The Uncomfortable Truth About Making Promises

Joshua A. Luna
September 23, 2021
The Uncomfortable Truth About Making Promises
Matthew Feeney via Unsplash

The main story

Email marketing platform Mailchimp is facing backlash from employees after news of a $12B acquisition by Intuit.

Unrest from former and current employees started to stir after news broke that Mailchimp will be acquired by Intuit - a record deal for a company with no outside funding.

The deal, compromised of both cash and stock, will make its founders Dan Chestnut and Dan Kurzius overnight billionaires, causing concern regarding lack of equity for the rest of the company’s employees.

The company promoted a bootstrapped culture with no equity for employees as the company had no plans ever to sell.

Intuit currently plans to issue $200M of restricted stock to Mailchimp employees with an approximate $300M of bonuses distributed over three years.

Teachable Moment

There are no guarantees in business.

The lesson here is in what you promote to your employees.

Avoid making any strong claims or promises to your employees. You can’t predict the future, and you’ll never know how things work out.

Chances are, the ideas and principles you have today will shift and adapt several years from now.

While this isn’t a large issue for Mailchimp, it leaves a potential PR trail that Intuit must remedy.