Dear Saltwater friends and family —
We all know these are unprecedented times, and the strains on our society economically, physically, and psychologically are extreme and the full scope is yet to be determined. The health and safety of our team and yours are our top priority.
In the past few weeks, we’ve been working with the CEOs of our portfolio companies to help them prepare their companies for the uncertainty we face. I’ve been encouraged by the quality of the leadership that I’ve seen taking these threats to personal and company health seriously. The best leaders have been conservative in their scenario planning and have shown determination to make the right decisions, even when they are hard.
The best thing you can do for your employees and customers is to ensure the business will survive the crisis and be there to employ a strong team when we get back to “normal.” However, we all know there won’t be the same “normal” on the other side, but as leaders, it’s our job to help our companies find it and redefine how you will operate in that new world.
We’re always keen to see businesses prioritize people, and operate profitably and patiently. We are now seeing the value of that set of philosophies in times like this. We encourage you to embrace that approach moving forward if possible.
Saltwater is helping those in need during these times. We’ve focused on supporting the frontline healthcare workers in a few different ways, and with the help of a few different organizations.
OperationMasks.org is working on the procurement of critical PPE for healthcare workers, primarily surgical and N95 masks as the critical equipment needed to keep these workers healthy and protected as they care for others. We’ve heard stories of ER Dr’s sharing masks for days on end because of a lack of resources. This is critical work to protect our frontline.
Flexport.org is doing the critical supply chain & logistics work to ensure the efficient delivery of these supplies. This reduces costs for all organizations providing the equipment and ensures the timely delivery of these supplies. In this work, time saved equals lives saved.
Frontline Foods is providing healthcare workers meals during abnormally long shifts. This supports hospital operations as most hospital budgets had not planned for the number of hours their staff have had to work and may not even have the capacity to feed their staff. They also are supporting local restaurants who would otherwise be required to shut down and may be forced to go out of business due to the crisis.
We’re proud to have made financial contributions to these important efforts and will do everything we can to support them operationally.
You’ve all likely read the “flatten the curve” arguments but we would ask that you play your role in supporting your community in a very simple way: stay home. Embrace this chaotic time to invest in yourself and your families. Read, do yoga, pushups, even watch Tiger King, but allow the healthcare workers to do their jobs most efficiently by reducing the spread of this disease.
Finally, to the companies out there struggling with tough decision making — the leaders of the next decade are going to be decided by who steps up in the coming months. Embrace the challenge, move boldly to and through the hard decisions, and make them with your heart and your mind. Prioritize people over dollars, but don’t foolishly think “things will get better” and jeopardize your company’s existence. “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst” is a smart motto during these times.
Stay safe & healthy.