Portent is Being Acquired

Ian Lurie Aug 22 2017

Blink. Rub your eyes. You didn't read wrong. You didn't stare at yesterday's eclipse through defective glasses. It's true.

Portent's in the process of being acquired.

Like an avowed bachelor, I swore I Would Never Sell. Then along came the perfect partner.

Our soon-to-be parent company is called Clearlink. They’re a performance marketing company. Which is like calling a Tesla a nice little car.

Clearlink has built the ultimate performance-based marketing engine: They have millions of pages of great content, integrate that content with landing pages and PPC, and then have their own call centers to handle incoming calls without the typical marketing and sales wobbly-baton-hand-off.

In short, they get to own and optimize the whole funnel.

They represent brands like AT&T, State Farm, and Progressive.

Why they want us

Some of Clearlink's big clients want agency services. When the deal's done, we're going to help them provide those services. Which is why this acquisition makes sense on both sides.

This acquisition:

  • Is all about acquiring the Portent team
  • Does not include horrifying rounds of corporate purging
  • Does not require that I sell me and my team's collective soul
  • Gets us together with a great bunch of people
  • Gives us a lot more resources
  • Should wrap up in early September

The team:

  • Will still be the great team you're used to
  • Will keep doing the same work
  • Will grow


  • Will still be here
  • May be speaking at more conferences
  • Will definitely be writing and teaching more

Put it all together, and you can see why I jumped at this opportunity. This isn't your typical acquisition.

I am…

Excited, nervous, thrilled, and philosophical all at once.

Philosophical because, after 22 years, this opens a new chapter for my team and me.

Thrilled to move the team into that new chapter.

Nervous about a very new direction for myself and my team.

But more than anything, I'm excited about what we're going to do together.

And, to repeat: I'm not going anywhere. My hope is to be our version of Bertram Cooper someday, hanging out in my office, offering sage bits of advice and, if I'm lucky, kicking the bucket at 100 years old while watching humanity land on Europa. You'll have to watch Mad Men to get the reference.

See you in the next blog post,


PS: We'll be slowly morphing Portent's brand, but not for a few months. You can continue to spam me at my address.


  1. Very cool to hear this, Ian! Congratulations!

  2. Thrilled for you and the team Ian! And plenty jealous too — I’ve long been trying to move from the “aspiring entrepreneur” column to the “successful entrepreneur” column (and I know it’s way harder than it looks).

    Hope it’s a wonderful partnership — congrats to Clearlink, too. They’ve chosen very wisely.

    • Ian Lurie

      Ian Lurie

      It’s funny to hear you say. I consider you the “successful entrepreneur.” :)

      Thanks – I am wildly excited. And I am rarely wildly excited.

  3. I am very happy for you and your team, Ian. You are an inspiration to us all, and always have been.

  4. Doc Sheldon

    Doc Sheldon

    I’m happy for you and your team, Ian! I know you’ve worked hard to get where you are, and it’s great to see you reaping more benefits than just an 80 hr work-week! Clearlink won the lottery!

    • Ian Lurie

      Ian Lurie

      Thanks Doc. Great stuff awaits, I think. This is a pretty great setup.

  5. Congrats to the entire Portent team! Looks like the perfect match for you guys :)

  6. Well deserved Ian!

    Clearlink did choose wisely.

    P.S. I would consider you and Rand a “Successful Entrepreneur”. :)

  7. Ronell



    Wow, wow, wow… Very happy for you, bro. They are lucky to have you. I’m jealous you’ll get to hang out in SLC more.

  8. Massive congrats, Ian! Well-deserved & even more congratulations to Clearlink for getting such a terrific company.

  9. Merry Ann Moore

    Merry Ann Moore

    Woot woot! Congrats on such well-earned recognition and success.

  10. Way to go, Ian! Huge congratulations!

  11. Congrats! Along with Distilled I’ve been following Portent closely because of so many great posts you’ve shared. Fingers crossed for you all!

  12. Wow, awesome news Ian. Always had/have a great deal of respect for you on the speaking circuit and as an Entrepreneur. Kudos for landing what seems like a great deal for you and your team. All the best!!

  13. Ian,
    Wonderful news! So happy for you!

  14. Congratulations on the acquisition for you and the Portent team! Sounds like this may free you up a bit to follow some of your other passions around speaking and mentoring others. Give it a bit of time!

  15. Rob Garner

    Rob Garner

    Congrats Ian, very exciting news!!!

  16. Elisabeth Archambault

    Elisabeth Archambault

    Congratulations, Ian, and everyone at Portent!

    • Ian Lurie

      Ian Lurie

      Thanks Elisabeth!!!

  17. Lea


    Congrats! As long as you and your team continue to write this brilliant blog or other publications, I’m fine with whatever. ;)

  18. Dean Brady

    Dean Brady

    Congrats. New client of Portent so a little nervous but happy for the team.

    • Ian Lurie

      Ian Lurie

      Don’t be nervous! An important part of this acquisition is that we keep doing what we’re doing. My team will take very good care of you.

  19. Congratulations Ian and team, look forward to celebrating with you at Retail Global next month.

  20. Congratulations Ian
    Nothing like an being acquired to get the juices going. I hope Clearlink appreciates what Portent brings to the table.

  21. Ian, we couldn’t be happier for you. Your post concisely and respectfully covers just about every question anyone might consider when thinking about your exciting news. You are wonderful with words.

  22. Congrats again Ian – I think one key indicator that makes this sound like a good acquisition is the fact that they want you to do more blogging and writing. That is clearly your talent (or one of them) and definitely the way I’d want to spend a lot of my time as well! Look forward to your posts!

  23. Congratulations on your news Ian! Look forward to hearing more about your new chapter.

  24. Jill Berroth

    Jill Berroth

    Congratulations!! Exciting news :)

  25. Carolyn and Bill Bartholet

    Carolyn and Bill Bartholet

    We knew you when – and are not one bit surprised at you continued success! When the book is written on your amazing life, Ian, just don’t forget those of us who just might have a story or two!

    • Ian Lurie

      Ian Lurie

      I’ve told stories of sailing in Lavallette many times. But I know you’ve got stories. I’ll be careful :)

  26. Joe


    Congrats! Hope to get more blogging from you, as you’re probably the funniest writer in digital marketing, for sure.

  27. Congrats to the whole Portent team from your (even more) northern friends! 🇫🇮

  28. Congratulations Ian! Sounds great.

  29. Congratulations Ian! I know the stress that comes with ownership so hopefully you can relax a bit :-) Sounds like a win win. Best of luck with the completion of the acquisition.

    • Ian Lurie

      Ian Lurie

      Thanks Jon!

  30. So great for you and the company! What an achievement and a promising partnership. Wins wins are rare these days and it seems like you hit the nail on the head. I always enjoy your voice in this industry and respect everything you’ve accomplished. Looking forward to more amazing content from you in the future!

  31. Matt Prina

    Matt Prina

    Welcome to Clearlink! It’s been fun to kind of get to know you through Confluence!

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