They’re calling it a “crucible moment.”
That’s the term used in a 52-page slideshow heavy-hitting venture firm Sequoia Capital presented to their portfolio companies’ founders via Zoom on May 16, in an effort to provide guidance amid the recent turmoil in the public and private markets, per a copy of the slideshow, titled “Adapting to Endure,” viewed by Fortune. The presentation was first reported and published by The Information.
In the latest of Sequoia’s ominous warnings over the years, the message to founders is, essentially: buckle up, and aim to come out strong. “This is not a time to panic. It is a time to pause and reassess,” according to the slideshow.
The firm described this downturn as a “crucible moment” for founders and a “moment of uncertainty and change,” noting that, with ammo like the Federal Reserve’s accommodative monetary policies “exhausted,” they “expect the market downturn to impact consumer behavior, labor markets, supply chains and more. It will be a longer recovery and while we can’t predict how long, we can advise you on ways to prepare and get through to the other side.”
The presentation noted that the “valuation swings we all see are a reflection of uncertainty about demand, changing labor market conditions, supply chain uncertainties, and war. These are all factors that will ultimately affect your businesses.” Sequoia wrote that “companies who move the quickest have the most runway and are most likely to avoid the death spiral,” advising founders to “do the cut exercise (projects, R&D, marketing, other expenses). It doesn’t mean you have to pull the trigger, but that you are ready to do it in the next 30 days if needed.”
The firm also advised founders to “look at this as a time of incredible opportunity,” and if they “play [their] cards right,” they “will come out as a strong entity.” But putting it bluntly, they said founders need to “confront reality.”
Read the whole slideshow below or here.
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