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Monday, February 24, 2020

A reckoning is here

I don't think the tech startup observers fully understand just how deflating the next stage is going to be:
Now the layoffs have started coming in droves. Last month, robot pizza startup Zume and car-sharing company Getaround slashed more than 500 jobs. Then DNA testing company 23andMe, logistics startup Flexport, Firefox maker Mozilla and question-and-answer website Quora did their own cuts.

“It feels like a reckoning is here,” said Josh Wolfe, a venture capitalist at Lux Capital in New York.

It’s a humbling shift for an industry that long saw itself as an engine of job creation and innovation, producing ride-hailing giant Uber, hospitality company Airbnb and other now well-known brands that often disrupted entrenched industries.

Their rise was propelled by a wave of investor money — about $763 billion washed into startups in the United States over the past decade — that also fueled the growth of young companies in delivery, cannabis, real estate and direct-to-consumer goods. Unlike low-cost software startups, these private companies frequently took on old-line competitors by spending heavily on physical assets and workers while losing money.

Now a pullback is unfolding in precisely the areas that drew the most hype.

Around the world, more than 30 startups have slashed more than 8,000 jobs over the past four months, according to a tally by The New York Times. Investments in young companies have fallen, with 2,215 startups raising money in the United States in the last three months of 2019, the fewest since late 2016, according to the National Venture Capital Association and PitchBook, which track startups.

And those are not the only signs of change. Casper Sleep, which billed itself as the “Nike of sleep” by selling mattresses online, flopped when it went public this month. Once-hot companies like Lime, the electric scooter provider, have pulled out of some cities. Others, like e-commerce startup Brandless, game app HQ Trivia and electronics maker Essential Products, are on the verge of shutting down.

There are now “frantic mini-moments of panic, as one thing after another happens,” said Roy Bahat, an investor at Bloomberg’s venture arm in San Francisco. “At some point, one rock after another will fall away from the cliff and we’ll realize we’re not standing on anything in many, many companies.”
Let's just say at least one of  "the next billion dollar startups" won't be....

Labels: ,

70 Comments:

Blogger Gettimothy February 24, 2020 3:50 PM  

Checked Paul Graham/ YCombinator to see if panic was in the air there. No panic yet, just despair.


https://blog.ycombinator.com/how-to-cope-with-founder-depression/



Blogger Newscaper312 February 24, 2020 3:57 PM  

Sad infuriating how the idiots forgot (or BS'ed past) the lessons of Web Bubble 1.0 -- gotta make a profit, or at least get to break even cash flow sooner than later.

Blogger Nikolai Collushnikov February 24, 2020 3:58 PM  

So? Learn to code.

… oh, wait a minute …

Blogger Yukichi Sensei February 24, 2020 4:07 PM  

The tech "unicorns" always had such bad fundamentals and did little new. I have been skeptic since the start, and people tell me "why are you not part of the hypnosis, it is fun."

Some family and friends who are in tech startup are the same kind of insane. Build a factory in China, to give profit to the Chinese partner and not yourself. "That is just how it is done, MARKETSHARE."

They cannot die fast enough for me.

Blogger VFM Bear February 24, 2020 4:15 PM  

"Let's just say at least one of "the next billion dollar startups" won't be...."

Award-winning cruelty artistry right there.

Blogger rikjames.313 February 24, 2020 4:15 PM  

VMWare sold out to Dell maybe 3 years ago(?) At the time the plan Dell published was to make up part of the 100 billion--with a B--price by moving all the tech and back office jobs to India.

Must have taken them more time than they thought to get set up there.

India and cutting edge tech does not seem to be concepts that work well together, but they did not ask me first.

Blogger map February 24, 2020 4:47 PM  

I can't, for the life of me, understand how companies like Google lose money.

It's just an app.

It's the ultimate thin-client. It's software that deploys on other people's hardware , both at the iPhone level and at the data center level. How are they losing billions on this?

Are Google and Apple simply raping these companies with access fees? Is that why they are always bleeding money?

I suppose we don't have start-ups. We just have independent laboratories waiting for Google or Apple to buy them out, like Biotech weights to buy biotech startups.

Blogger Pathfinderlight February 24, 2020 4:47 PM  

It's amazing how much money you can waste when your profession is to pillage functional companies like Cabela's, then turn around and piss it all away on such terrible investments...all with a smugly superior attitude.

Any civilized culture would make an example of such people.

Blogger Silly but True February 24, 2020 4:47 PM  

There’s still some money to be made. But it’s to be found in, say, developing a working large size fast-charge battery that doesn’t blow you up. But that’s a bit more work than just slapping an app on a traditional service and then calling it a high growth tech industry.

Blogger Duke Norfolk February 24, 2020 5:02 PM  

Is the Everything Bubble finally bursting?

Blogger Doktor Jeep February 24, 2020 5:09 PM  

Most of these were urban make-work projects to employ Lefty bugmen and SJWs and flood the industry with H1Bs. At the same time, drive out normal Americans and make cities too expensive for reasonable people to tolerate. This turned cities into big blue leftist archepelagos. Who had the money? And where did that who put their money? Why was the pattern and locations all the same?
It was a project done on purpose, and it appears to be running out of steam, or have served their purpose.
Wonder if those laid off H1Bs will be going back.

Blogger Uncle Maffoo February 24, 2020 5:21 PM  

My at the (((Fellow White Persons))) on that list!

Blogger kurt9 February 24, 2020 5:29 PM  

The WeWork fiasco has lead directly to this. The fact is that many of these "start-up's" that are commonly known names right now are not profitable and have no pathway to profitability. It was only a matter of time before investors began bailing on these.

Blogger Griffin the Grey February 24, 2020 5:32 PM  

"Let's just say at least one of "the next billion dollar startups" won't be...."

It's like watching Babe Ruth call his shots (although in this case I guess we might be dealing with post- rather than pre- diction...).

Blogger SciVo February 24, 2020 6:00 PM  

I perceive a fundamental flaw in their business case: the assumption that there would always be a mass market of followers using fads for brands to feel included. Hot Topic was the last best hope for branding to survive in an age of self-expression, and the contradiction made them a punchline.

Blogger Azimus February 24, 2020 6:07 PM  

It is not surprising that this would go like the 2001 tech bubble. These companies are running out of blue-ocean market, starting to compete more, so margins are dropping. No more bonanzaville.

Blogger xavier February 24, 2020 6:28 PM  

Technology companies will need to get back to basics
Produce actual hardware and software that makes work less tedious without grabbing all our data.

Maybe it's time to dust off Wordstar and Lotusx123 to provide alternatives to office.

Blogger Chief_Tuscaloosa February 24, 2020 6:36 PM  

How long until the VCs put Sam and Jack on Call Block? So pointless and unnecessary; but on the bright side, more skulls to warn the others! Maybe next time the LLoE tells someone you have no legal reason to deplatform half the electorate, someone will listen. Otherwise, SDL is going to have to create a payment website, construct the servers on which it will reside, and code the Linux kernel it will have to run on.

Blogger awildgoose February 24, 2020 6:43 PM  

Yukichi Sensei wrote:The tech "unicorns" always had such bad fundamentals and did little new.

I am also amazed at how much of the new "tech" is just old wine in new bottles.

Blogger kurt9 February 24, 2020 6:55 PM  

The tech giants have all decided that services is where the future lies (stuff like Cloud computing and the like). Even Apple has decided to go this direction. The problem is that there is a lot of competition in services. IBM, Dell, HP and others are also increasingly in services. Now, Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Amazon are now going down this path. There will be a shake out here.

Blogger Horace February 24, 2020 6:55 PM  

Writers who end a story with a quotation are lazy, stupid, or both.

Blogger Akulkis February 24, 2020 7:09 PM  

"It's amazing how much money you can waste when your profession is to pillage functional companies like Cabela's, then turn around and piss it all away on such terrible investments...all with a smugly superior attitude."

A lot of these guys are early edge boomers. When PCs (mostly Apples, TRS-80s) hit the workplace in the early 80's, due to Gen small business owners and Gen Jones junior managers buying them out of pocket and setting them up to run spreadsheets, and create printed forms for the office, the early Boomer managers, even though they didn't understand the tech, ALL HAD TO HAVE ONE, TOO.

ALL Because, "Dammit, if that junior manager overseeing the clerks has one on his desk, well, then, I need one, too! Otherwise, what would people think of me!!!"

It was all about status more than actually knowing or even caring what a computer was for.

That's part of what drove IBM to get into PCs, despite the potential (soon realized) to cannibalize their mainframe money fountains. Status. Most people didn't know or care what Apple's product was, and TRS-80 had too much stench associayed with Radio Shack electronics kits (nerdy, cheap kit for amateurs who can't afford upscale kit). On the other hand, in their minds, having an office full of IBM logos screamed "I'm important, Dammit!" it was all about image, nothing more and nothing less.

Now they are in their 70's, and still just as clueless about tech. But they have company money to throw around, just like when they were spending company money on $6k~10k on full blown setups (printers, dual floppy disk drives AND internal 20M~40M drives, etc.early IBM PC. Which all then proceeded to gather dust. [Typing??? That's what my secretary does for me!]

IBM's salespeople spotted an interesting thing
To sell to Silents: use. "Because you earned it."

To sell to Brat Boomers: "Because you deserve it."
[just for continuing to breathe].

It's the same thing, just 40 years later. It's just a new form of throwing money around trying to look cool to their acquaintances.

Boomers gonna boomer.

Blogger Akulkis February 24, 2020 7:11 PM  

Laid off H1-B's are required by law to go back if they can't find a new employer-sponsor in something like 30 calandar days.

Blogger Doktor Jeep February 24, 2020 7:49 PM  

Remember when people thought "writing an app" would change the world?
Remember how many TED talks there were with these guys who supposedly could code, had a lot to say about writing apps or something, but somehow had 1000 percent more time to talk and self-promote than people who actually wrote code.
Remember how seemingly, up to around 2010 most coders were nerdish but otherwise based white guys and then it seemed like they were deliberately driven out? A few weeks ago I'm looking at notifications for tech stuff, get a twitter link... oh look a tranny. But this was tech stuff. Hmmm someone else in that time line who is a "maker" or something or wrote some cod.... oh another tranny. Hmm who's that CEO of that company with the tech I was reading about.. ah posted pronouns "she/her" my what a thick neck. That's three do I win a prize?
Every damned time. I'm going through timelines of these techies and it's looking like a Reddit meetup.
There's more "artificial" going on here than meets the eye - or perhaps meets the eye too much. What I do know is that "normal" - as much as nerdy omegas and seasons delta coders could be normal - guys were driven out. Then the entire world of lower tier tech, like these startups - suddenly became this bonanza of weirdos and snarkers who made it their entire lifestyle to "work for a startup and like double mocha frappachinos". I lived around Seattle during this time. It's like these guys popped out of an interdimensional rift. I was also hearing the phrase from normal fellows: "I do real man's work so I'll be having to move to find work". I managed to stay in this field because I worked for a small company and was alone 99 percent of the time. Nobody to decide I had to go for being too white or something. For a few years I dealt mainly with old white and Asian engineer types. Slowly, and insidiously, they fell away. Replaced by "CEOs" of one-man startups. The most clueless people with gay office voice you could imagine. Insidiously I say because it was so gradual I didn't notice until my health suffered from relentless aggravation putting up with these really retarded, self absorbed, entitled, and lazy people. People who expected to click on one or two things with a mouse and everything would work right out of the box - for a product that required work. It used to be that I would be amazed at what some engineer was doing with the technology I supported and what I was seeing was a bug report or oddity. Years later it was me bending over backwards to help people with detailed specific step by step illustrated instructions - ring and pinky fingers numb from carpal tunnel in those days - and did they read it? No. They would just complain more or say they didn't understand it.
And you look at the social media these people have and wonder how they can tie their shoes.
Tech is hard. The real stuff. Somehow, people who can't handle being "triggered" are working so hard? I don't think so. I know islander blacks running multi-million dollar production equipment 12 hours a day with deadlines and they don't even drink.

It all seems so deliberate.

Blogger nswhorse February 24, 2020 7:53 PM  

Akulkis wrote:Laid off H1-B's are required by law to go back if they can't find a new employer-sponsor in something like 30 calandar days.

That's the law, but is it enforced? Or do those who want the West flooded with foreigners find some way to keep them here?

Blogger RedJack February 24, 2020 8:02 PM  

My big question is what do the VC's think about this? I mean, things like WeWork are bull from the pitch.

Or are they just connected people who are there to extract money from suckers?

On Cabelas. Went through Sydney last November. Used to be a great town. Now, gone.

There are few good sporting goods stores left. Just like civilian gun makers and book stores. That isn't good.

You can have lean, or robust. You can't have both.

Blogger Joeplanet February 24, 2020 8:30 PM  

Wordstar! Control+K!

Blogger Damelon Brinn February 24, 2020 8:35 PM  

The fact is that many of these "start-up's" that are commonly known names right now are not profitable and have no pathway to profitability.

And for every one that you've heard of, there are a hundred others that never even got that far. They put together a "diverse" staff heavy on marketers and idea people, set up a pretty website, create social media accounts for the diverse staffers to post on, get some VC money or an angel investor, and then pay themselves until the money runs out. Rinse and repeat. Nothing ever gets produced, not even virtually.

Blogger Ransom Smith February 24, 2020 8:40 PM  

At my work, we use this software for multiple uses and recently I've been getting a lot of emails from said company about Black History Month.
Coincidentally, I've noticed a very high level of technical issues recently.
As one of the decision makers on the subject, I'm now going to push for something else because I can see the future already coming.

Blogger James Dixon February 24, 2020 8:52 PM  

> ...and code the Linux kernel it will have to run on.

The 4.x kernel still works fine and is largely pre-convergence. All it needs is security updates and the backporting of new hardware drivers.

> Laid off H1-B's are required by law to go back if they can't find a new employer-sponsor in something like 30 calandar days.

And that's *so* going to happen.

Blogger SciVo February 24, 2020 8:57 PM  

kurt9 wrote:The tech giants have all decided that services is where the future lies (stuff like Cloud computing and the like). Even Apple has decided to go this direction. The problem is that there is a lot of competition in services. IBM, Dell, HP and others are also increasingly in services. Now, Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Amazon are now going down this path. There will be a shake out here.

The problem is that part of the service is security, and the client doesn't know what he doesn't have until it's too late. So it will be a circus of corporate penny-pinchers fighting over the territory of the last victim of a black swan, until finally the conventional wisdom shifts to recognition of the plain fact that you can only be sure of your security if you have control over it. Skin in the game or bend over.

Blogger weka February 24, 2020 9:01 PM  

Open Office or Koffice. Stable, free, working... The market is in services using open source.

Blogger Damelon Brinn February 24, 2020 9:23 PM  

I lived around Seattle during this time. It's like these guys popped out of an interdimensional rift.

There's been a push to brainwash boys and men who are unhappy with themselves, especially those who tend aspie, into thinking they'd feel more "normal," or at least be treated better, if they became women. Certainly no one is telling them to go the other direction and learn to be masculine. Unlike previous generations of men who weren't comfortable in their own skin, they can try it out without surgery, just taking some hormones to make their man-boobs bigger and letting their hair grow long. Instead of getting beaten up on the street or playground, they get praised and celebrated, though it doesn't make them any happier.

There are basically zero women in a lot of these fields, so the freaks can actually outnumber them, especially since they're drawn to positions where they get the maximum attention and can create the most drama.

Blogger furor kek tonicus ( according to the 13th Amendment, Slavery is neither Cruel nor Unusual: MSAGA ) February 24, 2020 9:23 PM  

11. Doktor Jeep February 24, 2020 5:09 PM
Most of these were urban make-work projects to employ Lefty bugmen and SJWs and flood the industry with H1Bs.



if you read the linked Forbes article, that sounds like a pretty good description of the companies that made it past Forbes "vetting".


such as this, for instance:
"a cloud-based cybersecurity platform"

talk about contradiction in terms.

Blogger Newscaper312 February 24, 2020 9:43 PM  

Doktor Jeep
FWIW here in Mobile, there are virtually no H1Bs I am aware of. Also you dont seem to have the knee jerk ageism of the Left Coast or other bigger tech hubs.
Dont know if it's a Southern thing or a smaller market thing.

Blogger Dire Badger February 24, 2020 10:43 PM  

weka wrote:Open Office or Koffice. Stable, free, working... The market is in services using open source.

Pointy-haired boss doesn't understand open source.

Blogger Johnny February 24, 2020 10:44 PM  

Cloud computing is a new name on an old idea. When they first came out with the IBM PC, it was conceptually framed as a more powerful terminal hooked to a mainframe computer off somewhere. What killed that idea was that it became cheaper to have your own in house computer. What I think brought cloud computing back was the rapidly falling cost of data transfer. Plus with the cellphone as the computer it again makes sense to shift the power back to a mainframe. And I imaging it is easier to suck money out of people for software if they don't have direct access to it.

Blogger Rough Carrigan February 24, 2020 11:00 PM  

It would take a heart of stone not to laugh at the sudden unemployment of pretentious dipshits who congratulated themselves for being a disruptive technology with their new app that reminds you to cut your toenails. The venture capital morons who enabled it all deserve a life of ignominious penury as a result of it, too.

Blogger Scuzzaman February 25, 2020 1:37 AM  

You give people cheap enough money and they do stupid things with it.

Like start worthless companies, make worthless products, employ worthless people.

As soon as interest rates rise - and they always do - all the worthless stuff is exposed.

We’ve been through this cycle several times. The frequency is increasing, which implies an inherent and approaching limit.

Blogger bodenlose Schweinerei February 25, 2020 2:49 AM  

Without the Fed regime of money for nothing, most of these "companies" would never leave the idea stage. Certainly even the "biggest" have valuations that are sick, mean-spirited jokes.

The tech "unicorns" always had such bad fundamentals and did little new.

The notion that "the internet" is anything utterly new is absurd. It's simply an improved mode of communication with better bandwidth. It has made existing forms of interaction faster and more convenient (most of the time), but what completely new notion has it ushered into the world?

Blogger wreckage February 25, 2020 5:01 AM  

They call Uber and AirBnB big engines of innovation and job creation, but they're both basically just a very slick version of a billboard or classifieds section. They don't DO anything, and they will eventually be competed down to ordinary software company status. Their job is to destroy the middle-man in peer-to-peer transactions... and they are the middleman.

How can anyone miss the significance of the most recent big movement in tech being towards facilitating private individual P2P transactions? Or did they think they'd get to gut the Taxi industry and then remain safe from any further progress?

Blogger Gregory the Tall February 25, 2020 5:11 AM  

Just installed Windows 10 in our small company as the support for Windows 7 ended. Next thing was that Office 2010 stopped working with Windows 10. So we upgraded to Office 2016. Now we cannot email files from of our applications (scanner, invoicing, Word, Excel, pdf etc.) because our email system is still being overridden by Outlook in spite of everything we did, and nobody knows a good way to change this.

Blogger wreckage February 25, 2020 5:15 AM  

Functionally, those thousands of jobs in startups can be seen as supplying the market. Not for a product, but for startups themselves. The demand was there.

Blogger Harry Goldblatt MD February 25, 2020 6:38 AM  

The whole "everybody must learn to code" mania has done untold damage.
We need more coders like we need a hole in the head.

Blogger Doktor Jeep February 25, 2020 7:36 AM  

All "cloud computing" ever was, is "some other computer". I have been battling marketers over their throwing this buzzword all over the place needlessly.

Blogger furor kek tonicus ( according to the 13th Amendment, Slavery is neither Cruel nor Unusual: MSAGA ) February 25, 2020 7:47 AM  

39. Scuzzaman February 25, 2020 1:37 AM
As soon as interest rates rise - and they always do



they cannot.

the Federal Debt is +20 Trillion outstanding. and the Federal Reserve funds this via constantly purchasing new T-bills from the Treasury.

this debt can only be carried through the conceit that interest rates should be less than the inflation rate.

if Interest is ever allowed to return to a functional rate, it will instantly destroy the US government.

Blogger Arthur Isaac February 25, 2020 7:57 AM  

A border closing virus hitting at the same time as a biblically proportioned plague hits the immigrant production areas of Africa and Asia? Yes, I'd call that deflationary. Be prepared to see a lot less people and a lot less demand for goods and services. The Black Death could be a minor correction by comparison.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd February 25, 2020 8:30 AM  

bodenlose Schweinerei wrote:The notion that "the internet" is anything utterly new is absurd. It's simply an improved mode of communication with better bandwidth. It has made existing forms of interaction faster and more convenient (most of the time), but what completely new notion has it ushered into the world?
The notion that you can make a company worth billions without ever actually making anything, let alone making a profit. I think that's new: could any of us have been that stupid before the internet?

Superficially, the internet tapped a new vein of suckers who hadn't been adequately fleeced before. By Anonymous Conservative's take, the internet and the fed's free money machine were just new cover for the same old, evil cabal. Really, AC's take on it looks more likely.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd February 25, 2020 8:40 AM  

Dire Badger wrote:Pointy-haired boss doesn't understand open source.
Find or form a company that will contract to provide training and tech support for your office software.

PHB doesn't want free. Free means you're on your own. PHB wants somebody to call, who is actually going to answer and actually solve HIS problems. PHB doesn't really care what software is used.

Blogger ADS February 25, 2020 8:59 AM  

Imagine obeying immigration law like a total simp omegalul.

Blogger Oswald February 25, 2020 9:27 AM  

Let's just say at least one of "the next billion dollar startups" won't be.... Surely Dave has a chance? That list was telling. Doesn't anyone make anything these days?

Blogger szook February 25, 2020 9:45 AM  

What you mean the old formula no longer works
1. Create snazzy web portal
2. .....(get a VC drunk at the launch party)
3. Profit

Blogger szook February 25, 2020 10:18 AM  

@44 True, but....ah, just think of all the wonderful opportunities created by digitizing what a broken window is.....

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Blogger Akuma February 25, 2020 10:38 AM  

"All "cloud computing" ever was, is "some other computer". I have been battling marketers over their throwing this buzzword all over the place needlessly."

Cloud computing is good for having a back up of important documents in an easily accessable location. Or sharing large files. If you're someone that actually does the work its great.

Moving files around multiple physical machines on seperate external harddrives is tedious. Plus its socially odd. You could always use an ftp server, but managers and most underlings are knowledge adverse. Its why XMPP with OTR is unpopular and Hipchat, Slack, Discord, etc. are popular. Not everyone has a machete and to help cut through the the weeds.

Blogger Akuma February 25, 2020 10:47 AM  


"Laid off H1-B's are required by law to go back if they can't find a new employer-sponsor in something like 30 calandar days"

"That's the law, but is it enforced? Or do those who want the West flooded with foreigners find some way to keep them here?"

Theres a system in place to determine the terms that dictate if you get to stay. If its possible to auto generate notices of late payment, its possible to generate notice of your illegal immigrant status. If debt collectors can find anyone with minimal skip tracing, illegal immigrants can be found. The notices can be sent to HR departments, and they can have the local cops serve the Alien their deportation notice.

Blogger Scuzzaman February 25, 2020 11:01 AM  

furor kek tonicus

But trying to hold them down longer is only going to ignite an even larger conflagration.

Sucky choice, I know.

Blogger Scuzzaman February 25, 2020 11:04 AM  

Oh, I forgot:

You say that like it’s a bad thing!

Blogger Jack Amok February 25, 2020 11:28 AM  

They call Uber and AirBnB big engines of innovation and job creation, but they're both basically just a very slick version of a billboard or classifieds section. They don't DO anything...

Don't be ridiculous. Of course they do something, something useful and valuable. Maybe not enough to justify their idiotic company valuations, but that's hardly uncommon today. Uber let's you pull out your phone, tap a couple buttons, and have a driver routed to pick you up, take you where you want to go, and handle the payment for you. It's an order of magnitude more convenient than any taxi system I've ever used, and I'm old enough to have used real taxis.

There are plenty of "tech startups" to do in fact create worthless products, or products without a viable demonetization path, but most of the bigger names - including Uber, Lyft and AirBnB - provide some value. Their problem is they've gone for the fast-track VC path and have created cost structures that aren't sustainable. Their service doesn't need the cost structure, and could be implemented at a viable price, but the VC/Fed Funny-Money spigot drives costs up and competitors out.

Tech is a mess these days, but that doesn't mean everything is crap. Only most of it.

Blogger Jack Amok February 25, 2020 11:34 AM  

"All "cloud computing" ever was, is "some other computer"

It's more than that, though whether or not it's beneficial depends on individual circumstances. Cloud Computing is also "sharing hardware" and means - assuming your usage is compatible with the security profile of shared hardware and transmitting data over the Internet - you can scale up and down your hardware to meet fluctuating demand without having to buy enough machines to handle peak loads.

Blogger Jack Amok February 25, 2020 11:46 AM  

you dont seem to have the knee jerk ageism of the Left Coast or other bigger tech hubs.
Dont know if it's a Southern thing or a smaller market thing.


I'm going to guess it's a product type thing. Even out here on the Left Coast, if a company is doing something that takes real work, they're not too picky about age. In fact, there's some real desperation for GenX engineering managers, because the Millennials as a generation are seriously lacking in leadership. Finding a 30 year old software engineer who's willing to be responsible for a team feels like a biblical quest sometimes.

Blogger awildgoose February 25, 2020 11:55 AM  

Newscaper312 wrote:Doktor Jeep

FWIW here in Mobile, there are virtually no H1Bs I am aware of. Also you dont seem to have the knee jerk ageism of the Left Coast or other bigger tech hubs.

Dont know if it's a Southern thing or a smaller market thing.


From my experience I'd say it's a smaller market thing. I spent a long time working at a firm in western NY and they actually did a decent job valuing their older employees.

Where this firm fell down was not finding talented younger people to function as apprentices/understudies for the older employees. There is a lot of hard-won experience and tribal knowledge that is going to walk out the door when those older folks retire or are laid off.

Blogger awildgoose February 25, 2020 12:04 PM  

Harry Goldblatt MD wrote:The whole "everybody must learn to code" mania has done untold damage.

We need more coders like we need a hole in the head.


What we really need are more GOOD coders.

There are a lot of coders that have Computer Science or Computer Engineering degrees from major universities with strong engineering departments.

Not that many of those folks are all that great at writing code, especially when that code needs to control or interface with anything external to the development environment on their PC.

Blogger Newscaper312 February 25, 2020 12:29 PM  

@63 awildgoose

OTOH the bootcamp and cert-only crowd have limits, w a focus on the simplest form of "what commands do I type to do X" coding, and often (usually?) don't know what they don't know re architecture, maintainability, performance, knowing when you're making trade offs in general.

A good CS grad won't know a lot of real world stuff either, but should be a bit more aware that there is more they couldn't get to in 4 years, an be be better situated to keep gorwing.

Blogger ace February 25, 2020 12:32 PM  

Anon: "Learn to mine coal."

Blogger Newscaper312 February 25, 2020 12:34 PM  

@61 Jack
"Finding a 30 year old software engineer who's willing to be responsible for a team feels like a biblical quest sometimes."

I'm 55, 13 years into software as a 2nd career (was in electronics mfg before most of it went to Mexico then China), and have no wish to be tech lead type. "Lead" as in point man or expert/guide sure, "over" people in some sense no. Partly because I'm more the inventor type, partly because oddly enough I was never on a traditional team as an underling to have a good example of what a hands on tech lead would look like. I was always on the hard oddballs stuff with a lot of independence and ad hoc collaboration (the real kind not the stupid buzzword kind).

Blogger Ominous Cowherd February 25, 2020 12:45 PM  

Gregory the Tall wrote:Just installed Windows 10 in our small company as the support for Windows 7 ended. Next thing was that Office 2010 stopped working with Windows 10. So we upgraded to Office 2016. Now we cannot email files from of our applications (scanner, invoicing, Word, Excel, pdf etc.) because our email system is still being overridden by Outlook in spite of everything we did, and nobody knows a good way to change this.
This goes back to my @49: Find or form a company that will actually provide software, tech support and training that actually solves your problems. They might provide something like Libreoffice, or Windows stuff or Apple stuff, it doesn't matter what, as long as you can call a number and they make the stuff work.

PHBs don't want Free Software, and they don't want Windows, they want things to run with no hassles, and they want to solve problems with a phone call.

Blogger Mr. Bee February 25, 2020 2:45 PM  

The real estate crash in Silicon valley is going to be epic.

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Blogger Deshawn May 09, 2020 3:39 AM  

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