business news in context, analysis with attitude

Great piece from The Information that looks at one of the inevitable results of all the job cuts taking place in the tech sector (including the 18,000 at Amazon).

An excerpt:

"Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance - the five stages of grief. With more than 150,000 tech employees across the globe affected by layoffs last year alone, the cuts have hit wide and deep … As people hit the acceptance stage - helped in many cases by generous severance packages - they may find an abundance of options opens up. With even big tech losing its patina of stability, impacted employees may find themselves more open to roles at startups, where at least the volatility is expected and they can revel in the promise of the new.

"There are any number of startups that will benefit from the vast number of experienced engineers, designers and marketers now on the job market. Even those who haven’t been laid off may decide it’s time for something new.

"Necessity may drive some to start their own companies. There is the legendary story about the founding of Airbnb - that the founders couldn’t afford their own rent in San Francisco during the 2007 recession and started renting air mattresses in their apartment to raise cash. Their company now has a public market capitalization of more than $54 billion … For others, starting up a new business is a proactive choice. Maybe there’s an idea they’ve been mulling over but never prioritized. The flood of outstanding talent now on the market should make it possible to fill out an A-list team. Why not go for it? Even people who still have jobs may be wondering whether it’s time for a change, as one round of layoffs always makes employees wonder when the next round will come."

KC's View:

I've been arguing here for some time that all the layoffs taking place in the tech sector - Scott Galloway calls it the "Patagonia vest recession" - mean that there is a tremendous talent pool out there that suddenly is available and accessible.

Aggressive businesses interested in infusing their companies with fresh and diverse talent and building a bench filled with athletes with eclectic yet applicable tools - have a couple of choices.  They can add some of these folks to their staffs, or they can create funds that help to underwrite startups that could have significant impacts on their businesses.  Not every hire will work out, and not every investment will pay off … but it seems to me that the juice will be worth the squeeze.

Another quote from Scott Galloway:

"Failure and invention are inseparable twins. To invent you have to experiment, and if you know in advance that it’s going to work, it’s not an experiment.”