Today marks the 2nd months since the first few cases were discovered in the United States. At the time of this article, the number of infected individuals in the United State has already exceeded that of China during the same period. One may argue that the Chinese numbers are untrustworthy and we might have better testing mechanisms. But nevertheless, the velocity of the infected is alarming.
Over 100 million (a third) of Americans are under shelter-and-stay orders. Nonessentials businesses are closed and millions of Americans are losing their jobs. From school teachers to restaurant staff, the foundations of our economic pyramid is crumbling. But we must realize that this downturn is different than the ones we experienced during the internet bubble and the 2008 mortgage meltdown.
However, before all of these happened, there were already lots of talks about an impending recession. We were predicting a correction will happen in 2020 or 2021. No one really thought that this will come so soon and in the form of a pandemic virus. For those companies that prepared for an impending economic downturn, hands off to you. For those that were betting on the status quo of another four years of republican controlled white house and senate, it’s time to think strategically about a shift in the United State’s political balance.
However, whatever political persuasion, whatever social-economic background, we are all banding together to fight this natural disaster. Instead of pointing fingers, let’s find a cure first. This pandemic doesn’t recognize race, country of origin, industry or religious belief. It kills regardless.
I spent most of today talking to some of my closest friends, confidants, and industry leaders. They are either facing the prospects of being laid off or having to make incredible decisions to lay off their staff.
It’s heart-wrenching to see some of the most successful FinTech models to crater, not because of their business strategy but because of their funding source dried up or investors pulling back. It’s never an easy decision. Believe me, these decisions are never easy and layoffs have far-reaching consequences to employees, employers, and societies in general.
While our politicians fighting out what makes them look good in November’s general election, small business owners and hard-working Americans are suffering from hopelessness and despair. We are the laughing stock of the rest of the world.
A few words to investors
Guys, let’s be real. Reaching out to your investments and those that bust their asses during good time and bad times and asking for your investment back is and cowardness act at best and shameful at worst. Your selfless act when the times are good is applauded but your selfish behavior when the time is bad is detestable. Investing in startups is a highly risky proposition, it’s not an FDIC insured high yield piggy bank.
A word to the wise
If you are in the position of having to make a hard decision of layoff. Think about the family and children you are impacting. Not everyone has the privilege of finding another job or afford months for COBRA. Treat those people that helped you build what you have accomplished and make sure they are taken care of to the best of your abilities.
Until next time, stay healthy. We will get through this in no time.