April 21, 2011

Backwards

Backwards I came to an interesting conclusion about Return Path recently.  We’re building our business backwards, at least according to what I have observed over time as the natural course of events for a startup.  Here are a few examples of what I mean by that. Most companies build organically for years…then start acquiring others.  We’ve done it backwards.  In the first 9 years of our company’s life, we acquired 8 other businesses (SmartBounce, Veripost, Re-Route, NetCreations, Assurance Systems, GasPedal Consulting, Bonded Sender, Habeas).  Since then, we’ve acquired none.  There are a bunch of reasons why we front loaded M&A:  we were working hard to morph our business model to achieve maximum success during the first internet downturn, we knew how to do it, there was a lot of availability on the sell side at good prices.  And the main reason we’re not doing a lot of it now is that there’s not much else to consolidate in our space, though we’re always on the lookout for interesting adjacencies. Most companies tighten up their HR policies over time as they get larger.  We’ve gotten looser.  For example, about a year and a half ago, we abolished our vacation policy and […]


July 31, 2010

Agile Marketing, Part II

Agile Marketing, Part II I wrote about this years ago when I was temporarily running Marketing and was noting a lot of the similarities between running contemporary Product Development and Marketing efforts. Nick Van Weerdenburg just put up a great post called Why Marketing is Becoming Like Software Development which you should read if you run or work in, or work closely with, a marketing department.