Tech Layoffs Starting to Hit Silicon Valley Hard

So much has changed since I started
covering Silicon Valley. Now I'm just wondering where you were 12
years ago when Bloomberg Tech launched. Oh, guys, I was a software engineer
working on my startup posthumous, which was a NYC company.
I hadn't even become a partner at Y C yet.
And 2008 we actually closed our seven hundred thousand dollars seed
round the day Lehman died. So we know for people who are watching
right now who might be affected, you know, I really do feel for you because
you had this type of day.

It's such a shock.
But also, 2008, 2009 was such an incredible time to start companies and
that you have to take the good with the bad.
Eleven thousand people laid off at Meadow alone today.
How bad does this get, in your view? You know, I really feel for those
families. I feel for every single person who is
going through that type, that magnitude of layoff.
But one of the things that I'm sort of excited about, that, you know, there is
a silver lining in that these are really smart, really dedicated people.
You know, Facebook has an incredible hiring bar.
And I think about a lot of human capital, a lot of human heart and minds
that now can be applied to, frankly, all of these other problems that, you know,
are sort of facing society and humanity. And
I'm excited about what gets unlocked here, because, you know, for for
practically, I don't know, three, five years, the number one thing that,
frankly, startups really faced was how do we find people who are as smart as,
you know, a Facebook engineer or almost any of those roles.
And so, you know, on the one hand, this is a sad day.
On the other hand, you know, I'm kind of excited to see where all of these people
are going to go.

And some of those people are going to
start new companies that actually become the next Facebook, the next matter.
And, you know, I think that that is something that I'm excited to see.
There are some people saying Silicon Valley is turning into a wasteland, that
San Francisco is over and they were saying this before these layoffs even
started to happen as a result of the changes from the pandemic alone.
I know you're very steeped in the culture of San Francisco and I'm
guessing you disagree, but what do you think?
Yeah, I think San Francisco from time immemorial is a place for dreamers and
doers to come and try to, you know, try their hand at their own future.
But, you know, there's something very special about technology in San
Francisco, which is we've brought together some of the smartest minds and
then they go on to create products and services for a billion people.
And, you know, we might have gone through our big wave over the last
decade, but there's a new wave.

You know, I keep meeting new, you know,
25 year olds, 30 year olds like, you know, people who are sort of just
starting their career. And some of them might be sort of
leaving some of these tech giants. And they're we're realizing that, hey,
we can start a company, we can create a product or service.
And it comes from actually solving real problems for customers.
Right. And so, you know, whether it's crypto
or, you know, SAS software sort of across the board, you know, even though
this is a time of sort of destruction, there is creation that is growing out
of, you know, sort of the ground from the wreckage of some of these, you know,
quite regrettable situations right now.

The seed is in there and it's growing.
And we were we were going to hear about the next Yvonne Man, the next billion
dollar or decade corn company. That is sort of starting.
Exactly. Like, you know, a startup like my
startup started the day Lehman died. So what does this actually mean for
early companies right now and for investors like yourself at the earliest
stages? How do you make decisions about where to
put your money and whether to put money in anything at all, given the way the
economy is going? Yeah, I think the very special thing
about early stage is that, you know, you are starting from small numbers.
You know, a startup, as Paul Graham wrote in his famous essay, A Startup
Equals Growth.

And when you're small, you can outrun
any macro situation. You know, the macro situation might be
the heights of 2021 when we were starting to tell people, hey, you know,
beware, there might be this recession ahead.
And, you know, that was something that we started seeing towards the end of
last year, you know, or we might be all the way down on a day like this where I
think all of us are sort of trying to figure out, like, what does this mean
and how much lower does it go. But in that in that time or this time,
there is the ability for a small team to build a product or service and grow 2 x
4 x 10 X per year.

Leave a Reply