Edition 32: Quarantine
I’d be amiss if I didn’t talk about the COVID pandemic across the globe. In Canada or specifically Toronto, life seems to be somewhat normal, though you can catch folks with masks in the subway (spotted 2 today). But from what I am seeing happening south of the border, things are relatively calm. I personally think it’ll get worse before it gets better. On the business side, I am seeing a slowdown & personally focused on cash in the bank in case things go south so I can ride out the storm.
Taking a page from this post by Sequoia (Coronavirus: The Black Swan of 2020):
Do you really have as much runway as you think? Could you withstand a few poor quarters if the economy sputters? Have you made contingency plans? Where could you trim expenses without fundamentally hurting the business? Ask these questions now to avoid potentially painful future consequences.
John Short (who is a fellow consultant at Compound Growth Marketing) sent an email out asking how we view the risks for the current situation. Here was my somewhat coherent response (summary).
don't know how helpful this would be but the way I've always looked at it is that - most of the companies I work with are general venture backed (with a few exceptions). Most VCs have LPs who would likely put their money in low risk investments. As the macro economy takes a down turn due to lack of mobility / manufacturing and the economy slows down, the Venture funding that keeps companies I work with going will likely dry up - driving companies to be more conservative with their spending.
How are you viewing the situation? Let me know by replying to this email/twitter or LinkedIn or carrier pigeons.
On the flip side, there are marketers trying to capitalize on this situation and peddling their ‘how to make your business shine in times of great crisis’ type stuff. Go out, get some air & perspective.
I just met Jacob for lunch today. We went to a small Japanese place, a meeting that was kicked off by us both attending an event called Masters of Ops by an attribution vendor called Calibre Mind (canceled) & his response to the previous newsletter. One of the interesting points he brought up was that I can/should weave more of my ‘work’ stories into the narrative I write about here. I am going to try this once a while but if it gets soo ‘content marketing’ let me know.
It’s difficult to write about the state of the industry right now but here are some interesting reads - as this crisis shows us questions to grapple with:
Silicon Valley’s two-tiered system for white-collar workers is under pressure as coronavirus spreads. The technology dream is built on the back of human labor.
Is it Ethical to Order Delivery During a Pandemic? Don’t forget those gig economy folks who fuel the instant gratification economy.
I could not end without leaving this here: (thanks Jess!)
Soundtrack for today:
Wishing you health.