There is an interesting pattern emerging amongst Recurly customers.
Five Recurly customers have been acquired over the last 15 months. Of course, these companies had more than just Recurly in common. There is an emergent mindset demonstrated by the philosophy and decisions made by each of these companies in this grouping that should be recognized by all up-and-coming enterprises.
Q: Why is it that Recurly customers are consistently over-achieving with successful exits?
A: They ‘stick to their knitting’, and focus on innovating where it matters most.
One of the hallmark traits of successful operators is knowing which problems to focus on solving internally, vs. those that should be outsourced. Billing increasingly falls into the latter category because it is such a complex undertaking to get right. Payments in particular require specific industry knowledge to do well.
Not all entrepreneurs are great operators, or even focused for that matter. Successful entrepreneurs are those that can identify the specific problem space they seek to address, and have the ability to focus on executing with all of the best tools at their disposal [Think: GitHub, ZenDesk, MailChimp, Splunk]. Increasingly, this means knowing exactly where they are building value, and acknowledging which areas should be ‘bought’ or ‘rented’.
As recently as 5 years ago, companies opted to own almost every single function internally. Today, small successful enterprises choose from a variety of cloud-based services to ensure that they don’t get bogged down ‘reinventing the wheel’, and focus their lean teams on their core areas of intellectual property development. Speed of execution is critical in every competitive business category, and each of these companies recognized that with their decision to use Recurly early on. As a result, their teams remained more focused, agile and efficient.
The aging argument to build and own enterprise functions internally is being actively displaced by the successes of each of these companies. They built differentiated value where it mattered, and ‘bought’ the functionality that allowed their lean teams to do what they do best. All of these companies that have been acquired remain Recurly customers today. In certain cases, the parent companies have chosen to use Recurly for other business units within their internal corporate portfolios.
They ‘stuck to their knitting’, and have each been handsomely rewarded for doing so.