I’ve consistently believed that the best companies are built with five core characteristics: an excellent team, a massive market opportunity, great product-market fit, limited competition, and a sound business plan. An integral part of the business plan is how to get from point A to point B as quickly a possible in a capital efficient manner. However, most great companies are smart enough to recognize when the market shifts and point B is the wrong destination. Then the important factor is how quickly you can move from A prime to B prime. Great companies aren’t only defined by how they start, but more importantly, how quickly they adapt to changing market conditions, case in point Bitly.
Bitly started as a social media link shortener. At the time, if you put a link in a Facebook status it took up most of the status and Twitter’s character limit made sharing links difficult. Bility’s link shortener was an elegant solution to that problem and it helped users share the content they wanted. However, over time social media companies evolved to offer their own link shortening capability. It was at that time that Bitly looked at where the market was headed. The team determined that there was still a huge opportunity for link shortening, but that it centered around enterprise link management.
No longer was Bitly trying to get to point B (world leader in link shortening) as fast as they could, now they were gunning for B prime (an enterprise-grade link management platform). The goal was to allow businesses to gain visibility into how their content was being shared and routed across platforms. By doing this, Bitly became a key part of marketing stacks for numerous enterprises because they knew what content their customers shared and where they wanted to share it. This year, Spectrum Equity realized the value that Bitly provided and purchased a majority stake in the business.
We are proud to have been part of such a strong, nimble team at Bitly. They have proven how important it is to move as fast as you can towards the end goal, while not being blind to the changing market dynamics. We are excited to see them continue to grow as they work with Spectrum Equity and are confident they will be an instrumental part of the enterprise marketing stack.