The sky isn’t falling
It’s difficult not to worry during bad economic times. I’m a worried-optimist of sorts, as paradoxical as it sounds, as I tend to be nervous/pragmatic about the short term but generally highly (and perhaps even) wildly optimist about the long term.
Because of the latter bit, I tend to glom onto stories like this column from Robert J. Samuelson which basically says: yeah, there are a lot of things that aren’t going so great, but there are lots of other things that aren’t so bad at all.
I think people who have been around the tech industry are particularly attuned (though I’m probably biased!) to what’s going on with the economy. Speaking from personal experience, I went through the Bay Area rise and fall during the web 1.0 years and noted recently to a friend how I remembered that San Francisco literally felt like a different city in 2002 than it did in 1999.
The strange thing this time around the old economic spin cycle is that tech is in a demonstrably stronger position â€“ at least for now, and I’d be surprised if this changed â€“ relative to the rest of the economy. And it stands to reason that as companies and consumers scale back on normal expenses, they’ll seek out more efficient and better measurable ways of purchasing goods and services, and the Internet is dynamite at doing just that. That, it stands to reason, will keep the online advertising business strong (along with increased marketing dollars being diverted away from expensive print and TV ads), which in terms bolsters the overall online economy.
But as I started out this piece with, it’s hard not to be nervous. This story, about the “tech worker perception gap,” proves that out, showing tech workers worried about the ability to find jobs and the stability of their companies even as tech companies continue to hire more workers.
Me, I’m trying to keep my mind on the long term.