[W]hile it’s too early to tell if the next bust will be as brutal, it seems clear that startups will suffer the most when it does. VCs invested more money last quarter than any since Q2 2001; at the same time, their performance at IPO (for those that even reached this stage) has rapidly declined. After the next sharp tech-stock drop, even startups confidently on an IPO track will likely need to delay their plans. As this happens, startups that have acquisition as their revenue model will struggle to find suitors. With billions already spent, the Internet giants will quietly close their checkbooks.
Vanessa also points out where the industry should shift its attention:
Mid-sized tech companies, many several years old or more, long outside the top-of-page headlines, often not based in Silicon Valley, have been quietly making and raising money — often lots of it. Companies like Atlassian, Chegg, DuckDuckGo, SendGrid, and Vidyo, not widely seen as “sexy,” run by veterans of the industry who have little to prove to anyone beyond their core constituents, are putting in solid performances where they matter most.Consider what a tech culture devoted to profitable, established, mid-sized companies could be. It would look serious, thoughtful, established. Some of them would still IPO or get acquired by the giants, but these moves would (finally) seem sane.
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