100 Quarters of Profitability: Insights from a Trender
Learn what 100 straight quarters of profitability means to a Trender who has been here for every one of them.
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I was asked to give my thoughts and insights into what 100 straight quarters of profitability mean to me as a Trender who has been here for all of them. My career with Trend Micro started back in July 1996 when I became a sales engineer with Trend supporting our Unix products. It was an exciting time and I worked with some amazing people. When we went public, I was fortunate enough to be able to participate and have founders shares at the time. This was during the dotcom boom and so it was a bit crazy then and we celebrated at a Presidents Club event in Hawaii with these hats. The 4704 is our number designation for the stock, hence the name 4704 Club.
But I’d like to take a minute to reflect on what 100 straight quarters of profitability really means to me. As a business, to obtain this status, especially in technology, is quite impressive, and it shows that Trend has been a good steward of their success. By remaining conservative with our money and not spending it on many of the big marketing or advertising campaigns we see with other companies, many of which still don’t show much profit if any, has allowed us to use this profit to give back. Let me share some examples of how this has occurred and why I’m extremely proud to be a Trender.
Trend leadership early on recognized that giving back to communities and employees was a priority. We’ve been building homes in the Philippines for many, many years and the company pays any employees travel expenses to volunteer to support this project. Over the years we’ve been able to build hundreds of homes for less fortunate Filipinos who now have homes for their families. Digging a septic tank using shovels in that heat isn’t for the light hearted!!
Trend has also supported a give & match program where every dollar contributed by employees is matched by the company to double the amount. This goes towards many of the disasters the world has seen over the years, but also every year employees can submit a charity of their choice to obtain contributions and they’ll match those too. Over the years, millions of dollars have been raised.
Every year, Trend has a sales kickoff event to start the year strong and motivate our sellers but also award them for their work the previous year. But at each of these events, we do a service project where we try to give back to the community. Envision a thousand Trenders descending upon a few at-risk schools in the areas we have the event to paint, landscape, build outdoor furniture or playground stuff to make the kids proud of their school environment.
To see the looks on these kids faces when we do this and see the teachers and staff cry because of what we do is incredible, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Stuffing thousands of backpacks for girls in areas of the world where poverty is rampant with both school supplies but also feminine products while talking with your colleagues and friends makes you proud. Profitability means you can support these types of activities instead of simply putting it back into growing the business. That will come, if you are smart with how you run your business.
We were able to start a program 15 years ago called Internet Safety for Kids and Families that is an employee volunteer program that has allowed us to educate over 3 million kids, parents, and teachers around the world on how to stay safe online and become good digital citizens. Supporting a video contest where young creators can develop a video talking about online safety and other cyber topics is so fun to see and watch their amazing content. This program doesn’t make any money and is fully funded by the company.
So, to me, 100 straight quarters of profitability has meant Trend has been able to support many non-revenue related activities over those years and helped make this world a better place. It’s meant peace of mind as an employee that I can help others and the company will support me in those efforts. I’m thankful that I’ve been allowed to travel around the world and met so many great people over the years, and I look forward to seeing continued profitable quarters that will allow Trend to give back.