Out of necessity, dmarcian operates with an experimental structure. As a mission-focused company, our structure is a direct reflection of our mission: to fold DMARC into the Internet. Building a business around a free piece of technology that lies at the intersection of Internet domains and email has forced us to rethink how companies can be structured to succeed where traditional structures fail.
The sweet spot for traditional companies is to create and sell products into markets. If there is already an appetite for a service or good, it’s easy enough to figure out how to compete and thrive. Unfortunately for dmarcian, DMARC is not a product and most people need to be educated about the value of DMARC. This means dmarcian has had to figure out what is valuable to customers in a product-less non-market.
To make the space even more challenging, everyone everywhere uses email all the time. The installed base is about the size of the Internet. The good news is that DMARC isn’t for everyone, just for the people that are serious enough about their online presence to get themselves an Internet domain – which is still a huge potential market. A traditionally structured company might set its sights on the potential market size, open up the Silicon Valley playbook, raise huge amounts of venture capital money, and race to “create value” for investors before the money runs out.
The problem with this type of traditional business structure is that email changes really slowly. A traditional business could spend years pumping money into online ads, printing endless glossy brochures, and blanketing conference floors with gimmicks and see very little impact when it comes to actual DMARC adoption. This activity makes a good show for investors but means very little in terms of accomplishment. Pouring money into a traditional business structure where the ecosystem is as large as email just adds another player to the table – the rules and the game stay the same. To change the game – even as slight a change as DMARC introduces – a different approach is needed.