Wartime CEO - a pivot from building and scaling to solving and serving
40 days after this was written, what seems like the entire world began to march for #justice. This post from our previous site spoke about how our CEO shifted the entire business to serving #covid19 response companies.
My how quickly things change!
A blog post from our CEO Tim Visconti
4 weeks ago, I wrapped up a call with our team after making the hardest business decision of my career.
Like many others, we were laying off the majority of our team because we experienced a catastrophic hit to our top and bottom line. 70% of our revenue was up for extension between May 15th and April 1st and all of our customers felt the same way: the services we provide are world-class, but they were/are scared, uncertain and in need of liquidity.
With several painful conversations, our growth team was no longer funded and 100% of our piped revenue was now on hold. The sad reality is that in just 15 days, our clients pivoted from growing their business to saving it. I understand this painfully well watching a family owned business fail in the #2008recession but for the first time, I was scared that the years we put into PeopleLift were going to end up in failure.
After the call I knew I made the ‘correct’ finance decision but something inside hurt. This wasn't me. I don't just react and cut. But the numbers showed our runway evaporating rapidly and no backup plan to revive the business in the post recovery world.
Fast forward a week and I haven't slept much. Something wasn't sitting with me. Like many others, I was licking my wounds from the revenue re-forecast and watching too much Netflix.
Then, in the middle of a movie I've seen 100 times, a feeling overwhelms me in the form of a question: What am I doing right now that could be making a difference? Why not us? Why aren't WE acting as if the nation depended on us? Why can't we pivot our services to the greater good like Detroit factories in World War II?
Why can't WE help?
But something inside, a gut feeling or intuition or whatever it was simply told me that if I push as hard as I can towards finding a way to help, our call would be answered.
The next day I called a team meeting and made the following commitments.
I can't promise that PeopleLift will survive but I can promise you that we will fight back with our tools at our disposal: our ingenuity, our passion, our time and every dollar we can get access to(including 100% of my salary to keep the team/tools afloat for as long as possible).
I promise that we will experience significant challenges ahead and that we will be better for it promise by answering a call to action echoed by JFK
I promise that from here on out, will always dedicate ourselves to the greater good.
In the next 48 hours, we were connected to several great organizations that needed what we offer and over the past 7 business days, we've accomplished more than we have in 3 years. That is stating something as we were trending towards every Forbes Best list imaginable
Solving supply chain and critical needs delivery:
GlobalRRG: PL's growth team (formerly recruiters) is now a call center helping bring critical supplies such as n95 masks and PPE gear to the front lines. We spun up an end to end process, tech stack and script in 30 minutes(yes, 30 minutes). In addition, our strategy team in less than 7 days partnered with the executives, State/local leaders and generals to build a global supply chain and end to end delivery services for critical needs to the front line.
Today, as of this post, I am proud to say that we will be delivering over 100,000 N95 masks to critical care units. This all within 7 total days. We need to thank our amazing partners at Hubspot as well for helping us scale our capabilities so quickly!
Pivot and new partner: we were introduced to MyPandaApp and are playing instrumental part of the pivot towards Covid response by building the end to end workforce scaling strategy within 72 hours including technology, process, and expectations. In addition, our executive team is partnering on fundraising and investment identification through angel networks.
Pivot and new partner: In our advisement, we are joining the board of ThecontainerBox to Help steer a pivot from modular housing to modular testing services and designing an org structure that will empower thousands of localized tests.
This is just the beginning. We will provide weekly updates with our capabilities being stretched daily and our impact felt from the front lines to the front doors of thousands(soon to be millions) of Americans.