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3 Suggestions on How To Survive The Downturn: Recapping Sequoia Capital’s "Doomsday" Scenario

Om Malik provided a recap of Sequoia Capital's meeting with its portfolio companies. I'm not going to try to paraphrase it; instead, I'd encourage you to read his excellent post in its entirety.

Having just experienced a similar meeting at Liberty NetLeaders, a gathering of CEOs from local companies and Liberty Media portfolio companies, there were a lot of similar memes.

First, this downturn is not like anything we've ever experienced before. Forget 2000, think of this as the economic equivalent of the Hundred Year Flood, an engineering exercise used to model extremely rare events. Here in Denver, things tend to hit us later and last longer. I suspect the tech industry will react the same.

Second, this will have a profound effect on culture. Leaders must be prepared to toss aside all of the assumptions they have made while preparing their managers and employees for the storm. Events like this tend to expose all of the cultural schisms that get overlooked as long as the company's prospects are sunny. It will be an enormous challenge to maintain morale and stay on point.

Lastly, there will be tremendous opportunities for those companies that keep their head together. There are obvious opportunities, but at these meetings there were discussions of what kinds of opportunities were likely to present themselves, based on hewing to a clear vision and maintaining a strong cash position.

In this politically charged environment, there are any number of scapegoats that we can assign blame to. The companies that survive will be the ones that manage to stay above the fray and find ingenious ways to achieve their mission.

Oct 10 Update: Here's the presentation:


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