November 3, 2008

No Separation Anxiety

No Separation Anxiety   When we announced last week that we were selling our Email Change of Address (ECOA) business unit to our competitor Fresh Address as part of our corporate restructuring that allows us to focus exclusively on our flagship deliverability and whitelisting business, a bunch of people asked if me if that decision was emotional or difficult.  As ECOA was Return Path’s initial business — you know, the one that was going to be $100 million in revenues within 5 years — shouldn’t I be sad to see it go?   In the end, it wasn’t a difficult decision to sell the business.  Times have changed.  While it still works well as a product and generates profitable revenue, our company has been completely transformed over the years, first into a broad-based provider of multiple email-marketing and market research services; and more recently into a pure play in email deliverability and whitelisting.  I think the reason the decision wasn’t difficult has more to do with the fact that we haven’t done much to update the product or think about it or invest in it in almost five years.  So selling it was sort of like going to a funeral […]

October 30, 2008

Charting A New Path: Focus is Our Friend

Charting A New Path:  Focus is Our Friend When Return Path turned six years old a few years ago, I wrote a post on my personal blog (OnlyOnce) titled You Can’t Tell What the Living Room Looks Like from the Front Porch. The essence of the post is that flexibility is a key success factor in starting and growing a business, and sometimes the business turns out different than what you thought when you wrote that business plan. At the time, I was commenting on how different Return Path turned out – operating five businesses – than we did when […]