Week 10 Recap: RIP Good Times

Sequoia Capital's memo is more than just a startling reminder—it's an opportunity

Dear reader,

As the world struggles to stay healthy, so did the business world. Stocks plummeting, share price taking plunges, startups having to shorten their runway… even Bloomberg predicts that a recession is likely. On the other hand, you have people who believe that the media is blowing the coronavirus outbreak out of proportion, fueling the fears of many—the economic impact is nevertheless undeniable. SARS has nothing on COVID-19, and the response by some countries have already allowed an unfettered infection nationwide.

More than a decade later after Sequoia Capital’s memo to founders during the height of the 2008 financial crisis, another memo is released, urging founders to start building their moats and bunkers. With a global economy that can go topsy-turvy (especially when the U.S. is now heading for the trenches with its coronavirus combat efforts), it’s highly likely that cash-guzzling startups will vanish.

Or not.

PayPal was founded during a financial crisis. Square was the same. Adobe was built during a crisis and so was Microsoft. List goes on.

Of course, survivorship bias is one thing—there’s a graveyard of startups that can get increasingly packed during this health crisis. Unfortunately, the truth is that it’s now “hell mode” for the survival of the fittest, and companies that can last throughout the outbreak will emerge as one of the toughest, most resilient companies.

Eventually, the profits and moats will be tough as well.

The other silver lining is this: there’s always opportunity. AI startups are building algorithms to diagnose coronavirus faster. Data startups are predicting clusters. Digital collaboration tools are seeing soaring company valuations.

There’s always a way to innovate and capitalize. Although it’s a potentially lethal trend, adapting and profiting from the crisis is one way to survive—and perhaps, the only way.


This week, we had two posts focusing on the economic and social impacts of COVID-19. Here’s the recap:

  • On Wednesdaywe talked about Sequoia Capital’s memo in detail and how companies can keep their financials healthy, tough, and resilient enough to last them throughout the outbreak.

  • On Fridaywe dived deeper into the intricacies of remote working, and why setting core hours is an absurd idea. Instead, we have another solution.

If you want to read more about the COVID-19 outbreak, there’s actually a publication on Medium for you to read. It focuses on consequences, impacts, and facts that make a difference in a person’s life. You can read it by clicking below:

Read nCoV


Stay safe during the COVID-19 outbreak, and be strict with the hygiene—no matter where you are. WHO has declared this a pandemic, and we ought to raise our own vigilance level as well.

See you in the next post!

Yours Sincerely,
Andy from H+B


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