WALL STREET JOURNAL - Apr 14 - From online dating to home-repair help, some of the biggest businesses in IAC's portfolio are built on in-person social interaction.
Q: Which IAC brands are hurting the most from the pandemic?
A: ANGI Homeservices works with 250K small businesses that have ~2M employees - painters, electricians, contractors. When they're not allowed to go into somebody's house, those businesses are hit. We've been trying to navigate the regulatory environment, the federal stimulus aid, to figure out how to make sure these small businesses get access to loans.
Q: How has the way you manage changed during the pandemic?
A: We never used to do a call or a meeting with all the CEOs of IAC companies. We would do a dinner once a quarter. But we now do a weekly CEO call, where everybody cares what the other businesses are doing. It helps them put their own experience in context because everyone's experiencing totally new ground and new trends.
Q: How has Match adjusted its online-dating business model to social distancing?
A: We're prioritizing video. We're now looking at all of our products to see how we can integrate video as quickly as possible. Video has been on our road map at Match several times in the last few years, and it never really stuck. People weren't as tolerant of the imperfections of video. Now it's becoming way more acceptable in dating.
Q: What sort of advice is Barry Diller giving you right now?
A: Barry is an optimist, and optimism is really important right now. He’s patient, and that's been an asset for IAC for a very long time. Being patient doesn't mean to miss a moment, but to understand what the current environment is. And the current environment is something that we'll get through, provided you're financially organized to do that.
Q: What's a big lesson you've learned from the pandemic?
A: You can do all the disaster planning in the world, but you can always be surprised. No matter how good things look, you've got to maintain the strength of the balance sheet and some flexibility. The strength of things like working capital matters a lot in moments like these.