Social Distancing With Friends: Marketing Tech Founder Nick Jordan

Some things they don’t prepare you for in CEO school.

“We had a board meeting and talked about macroeconomic consequences of global pandemics, which is something a traditional board meeting wouldn’t have talked about,” Narrative I/O Founder Nick Jordan says this week on AdExchanger’s Social Distancing With Friends podcast.

Nevertheless there are universal startup principles that apply in a crisis, according to Nick.

For instance, most founders have become more defensive. And all are worrying less about growth at all costs while they focus on sustaining the business over an uncertain duration.

“The traditional model is if you can grow very quickly you can continue to lose money because there’s likely an investor around the corner who is interested in a fast-growing company,” he says. That’s no longer true. “Even venture investors have started to slow down or pause because there’s uncertainty. Even if they saw a company they loved they might not have the wherewithal to do an investment.”

Narrative I/O is primarily an SaaS company, meaning most of its revenues are on long-term contracts. Those revenues come from marketer budgets that are more insulated from COVID-19 than quarterly ad commitments, but they’re not entirely immune.

“It’s not that I don’t worry about churn because as those contracts come up there’s a chance for those customers to go away,” Nick says. “But unlike a media dollar which you can cancel for the most part at any time, it is certainly less immediately impactful.”

 

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