Recession in Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley is often touted as an example of what is best about American capitalism – entrepreneurial, risk-taking, innovative, hard-working, and sometimes fabulously successful. Of course, it is also periodically criticized as a land of con men and get-rich-quick schemes.

Sequoia Capital, perhaps the most venerated VC firm in the Valley, held a “secret meeting” in October to discuss the impact of the credit crisis and economic downturn on the technology industry and startup companies. The slides have been leaked, beginning with a tombstone with the words “R. I. P. Good Times.” (By the way, those of you not from the business world – particularly those with academic backgrounds – may find the presentation amusing for the way it combines large amounts of incommensurate data with an extreme scarcity of verbs, thereby avoiding the need for a coherent argument. My favorite is slide 42. But believe me, this is far better than most business presentations.)

One of the first employees of my company has a much more original and intelligent perspective on what the recession means for Silicon Valley.