerful collection of complementary features for winning key federal contracts. Clients can also better optimise their precious bid and proposal (B&P) resources for each opportunity by flexibly investing in the right combination of on-demand services that best match their budget and pursuit ambitions. These are both universal and customisable, to perfectly complement or fully replace existing client endeavours.
“In the business world of yesterday, ownership was everything. In today’s on-demand world, access is better than ownership. This very simple concept is causing reverberations throughout the economy and spurring on tectonic shifts across entire industries. ‘Access is better than Ownership’ is a fundamental principle of the on-demand economy, as it asserts that it is better to temporarily rent something (when needed) than to buy and own it permanently. Blackdragon’s innovative business model is liberating and empowering compared to the old way of going company-to-company, competing with peers, and begging to get hired (full or part-time) in a support role. Too often you can be waiting for weeks or months to receive a call or email for the next job prospect that rarely fits, does not pay very well, or includes painful commutes. Even more empowering than all of that, Deal Teams have autonomy over their projects which means they are sharing equal voices with their fellow teammates and their clients on every detail pertaining to how best to win. Dragons are not just there to provide ‘support’ to a client who calls all the shots, they are also helping clients as their partners, because both are accountable for the same outcome.”
Much of Blackdragon’s success can be attributed to its members who are heavily involved in each project. Working behind the scenes, the teams at Blackdragon are involved in community management, ensuring maximum participation in the platform among freelancers and bidder clients.
“Calling themselves Dragons, members of the Blackdragon worldwide coalition are freelance subject matter experts representing the best trained, most experienced, richly networked, immensely talented, and most creative minds throughout the industry” Rob highlights.
“Dragons know that they will be working with top-rated professionals who are the best at what they do, so an unproductive dead weight on a team is removed quickly. This competitive spirit spurs innovation and drives excellence to deliver quality products that often must win to achieve full compensation. By getting matched to best-fitting projects, Dragons can proactively monetise their underutilized assets within the digital marketplace. In advance, Dragons know what they are signing up to provide, the timelines expected for each completion, and the control they will have over their earnable compensation based on their contribution value. Additionally, they have greater confidence that a client will pay them by way of the bigger corporate enterprise, Blackdragon, in the middle of the transaction.”
Bringing the interview to a close, Rob takes the time to reflect on the some of the challenges Blackdragon has faced in recent years, before highlighting a few of the exciting plans which lie in the pipeline for the firm going forward.
“The biggest challenge we have faced is helping bidder client firms understand our disruptive business model as it compares to the conventional way the industry has functioned for many decades without change.
“Looking ahead, we have big plans for the future. While not at liberty to reveal the details, what we can say is that we are preparing to launch a major technology enhancement to the existing online platform. This will be yet another industry gamechanger added to all of the previous accomplishments to date, so stay tuned!”
For further information, please contact Rob Rosenberger at www.blackdragon.expert