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 we started the original ECOA business in 1999.
Today, the message rings more true than ever. On the heels of our recent announcement that we have acquired our largest competitor in the deliverability space, Habeas, we announced a series of moves internally that chart a very new path forward for the company. We are:
- selling our ECOA business to FreshAddress, Inc., our long-time esteemed competitor in the email list hygiene and updating business;
- spinning out our Authentic Response market research business and our Postmaster Direct lead generation, list rental, and online media brokerage business into a new company called Authentic Response; and
- combining our Strategic Solutions consulting business in with the consulting portion of our Sender Score deliverability and whitelisting business to form a new, powerful global professional services team inside of Return Path
The title of this post says it all. Focus is Our Friend. Return Path and Authentic Response will be able to concentrate on their respective businesses, with more focus and resources to get the job done in the high quality, innovative way each has become known for.
Look for each business to come out with more exciting announcements in the weeks and months ahead as they begin to execute more swiftly as independent, focused companies. We wish our new partner – FreshAddress – well with the ECOA businesses that they've acquired from us. It's hard to let go of one's original business. I will have to blog about that separately sometime soon. We want to thank our dedicated clients and employees for their once and future contributions as we chart this new path forward.
You never do know what the living room looks like from the front porch.
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About Matt Blumberg
Matt Blumberg founded Return Path in 1999 because he believed the world needed email to work better. Matt is passionate about enhancing the online relationship between email subscribers and marketers so that both sides of the equation benefit. It is with great pride that he has watched this initial creation grow to a company of more than 400 employees with the market leading brand, innovative products, and the email industry’s most renowned experts. Before Return Path, Matt ran marketing, product management, and the internet group for MovieFone, Inc. (later acquired by AOL). Prior to that he served as an associate with private equity firm General Atlantic Partners and was a consultant with Mercer Management Consulting. He holds a B.A. from Princeton University. You can learn much more about Matt by reading his email marketing and entrepreneurship blog Only Once – one of the first CEO blogs on the Internet. Last year he wrote a book, Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business.