At a time when traders are losing their shirts, Midwesterners are losing their homes, and most investors are tightening their purse strings, Silicon Valley remains its ever-chipper self. Wellâ€¦sort of.
My company, unlike many, has a sustainable revenue model. We're doing fine.
Call me a doomsayer, but when you look at the number of non-marketing or business development employees attending networking events, you know something is amiss. Have coders learned to cope with their social anxieties or are they purposely making themselves available to salivating recruiters?
The exit strategy
Craigslist founder Craig Newmark regularly makes the statement, "death is my exit strategy". Few entrepreneurs and founding team members share the same sentiment. I for instance would like to quit working pre-death in order to obtain the Guinness World Record for peeled grape spitting. My grandfather had an amazing talent for grape spitting in his last days of senility and I'd like to continue on in his footsteps.
In any case, yesterday, after speaking at length with a fairly high ranking CTO about infrastructure, I asked the inevitable question:
Who are you taking with you on your next project?
He replied diplomatically, but he knew exactly what I was talking about. The end is (possibly) nigh. When the engineers start networking in Silicon Valley meat life, you know something is afoot. When planning for a major market crash and layoffs, employees tend to make one of four decisions:
1. Ride out the Storm: Now is as good a time as any to enjoy a steady income and a veritable rent freeze.
2. Abandon Ship for Business School: Now is as good a time as any to get that MBA and quadruple earning power for the next boom.
3. Take Flight to S.E.Asia or Africa: Now is as good a time as any to plunge down the rabbit hole of a developing country after more than 5 years of typing in a homogenous environment.
4. Bootstrap a New Idea: Now is as good a time as any to lock yourself in your home office, collect employment insurance, and launch something you couldn't work on during your day job.
So you’re Canadian — ah shit…
You know how your company was the one that sponsored you into this wonderful land of typing and unlimited soda? Yeah, that could be an issue. Grad school will get you a student visa, but Uncle Sam is definitely taking care of his own before he gives a handout to us illegals. That being said, you no longer have to be in the Valley to get funding, incubate a company, or gain exposure.
Based out of Vancouver, land of the country's first safe injection site, first failed NBA franchise team and where I had my first car accident, Bootup Labs spends 9 months making companies presentable for first round funding. The lovely Rebecca Reeve and I will be planning a party at the end of this month with Bootup Labs cofounders Boris Mann and Danny Robinson. Bring your startup ideas, your beer cozies and your healthy hatred for Nickelback.