Shot of large crowd at concert.
What a year! Thirteen months (and counting) of battles through an endless daily cycle of boredom and fear, monotony and mass death. But there are signs of hope! Worldwide, more than 673 million vaccines have been administered; the United States must vaccinate 75% of its population within the next three months; California just announced that the state will fully reopen on June 15. When normal life resumes - after 500 consecutive days of bed, desk and sofa. stress, isolation, grief; grimaces and repeats - it will not be with a moan, but with a bang. We are in a historic shortage. Dinners and music festivals. Delayed travel and no hugs. Warehouse raves in San Francisco that will be measured on the Richter scale. Personally, there is a mezcalmargarita with my name on it when my favorite bar opens.
And it won't be just social. Some will channel their pent-up energies towards professional activities. Census data shows that the creation of new businesses initially dec lined with the start of the pandemic, but (unlike the Great Recession), resulting in a surge in 2020. This only indicates the explosion to come. Working at companies like Apple, Amazon and Netflix is a silent population of restless future founders, who, after working in confinement for the past year, are likes greyhounds in their underpants, trying hard to start their own projects. I predict that a legacy of Covid-19 will be a progressive function in the number of new businesses launched, a crazy 20 years of entrepreneurship, which will come at the expense of Big Tech. Get ready for the startup party.
Three things lay the foundation for this startup party: the changing nature of work, favorable economic headwinds and the post-pandemic YOLO. First, what appeared to be temporary accommodation is clearly becoming a fundamental reorganization in the way people work. Employers and employees have both, with up to a quarter of the U.S. workforce expected to remain totally removed after the pandemic, and far more likely to work virtually much of the time. When early concerns about reduced productivity turned out to be unwarranted,Large companies have become enthusiastic advocates of the benefits of remote control, including giving employees greater flexibility and saving employers millions on office expenses and perks like free lunches. Tech companies including Salesforce, Slack, Spotify, Dropbox, and Zillow, as well as traditional big companies like JPMorgan Chase and PWC, have announced that employees working remotely can continue to do so.
What these platform companies do not fully take into account, in their race for virtual efficiency, are the downstream effects that come from the interference of professional and staff. Working from home means that entrepreneurial-minded employees now have the flexibility, freedom and time to work on their own projects. One from the University of Chicago showed that Americans doThey commute 60 mil less hours a day, and devoted two-thirds of that time to themselves - to family, hobbies, housework and individual passions. As an investor, I know firsthand that a subset of these people are workers at big tech companies who don't spend those saved hours baking quarantine bread in their kitchens - they are building rockets. in their garages (or install).
Moreover, it 's not just a matter of more bandwidth. Without face-to-face meetings with colleagues and daily institutional reinforcements, it is only in human nature that loyalty and a sense of cohesion diminish. For companies like Facebook, Uber and Google - whose employees were already in conflict in recent yearss on the scrutiny their employers faced on issues such as misinformation, confidentiality, distraction, sexual harassment and tax evasion - the problem is even more acute. Some of their best talents have cobbled together some interesting problems in the lockdown time flat circle compartments, and wonder why they should keep working for The Man, when they could instead build the next one. Clubhouse. (Full disclosure: My company, Foundation Capital, is an investor in Clubhouse.) So while Big Tech executives are abuzz with planning for the “future of work” and everything hybrid, I think they should prepare to be eviscerated.
These are also the best conditions for starting a business for over a decade, maybe never. The US economy is teeming with capital at all levels.ux. There has never been more funding available for startups. The monetary environment is the most favorable it has ever been, with widespread interest rates that the Fed says will persist for years. Historic savings and unprecedented stimulus money are making their way through the balance sheets of consumers, ready to be spied on all the pleasures and activities that have been denied them over the past year. This is doubly true for employees of large tech companies, who have been relatively unscathed by the layoffs that have hit other industries. For a year now, they've been collecting paychecks in the Bay Area without having much room to spend them. The founders, in short, have stronger economic headwinds and more financial cushion than ever to take risks.
Finally, the hottest booster of the next Party of Startups couldbe the fearless factor. There is nothing like being harassed by a deadly respiratory virus to focus your mind on the things that really matter, or wasting a year on near house arrest remembering that life is too short. Everyone all over the world craves a change and is ready to come out of their cage. If it 's not now, then when? Some are workers of big tech companies, who may have enjoyed having an island of stability during the crisis, but now they are exploding to risk something big, bold and terrifying. I am not getting any younger. To start something of their own, with a sense of purpose and will. Why not .
In the midst of the pandemic, my company left its mark. One thing we've learned in a quarter of a century is that our best leaders and businesses tend to be forged in the worst times. This includes Reed Hastings guidingNetflix through the Dot-Com collapse and Lynn Jurich doing the same for Sunrun during the 2008 financial crisis. When the life of Covid finally recedes, people will pop bottles of champagne and party eruptively. in the U.S. But a jamboree of new founders will also build prototypes, assemble pitch decks, and sign their first mandates. Great companies are created in times of societal trauma, great entrepreneurs can translate uncertainty into opportunity - and now is the time.