Discipline in Uncertain Times

Our Operational Plan: The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

On April 2, TripleLift implemented a number of cost-cutting exercises that included a layoff equal to roughly 7% of staff. The email below was sent by CEO Eric Berry to company managers, following a company all-hands meeting where the scope of those exercises was communicated.

We are all affected by the coronavirus. It has shaken our world in a way with no precedent. We may have loved ones, friends, or friends of friends that have succumbed to the disease. This is truly a global tragedy. Yet the reach of this extends beyond those directly battling or potentially exposed to the virus. It has attacked the core of our society – including our social nature and the global system of trade. We have all been forcefully thrust into this new world and it is truly painful. It is painful because of its direct health consequences. It is painful because it has lowered our quality of life. And it is painful because the economic collapse has forced companies like TripleLift to respond with measures like those we took this week.

This difficult time has yielded difficult choices. Employee and compensation reductions are hard pills to swallow. Everyone at TripleLift is affected, though some more acutely than others. The company’s intentions with the actions we have taken are three-fold: ensure our ability to navigate these turbulent waters on our own terms, create reversible decisions that are actionable as the economy recovers, and treat every one of us with respect and humanity.

As challenging as this has been, these decisions will have positive effects for the company moving forward.

Expenses. Our expenses are now controlled such that we can break-even at a significantly lower revenue total than our original plan over the remainder of the year. The likelihood of negative outcomes for all industries has significantly increased, but our revised operating plan immediately places our company in a strong position to withstand the crisis. To go along with our new expense plan, we have eight-figures of cash in the bank, built up over four years of accelerating profitability.

Products. Our product roadmap is still completely in-tact, with a suite of ad products that are right for the times: native, display, content and video. Additionally, we made the decision to continue the growing investment in our OTT products – a category that will see even larger demand as society emerges from its quarantine.

Service. We have lost a number of well-regarded colleagues and we feel deeply that they are no longer with us. But, in every choice we made, we considered our customers and partners. Through careful and precise planning, we have ensured absolutely no adverse impact in our ability to deliver services, nor any disruption in the uptime of our platform.

Being disciplined is the principle that has guided our tremendous growth to-date and being disciplined will allow us to emerge from this time in a relatively strong position. Advertising budgets will eventually return to their normal levels. And we will be better positioned strategically, competitively, and financially to succeed than we were going into the pandemic because we were prepared to look like we overreacted, and because we understand that being prepared to look like you overreacted is essential to surviving a moment like this one.

As I said at the conclusion of our All-Hands meeting: I am confident in a number of things today.

 I am confident that today is a bad day for everyone.

 But, I am also confident that:

  • We have taken the necessary actions to balance our books
  • We have not sacrificed our long-term prospects – if anything, we have enhanced that position
  • We have the right product strategy to meet these times
  • We have built partnerships to help us flourish through good times and bad
  • We have a great team moving forward
  • And…our best days – despite the current challenges – are still ahead of us