Crisis Management

Entrepreneurship assumes an innate degree of optimism and perseverance. But even the most determined founders can feel subdued when faced with yet another crisis.

That’s why adaptability is a startup’s strongest asset. As recent global events push us into a new era of market volatility and economic uncertainty, companies must be prepared to recalibrate their business to the new reality. Whether that means pausing their hiring plans, tempering their expansion efforts, redirecting resources, or any other number of operational activities, today’s startup leaders should have a set of defensive and offensive tactics they can quickly deploy during times of crisis.

Moreover, founders should expect crises to occur regularly. As I’ve discussed before, startups are operating in an environment of uncertainty and volatility more often than not. Boom times – like the period we were in just six months ago – can make us forget that fact. Founders who study their history and plan for the unexpected are more likely to not only survive a single crisis, but to also have the ability to withstand multiple difficult periods.

I sat down with my Blitzscaling co-author Chris Yeh to discuss some of the key lessons I’ve learned from past crises in my own career; the differences between this and other difficult times such as the dot-com bubble, the Great Recession, and the beginning of the pandemic; and strategies for startup founders to navigate the latest crisis. You can listen to our conversation on the link below or wherever you get your podcasts.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Chris Yeh:
Hi, it’s Chris Yeh, the co-author of Blitzscaling, and I’m here once again with my co-author and old friend Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn and investor at Greylock Partners.

Now, things have changed a lot in the past six months. Back then, the NASDAQ was over 16,000, and as we record this, the index is a little over 11,000, so it’s dropped nearly 30%. Venture capital firms are busy publishing their “RIP, Good Times” memos, and many people, including me, are feeling scared and uncertain.

So let’s get right to it, are we in a crisis?

Reid Hoffman:
The short answer is broadly yes. That doesn’t necessarily mean everywhere and everything and everything is necessarily headed to a deep thing. There is obviously talk about recession, and I think that’s certainly possible. But I think probably the most certainty is that we have had a set of problems come to roost with the fact that as a response to the pandemic, we were doing a huge amount of stimulus – more stimulus per month than we were doing in all of 2008 in the financial crisis in some months. We had the disruption of industries. We have a war that is ongoing and uncertain as to how it’s going to end and where its possible escalations go. All of which leads to a lot of market volatility.

And now, obviously, the most obvious representation of that volatility is within the public stock markets as you are describing. But that, actually, in fact, is an indicator that works its way all the way back through, because even when you’re in private companies, well, where did the funds come to invest in those companies? Well, those come to invest from various – broadly speaking – people who have a broader set of funds. But some of those funds are invested across the public markets. And so, if those suddenly decrease 30% or more in value, there’s liquidity crunches, partially because of what they’re constrained by, partially because of where they are.

So that means that, all of a sudden, capital becomes tighter across the entire range. Part of that making capital tighter means that businesses are investing less, cutting expenses, investing less in the future. That then compounds the entire ecosystem.

So they may be buying less stuff, which means that other businesses which are depending on that revenue then are more dependent. Or if it’s like the pandemic, and obviously in the retail or the hospitality industries, if you were in a hotel versus Airbnb, that kind of craters for that. It has effects on supply chains because these are other businesses ,and the transport businesses are all a way of doing it. And it has effects on employees because employees need a certain amount of stability. [They have] fear for what their job looks like? Is their job going to be there? If they’re hourly workers or gig workers or contract workers, what’s going to help?

The short answer in all of this stuff is that, by default, various folks (especially in entrepreneurship), tend to be optimistic, tend to go, “Well, this is a blip, and we’ll recover.” By the way, I was one of the people who was a very loud voice in 2008 to say, “Hey, look, if we just don’t make the financial system break, we’ll recover very quickly from this.” And that was true. It was three months of “Oh my God,” and then, “Oh, well actually back to stability and growth.” And then by six months back to, in many, many parts, especially the tech industry, the normal kind of, “Let’s grow the company. Let’s invest. Let’s hire people. Let’s expand our market. Let’s be predictable, et cetera.”

Now, the real risks here are the fact that it, actually, in fact, is more likely to get worse than not if you said, “Well, percentage chance worse, percentage chance better.” Right? Because if you look at all these things and the ongoing impact, you say, “Well, more likely to get worse.” And then you say, “Well, is it likely to be longer or briefer?” And it’s also more likely to be longer than brief just from the way the weather signs seem now.

Now, there’s always uncertainty, but what we do know is we’ll have volatility for sure and we’ll have uncertainty for sure. And then you have to map that to your own circumstances.

While starting with the a, “We’re in crisis,” and starting with all the, “This could be a problem. This could be a problem. This could be a landmine. This could be a landmine. This could be an explosion,” is not to say, “Panic and run for the bunker.” Right? Because that’s not necessarily even the smart play. But the smart play is to say, “Boy, we have really volatile and uncertain times with more of a likelihood of a decrease than an increase, so how do we first think through that as the implication about how we run our businesses, how we invest in our businesses, how we work our businesses on all of our institutions in order for that to happen?”

"There's always uncertainty. We know we'll have volatility for sure and we'll have uncertainty for sure. And then you have to map that to your own circumstances."

CY:
Now, one of the things you said really struck me, Reid, is the impact it has on employees, (basically on people’s psychology). I think that it really is, at the heart of things, the uncertainty that makes it difficult for folks. They’re uncertain. They had gotten used to a certain pattern, now all of a sudden things are different. They’re not sure what’s going to happen. There’s a sort of defensive pullback. And to me, that says part of what you’re also trying to do as you’re figuring out what’s going to happen going forward is you’re trying to track what is going on with the psychology of the people around you because, to some extent, there are these self-fulfilling prophecies.

RH:
Yes. So that’s part of the reason why even if you’re looking at a potential bunch of uncertainties to the downside, panic is not the right action. I mean, it’s almost like a different lens to some of the things you and I were sketching in Blitzscaling, which is, well, where have you a substantial increase in mortal risks, right? Okay, maybe address those earlier. And it can’t be, “Well, we’re going to have a global world war, we do have some slowness and revenue.” Say, “We do have some troubles in the supply chain, what are the things that we were doing in order to get through it?”

[You have to think] Where can you play offense, not just defense? And so, one of the things that’s particularly important as leaders of all types in this environment is to be very clear about the fact, A, you see the crisis, B, some reasoning and sharing about how it fits into what you’re doing, and then what you’re doing about it, like what’s the ways that you’re adjusting.

Now, sometimes, by the way, that adjustment might be, “Hey, we’re just going to have a higher performance management and be much more restricted on hiring.” Sometimes it’s going to be, “We’re going to delay an action of business.” And sometimes it gets more specific like, “We’re going to stop this line of business. We were going to expand to Europe, and we hired the first five people, but we’re not going to do that anymore. We’re not only just putting it on ice and going on a slow boat, which is possible, we’re going to cut the boat because we need to focus on other things.”
And those kinds of things will also set the decisions.

But when you show that you’ve seen it, you’re on top of it, and you’re articulating the future, just like you always must do as a leader, that’s part of what helps people get more a sense of stability and certainty within what’s going on, and that people desperately need this because it’s precisely the kind of reason why people get legitimately fearful when a recession happens, or legitimately fearful when a war happens.

And so, as leaders, it isn’t to say, “Stay tough. This is just the wind in the rain, and you have to have toughness; these are challenging times.” But it’s kind of the, “Here’s challenging times, and here’s why we can navigate this successfully together, and here’s some of the thinking, and here’s some of the plans.”

By the way, I’m reflecting that I also see what the challenging times are so that people have increased confidence that you’re not Captain Ahab in your pursuit of the white whale and you’re just going to sink the boat.

CY:
Now, I’m already starting to feel a little bit better. And I can’t help but feel like one of the reasons you’re able to approach this with some equanimity is because folks like us who are, let’s just call it mature, have lived through a number of these different periods of crisis.

So how does this current situation compare to some of the other things we’ve lived through, whether it’s the dot-com burst, you mentioned the financial crisis in 2008, and let’s not forget there was a brief, although now nearly forgotten, panic in 2020 at the start of the pandemic? How do the right moves to make right now differ from those previous crises? How are they the same?

RH:
So, it’s probably a little closer to the dot-com burst than it is to the other two. The other two had the benefit of being brief. Now, the financial crisis was brief, but possibly with a big explosion. And it avoided the big explosion due to a lot of smart work from the Obama administration, Geithner, and a bunch of other folks, and Congress quick-stepping along and not fighting partisan battles, but focusing on what’s good for the country. It’s one of the reasons why getting out of partisan battles is really important, because of these sorts of things. Side comment.

Now, part of the reason I think it’s a little bit more like the dot-com burst is because some of the resets will be, “Look, well, to what degree can we be fully investing in the future? How do we work through the things that are broken whether in industries or in debt or in other things? How do we do that both nationally and as part of a global system?”

Now, I hope and don’t personally predict it’ll be as bad as the dot-com bust. The reason is part of the dot-com bust is the numbers just didn’t add up, right? It’s the, “I’m selling you a dollar for 80 cents,” was the business model, and you’re like, “Yeah, that doesn’t work at any level scale. It just doesn’t pull together.” Or the fixed operating cost of my business would require me to a thousand X the size of my business to deal with the fixed operating cost with the marginal revenues and so forth. And those all had to be fixed.

Now, some of those, like Webvan, got fixed with, “Oh, there’s a different way to do it with grocery delivery and infrastructure and a bunch of other stuff.” And so, obviously, all of the delivery stuff started working and being interesting much later, so it was not appropriate right at the time.

And so, there was a whole bunch of that stuff that just needed to be reset. By the way, resets are very expensive.Part of the way that our economy works is we have this interdependency network and web that when we’re all rowing on it together we’re creating that kind of prosperity.

Part of the reason why the whole Obama crew was very smart about dealing with the financial crisis in 2008, was that big debts then can cause ripple effects that are very, very bad. I think we’ve had some of those learnings. I think that the corrections are not like, “Oh my God, we’ve got all these malformed entities that all need to go away and we need to reset from that.” Well, but we had all this pain from the pandemic that we have deferred, and that deferral, the bill comes due, and we still need to sort out how to make it happen. And some of that deferral is jobs in industry. Some of that referral is mapping of talent and stuff. Some of that is a massive amount of stimulus and free capital that works its way through.

And also, by the way, to be clear, I don’t really pay attention to stock market today versus stock market last week versus stock market next week. Because, yes, that has this knock-on effect of availability of capital and investment, which is super important, but it isn’t really a game of, well, we have to play the S&P to X number and so forth. It’s really a question of, “Do we have a healthy functioning system by which it’s getting more efficient, growing, creating products and services, creating employment, and all the rest of that?” That is the concern of that. And so, I think it’s essentially between them.

I mean, there’s right moves on the policy side, which is to make sure the system keeps functioning, right? Like broadly speaking, you don’t have a lot of firms cratering.

"Part of the way that our economy works is we have this interdependency network and web that when we're all rowing together, we're creating a kind of prosperity."

Part of what created the Great Depression is, all of a sudden, all the banks went out or a bunch of banks went out, and it was like, okay, now that this whole system had to be rebuilt. And that rebuild is partially the build of trust, that people believing that they can be investing in the future, hiring a new person. Because if you look at most businesses, most businesses function well because they don’t have extensive inventory. They have revenue that covers all of their employees. Or if they’re in the red, because they’re a venture-invested business, it’s because they have a plan and future rounds of venture capital that’ll get them to a place where they’re in the black and sustaining that. All of a sudden, it dried up. Like any business, all of a sudden your revenue gets cut by half, all of a sudden you’re in a very weird place, cost structure wise.

And so, that’s part of the reason why predictability and all the rest and stability is an essential part of what makes business work. So there’s a whole bunch of the policies in that. Now, as the individuals, what you want to be doing is saying, “Well, for me, my industry, my place in the network, what’s going on around me, and what’s the level of adjustment that I need to make? Now, most often, the people who beat the paranoia drum the highest go to say, “Okay, figure out the worst place it can be, and go to that right now because that’s the only way you can guarantee survivability.” And that’s actually not true.

And that’s part of the thing that’s important is the reason not to panic is, actually, in fact, what you want to do is you want to figure out, “Well, what are the things that you would need to be monitoring to know when you need to move to that circumstance? What’s the thing that would increase your conviction that that’s the primary way to survive?”

Because, by the way, if you can survive by saying (for example), “Hey, we hired five people. We’re expanding into Europe. Oh shit, we can’t afford expansion into Europe.” If you can survive just well by having those five people run a little longer, prep, be much more efficient about what you’re doing, get ready for next year, maybe the year after, maybe you trim it to three people and you’re still doing it, that might be the right answer for you, and that might be much more healthy for you as an organization and being ready for where you can get to and not just thriving, but surviving.

On the other hand, maybe it isn’t, and maybe that’s the one you do. Or maybe it’s like, “No, we actually have to get rid of this entire line of business which we’ve already started getting customers and revenue on, but it simply doesn’t work.” But the piece of it is to say, don’t automatically go to the “sky is falling,” But do go to the, “Okay, what would I need to monitor to know if I need to do something like this? How do I start that monitoring right now? And how am I in a place where I could go do that if I needed to?” Right?

So you might say, “Well, boy, we should really refactor hiring. We should have net zero hiring. For every person we hire, it’s only because someone’s left or someone’s been managed out, or something like that, or we’ve shut down this group, and so we have some more headcount.”

By the way, part of what’s really scary about it is it’s not a simplest spreadsheet. There’s no easy way to make those calls because, are you monitoring the right things? Might something really happen in your supply chain or in your market that you can’t really see, that you’re not really fully predicting?

By the way, the answer was yes to that earlier, just higher probability now. But, still, is it a higher probability of 2% to 4%, or is it 2% to 20%? Right, those are very different kind of outcomes. Figure out what you need to monitor, figure out how you’d be ready, and figure out how you got all that set up, and that’s the first being defensive. And some businesses very much should do that.

CY:
Now, I’m hearing you talk about being defensive, being cautious. I’m sure there’s a bunch of folks who are going to now chime in and say, “You know what? You guys talked about blitzscaling and taking risks and growing fast, so now it sounds like blitzscaling is over. And they also said that, by the way, at the start of the pandemic.” Now, obviously, that is a gross mischaracterization of blitzscaling, and it is definitely not over. But how do you think blitzscaling changes in this current environment?

RH:
Well, so look, blitzscaling, as you know, is always about relative speed for capturing an opportunity, and relative speed and paying a price in inefficiency. The thing that you know is that a lot of people will be less emphasizing speed and more emphasizing efficiency, stability, capital maximization.

And so, you can still be saying, “Well, I may see a market opportunity here where I can blitzscale and grab a lot of market share, an opportunity.”Do I have a way to play capital forward in a way that’s much smarter, and I grab a market position or I grab a line of business that wasn’t doable before?”

And this is actually, by the way, one of the things that’s very good for the tech industry, which is one of the reasons I, generally speaking, for most people in tech industry say, “Don’t overlay panic,” is because if you look at the next decade, almost all major growth is still going to happen through technology, whether it’s the digital revolution transformation of existing industries or by tech companies. And so, there’s still a lot of capital that wants to be investing in it. Maybe that capital would be now more focused on AI and less focused on something else, right, as a way of doing it. But they’re like, “Okay, the industries of the future are still technological and still really matter.”

Now, that doesn’t mean that everyone goes, “Well, you’re in the tech industry, just let the good times roll, simultaneously drawing down a lease on three new buildings, et cetera, et cetera.” No, no, no, no, that’s not the way to play it, but you might be going, “Actually, in fact, I do think there will be capital available here in my industry in the various technology sides, and there’ll be investment. All I need to do is show some things that the people who do have liquidity would be most interested in.”

Now, it might be at lower valuations than the good times of the last 13-plus year bull market. It might be lower amounts of capital. But that really just doesn’t really matter. This is actually one of the things I frequently tell entrepreneurs is, the game isn’t, “Well, I manage to only have 20% dilution versus your 23% dilution.” Who cares? The real question is, what’s the value of the thing that you created over time? What’s its enduring value, and so forth? And some of that’s size of revenue, size of customer base, transformation of industries, et cetera, et cetera. And that’s the thing that you’re playing over time.

And so you go, “Oh, well, I have an investment at a lower evaluation. Well, great, I have the right partners. I have the right thing that I’m driving towards.” That’s the thing to do. That’s the thing I did at PayPal. And that’s the thing I did at LinkedIn. Those things were part of making that play smart on those things. And by the way, PayPal is a perfect example of this because it started before the dot-com burst and then had basically no revenue, raised 100 million and 500 on a promise, that used to be huge numbers. And the next day was the NASDAQ peak and started the set and kind of navigating through it.

And by the way, part of what you look at is you say, “Okay, how do I continue to play offense in challenging times,” is precisely the question that you really want to get to. And that’s part of the reason why you start with the defensive but then go to the opportunity, go to the way that you can differentially grow your business. And hence, part of the lay up to you’re asking the blitzscaling question, blitzscaling, still very relevant to many companies and especially in the tech industry.

"Now, you may be at lower valuations than the good times of the last 13-plus year bull market. It might be lower amounts of capital. But that really just doesn't really matter. Who cares? The real question is what's the value of the thing that you created over time?"

CY:
Now, we spoke before a little bit about the employees, and we’ve certain written a lot about management, both in our book, The Alliance, and in some other outlets. So what’s your advice for the managers, executives, and leaders right now who are trying to lead their people? What are the people management elements versus the financial management elements?

RH:
Well, we talked about it a little bit earlier, which is you’ve got to presume that they’re looking around reading the business press, seeing what’s happened, feeling nervous themselves, seeing the turbulent times, the Ukrainian war and what it might spill over to, et cetera. And you’ve got to presume you can’t have a see-no-evil, ostrich kind of move. So it’s a good thing to explicitly talk about it. It’s a good thing to explicitly talk about what that means.

For example, obviously, if it’s super obvious that the jobs are all safe and everything else, then maybe you don’t need to do it. But I think anything lower than super obvious I think I would basically say it’s good to be clear, right.

By the way, the good to be clear, they’re always maintaining, “Oh no, it’s fine,” and then a month later it’s like, “Sorry, we have to get rid of you.” That’s not the kind of thing we recommend, right? Good to be clear is, “Hey look, we’re working really hard on this. We think we have a real chance in this, but we have some risks,” right, would be the better way of putting it than like, “No, no, we’re fine. It’s guaranteed.” Because, by the way, once you break that, you’ve said that and you break it, then everybody that’s there goes, “Oh, you’ll lie to me.” Right? Or you’re dumb. You literally just had no idea.

CY:
Basically, it sounds like you, as always, should be honest and open with your team, but you also need to follow The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy principle, which is, don’t panic. So don’t panic, but be open and honest.

RH:
Yes. Now, you may get some hard questions, and you should have answers to hard questions. You say, “Well, we seem to be in an optional goods or services industry that when people start cutting their belts, they’ll use us a lot less. What do we think about that?” And you go, “Well, okay, we have thought about it, here’s the way we’re thinking about it, or here’s how we’re modeling working it, but feedback welcome, et cetera, et cetera.” Just the usual set of things in this.

CY:
Now, we’ve talked about the entrepreneurs, we’ve talked about the employees, we’ve talked a little bit about financing, but there’s another group that’s really critical, which are the boards of directors. And that is a relationship that every founder has to manage, especially during these tough times. I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of pretty intense board meetings coming up. How should entrepreneurs work with their boards during this time?

RH:
So look, sometimes boards will tend to look at this intensely from a capital perspective. They’ll tend to look at it from a, generally speaking, overly so and most frequently, in the absolute maximizing the chance that the business doesn’t go out of business, where actually, in fact, I think most often it should be the maximizing the future value, which could mean that, by the way, you have a higher percentage of going out of business now, but you also have a higher percentage of being really, really valuable later, right? Because taking some risks is the nature of it. A little bit of the boards tend to be, “Oh, let’s try to minimize risks.” By the way, yes, minimize any risks that isn’t very valuable, but some risks are valuable.

So, given that it’s kind of a set of judgment calls and you might have a cast of characters on your board where they may encompass a bunch of different views, some more risk taking, some more risk averse, some having encountered downturns, some having not done it, some viewing that their responsibility is to beat the sky is falling drum and maximizing paranoia, and others not to.

Now, the baselines of how I recommend entrepreneurs work with boards I think is still true, which is make sure that you have some very strong board members that you are in close alignment with. If it’s all of them, great. Because part of when you have fractures of discriminants on the board, like, for example, when I was on the LinkedIn board, I would go to David Sze because, look, if we got to a handshake, I would at least have one strong external board member who would be discussing and advocating the point of view that I had, like during the 2008 crisis or other kinds of things as equivalent for navigation, because there’s a little bit of the, “Well, are the internal people blind? Do they don’t want to deal with the pain of how you have to make adjustments in these things?” So you get some external voices on your side to doing that.Then, if they’re in disagreement with each other, then some of your venture investors could be your advocate in what your plan of action is.

Now, obviously you obviously want to get that to the broad board bought in, but because you have all of the varied perspective that I was mentioning before, you could have much more intrinsic disagreement. And you shouldn’t certainly leave it to the, “I’ll walk into the board meeting and say, “So what do you guys think? Should we do some layoffs?'” That would be a terrible handling of the board. The board would actually probably think less of any executive who did that because what they want is that you’ve seen the world, that you have a smart plan, that you’re proposing it. As normal, they ask the questions they fear you may not have asked. So a lot of entrepreneurs and CEOs walk in saying, “And here’s our growth plan, our blitzscaling plan.” And they go, “Well, have you thought about the volatility and the downside possibilities, and so forth?” And they want to make sure you’ve really gone through that because that’s one of the things they’ve been worrying about to make sure you’ve seen the possible landmines.

And so, you should present in a way that you show that you’ve seen it, you’ve thought about it, given it serious consideration, and it has influenced what your particular plan is. And so, it requires leadership. Now, and then to speak to the board members, look, the thing is if all you’re doing is beating the drum of how you might die, you’re orienting your entrepreneurs and CEOs on the downside game, not the offense game. And ultimately, we’re all in this to play the offense game.

Now, that doesn’t mean you don’t look at it just like we open this podcast, very intensely on kind of, okay, let’s make sure. Hence, monitoring. Hence, what are the places where we would need to move to click with that? How do we measure it? How do we know it? Are we there now? et cetera, et cetera, as the first questions that you ask when you get there. But you’re looking to get through it to playing offense as smartly as you can.

CY:
Now, you touched a little bit already in mentioning things like dilution and hiring freezes and the like. Entrepreneurs have gotten very used to, over this long period, not having to worry about things like flat or even down rounds, and that may change in the (relative) near future. So how do you think founders should be working through this with their existing investors, their team members in this extremely different fundraising environment?

RH:
So you go, “Okay, volatility, likely more down than up in the near future. It is unknown how long the future of this is.” What does that mean what you should do for financing? For example, if you said, “Well, I knew I was going to need to be financing in six to nine months.” It’s like, “Well, start figuring that out now. Advance the clock, longer timeframes, possibly take a down round earlier, right? Trim your burn rate, figure out alternative financings, whether it’s venture debt or sources of capital that are not in your normal thing.” Like, oh, we’ll get strategics or other kinds of things. Even though most of us, especially in the consumer market tend to focus on growth, you might say, “Well, let’s also make sure we’ve got some good revenue growth.” Now, revenue growth, challenging for the reasons that we talked about earlier, which is everyone’s focused on their burn rates and capital, but it’s like, okay, what are some of the things we could do?

And sure, in selective trade, we might take some growth for revenue. Although, by the way, growth’s still very important relative to financing and all the rest. But the question would be is, like, one portfolio company says, “Oh, I’ve got three years.” You’re like, “Well, okay, you don’t necessarily need to do anything right now, right?” You might not say, “Boy, we’re going to blitzscale and double our expense rate. I suppose to doubling it, we might increase it 20% as we’re going and kind of figure out what the opportunities are.”

Another one might be saying, “Okay, we thought we were going to start needing to finance in three to six months because it would take six to nine months to do a financing,” then it’s like, “Well, let’s steer into it right now and navigate it because it may very well be that in any timeframe that we’re considering, it’s much more likely to be worse than it is to be better. And then what are the signs that help you navigate that?

CY:
We spent most of this time, as we usually do, focusing on the point of view of the entrepreneur, but let’s take a minute to talk about the individual professional. You and our friend, Ben Casnocha, recently published the updated 10th anniversary edition of your book, The Start-up of You, which helps individuals manage their careers by thinking like an entrepreneur. So what advice do you have for those individuals right now, especially those folks in the class of ’22 who are just graduating into this market?

RH:
One of the things that we were talking about in The Start-up of You is adaptability is the new stability. Most people tend to want to say, well, they want to have a job. The necessary economics are part of I, that’s totally rational. And it is the condition for, unless you’re lucky enough to be born into a community or a family where you have a big safety net, it’s the rational condition. So then you go, “Well, what does adaptability mean is the new stability?” It doesn’t mean like, “Oh, let me go get a job at big company X.” It might. I mean, by the way, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that.

But just like we’ve been talking about businesses, say, “Well, actually, in fact, what it means is I need to have my antennas out because when I went and joined the startup, startups, not working, I can jump to another startup or jump to another business, or I’ll have something of my kind of the classic, a little bit of my side hustle going, which is, I’ll be doing a little bit of consulting in the side and do that as kind of insurance or working with a couple of my friends on what our startup ideas, because maybe, actually we have a really interesting idea and we’ll go get it financed. And we’ll play that through.
Because there will be seed and Series A financing for tech stuff, other things, for a while.

And so, part of what adaptability is the new stability is to be thinking about like, “Okay, how do I have options? How do I make sure the options are present? How am I monitoring? How am I playing hard on the good options but ability to shift if I need to?” And then, “How does that translate into how I’m spending my time and working?” And generally speaking, in these kinds of environments, if generally speaking means that you need to focus on work more because you are kind of broaden out if you are lucky enough that you say, I don’t need economics, this might be a good time. Because it requires working more to say, “Hey, take that sabbatical you’ve always been thinking about.” Maybe, maybe not, but generally speaking, that’s the set of things for making adaptability the new stability.

CY:
Well, Reid, thank you for taking the time to provide some calming but, also, I think, very realistic perspectives on what’s going on right now. We’ll probably be coming back to you in the coming months to get some updates and to continue taking advantage of your advice as we go through.

RH:
Always.