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The Cyber Why: What We Read This Week...
... and why you should too! (06/13/23)
Today’s TCW is a somber one. I didn’t read many light-hearted fun pieces in the last week and instead got sucked into the world of startup failures, financial death spirals, unserviced debts, and the potential crumbling of the once proud center of the technology universe. If you are looking for “funny haha” this week, I’d go look somewhere else. If you have the urge to chew through some real meat, read onward! As always, thanks for subscribing to The Cyber Why and please remember to sub and share. Without subs and shares, we will eventually throw in the towel and give up.. and NONE of us really wants to see that.
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A Startup Winter Is Coming (Or is it….?)
More Startups Throw In The Towel, Unable To Raise Money For Their Ideas (WSJ)
A Startup 'Mass Extinction Event' has Begun. You Can't See it Clearly Yet, But it's Going to be Bad (Business Insider)
Startups That Failed in 2023 (Crunchbase)
It is said that investors should get greedy when others are fearful, but the difficult part of that statement is knowing exactly WHEN to get greedy. The world clearly believes that startup armageddon is coming, and times will be tough, and I can’t say they are wrong. There will be massive shutdowns, bankruptcies, firesales, and cram-downs by the end of the year. But for those companies that survive Dante’s Fourth Circle of Hell, the other side of the wall of flame looks bright and rosy. For those of you looking to make money in times of economic hardship, start shopping now and look for those healthy companies in need as they pop up by year-end. Founders, I wish you a safe escape, and investors, I wish you a happy “Very Black Friday.”
The Biggest and Oldest Tree In The Woods
Decoding Sequoia Capital: How Do They Dominate the VC Landscape? (The Venture Crew)
The history of venture capital has always been an interest of mine. Understanding the decisions made by investors throughout the major technological changes over time helps us make smarter decisions as we surf through our current bear market and AI investment push. Sequoia is arguably the most important firm ever in venture capital. They have invested in 20% of all unicorns, and approximately 25% of their long-term investments have gone IPO! By any measurement, that’s INCREDIBLE results. This article talks about how the key leaders of Sequoia choose their investments, and it’s not the usual hand-wavey garbage! They get into the meat of how the team there wins.
Nation-State Actors are REAL!
How North Korea Stole $625M From Axie Infinity (Akash Gupta)
What a crazy story. Ponzi schemes, hacking rings, fake jobs, infected PDFs, and magical crypto laundering helped Kim Jung Un fund a very expensive ballistic missile program. Holy SMOKES! This is a cool write-up. (Great write up Akash!)
Hacking Has REAL Impacts - So Sad!
Fourteen weeks without the ability to file insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid claims and effectively generate revenue is enough to kill any hospital, let alone one in rural Illinois. Sadly, that’s exactly what happened to St Margaret’s Health in Spring Valley, resulting in a financial death spiral causing them to close their doors for good. “The hospital closure will have a profound impact on the well-being of our community. This will be a challenging transition for many residents who rely on our hospital for quality healthcare” commented Spring Valley’s mayor. It’s a very sad day when criminals can have this type of effect on human health and well-being. If you are interested in these types of morbid tales, check out this cyber security breach death list maintained by The Cyber Why’s very own.
Founder Parents - Is Balance Possible?
In My Head (Anvi Patel Thompson)
This piece really hit home. How can one simultaneously be an obsessed startup founder and an active, present parent and partner? I’ve been working in startups for almost my entire career. From my early 20s onwards, I have been building, growing, nurturing, and investing in startup business growth. Somehow and somewhere along that ride, I managed to build a family that includes my wife of 20+ years and two children aged 18 and 16. The author, Anvi, undoubtedly hit a nerve when she tweeted about the problem, as others chimed in with their own experiences on the topic. The short answer is you can’t possibly balance everything. It’s impossible. The only path to success is compromise. If you have a thought on the topic, please put them in the comments below. This one is worth discussing in more detail!
San Francisco Dumpster Fire Grows Ever Larger
Westfield giving up S.F. mall in wake of Nordstrom closure, plunging sales and foot traffic (SF Chronicle)
Hotel Owners Start To Write Off San Francisco As Business Nosedives (WSJ)
San Francisco's Hotel Industry is being Squeezed by Crime and Homelessness (Daily Mail)
The dumpster fire grows bigger. The commercial real estate crisis, exacerbated by the collapse of the tech startup economy, puts San Francisco squarely in the cross hairs of serious financial trouble. A San Francisco Mall isn’t the only real estate project in the bay that has been unable to service its debts causing it to release the asset to the lender recently, many hotel owners are also having issues. I’m afraid this could be a cascading problem that will eventually seriously impact the financial world as well. We must watch and see if this wave continues and which banks hold these now distressed loans as that risk transfers to the banking system along with the assets.
If you’ve made it this far, you either found our musings at least semi-entertaining, OR you enjoyed the pain and kept going regardless. No matter how you made it to this point, you should know that we appreciate you. Please do us a solid and share The Cyber Why with your friends. We would love to reach a bigger audience, and referrals are how we do it. Help us out, and we’ll see you next week!