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.