Tech Industry Is Changing, Again
Democracy of the tech industry will force bad leadership out and new technologies will rise
The technology industry is changing now and will continue to change throughout 2023, which is necessary to promote innovation and to rid poor performing business models from the market. Unfortunately, over the last several years, leaders have sought a strategy to build their business revenues through company acquisitions, increasing staffing support, and spending budgets without much accountability or thought to how to build a stable infrastructure of their companies. Poor business planning is now the result of the company RIFs that we are witnessing in the last several months. In some ways, it's fortunate that this isn't the first time that the industry has imploded.
The 2000 dot-com bubble proved to be a necessary evil in its evolution with building business models that could derive viable revenues, unlike the businesses prior to the bubble bursting. Hopefully, with the next change to the industry in 2023 and beyond, the market will demand leaders to be held more accountable for their business plans and make better decisions based on lessons learned in 2022.
When the the industry started to gain momentum in the late 90s with the "massive growth of internet adoption", as reported by IDC, the new internet business models were concepts and unproven, but due to massive VC investments, businesses were built quickly and without much revenue viability. In 2000, the dot-come bubble burst showing the weaknesses of the business models and many companies went out of business. Remember Pets.com? But what came next, after 2000, viable internet business revenue models grew.
Although the dot-com bubble showed the failures of the industry in its early stages, companies like Amazon's business model for selling books, changed the status quo of distribution supply chain models of selling direct-to-consumer. By changing the status quo, helped to set the foundation for ecommerce, showing that internet businesses could be viable for earning revenue. eBay, Google Search, and airline booking sites lauched after the dot-com bubble and further proved that Internet businesses were sustainable.
Today, RIFs are daily, toxic culture at many of the high-profile social media and large tech companies plays out in "social media", and empathetic leadership that first established the industry, has been replaced by leaders that have little empathy for their teams. The tech industry has unfortunately become like other industries, that many of us were trying to get away from in the mid-90s. I am hopeful that the lessons learned from the dot-com bubble, we will pivot to build a stronger industry, as the winning businesses learned after 2000.
I added the photo above as a remembrance of a previous digital creative team that I had the pleasure to work with several years ago and now have been disbanded through a RIF. Sometimes we need to look back to be able to build a better and stronger future. I believe that the same will be of our tech industry moving in 2023 and beyond.