Sometimes We Get Lucky: ProjectN95.org

Last weekend I participated in two investing panels for my friend Anina.net’s global online fashion conference. Anina is the pretty girl next to me in the picture atop this page. My second panel was the final event of the conference, so Anina and I stayed on the line to talk a bit afterward. She had been up for 72 continuous hours. Oddly, what we discussed were N-95 respirator masks, which are in such short supply thanks to COVID-19.

Anina lives in Beijing and China is starting to get back to work as the country slowly backs-off from its draconian coronavirus shut-down. Some businesses are retooling to address global coronavirus needs and one […]

Not Just the End of IT, the End of IT Contractors

Earlier this week I predicted the demise of conventional IT caused by the wide adoption of SD-WAN and SASE, accelerated by the emergency demands of everyone working from home. Now that Congress has passed a $2.2 trillion COVID-19 bail-out, let’s throw-in the implications of that legislation to see what effect it is all likely to have on what used to be IT. The short version is to expect an even bigger bloodbath as IT employees at all levels are let go forever. Please understand that some version of this bloodbath was going to happen anyway. What matters right now is how we respond to it.

While my previous column was generally about […]

2020 Brings the Death of IT

My new column is below, so don’t forget to read it, but now for something completely different…

I’m running two virtual panels this week as part of Anina.net’s Digital Online Fashion Summit. Anina’s the pretty girl next to me on the top of this page. She lives in Beijing and this will be a global event.

Digital Fashion Online Summit
March 28th – 29th, 2020

A two-day online event for fashion brands, marketing managers, product directors, and online strategists. Speeches are starting at 10 AM and running all day every hour. Join us online at http://digitalfashion.360fashion.net

Learn from top fashion and technology experts which technologies to invest in to bring your brand online and […]

COVID-19 will Kill a Ton of Startups (or So it Will Seem)

Yes, I’m still predicting-away, though the pandemic is having some impact on the direction in which this narrative is going. Today’s column on startups and venture capital, for example, wasn’t even on my original list of predictions. Just as the financial markets will use this catastrophe for a reset, so, too, will Sand Hill Road, which has pretty much stopped investing and is now deciding, instead, who to kill?

The psychology of venture capital doesn’t work the way most people think. That’s because it is an industry based on failure: most startups — the vast majority — fail. That means most VC investment decisions are wrong. There is simply no way of […]

What an Epidemic is Really Like

Downton Abbey, episode 2.8.  

Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham : “Wasn’t there a masked ball in Paris when cholera broke out? Half the guests were dead before they left the ballroom.”

Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham :   “Thank you, Mama. That’s cheered us up no end.”

A few decades ago I covered a cholera epidemic in Bangladesh. Forty thousand dead. The last time I thought about that trip was while watching the Downton Abbey episode quoted above.

Downton writer Julian Fellowes clearly knows nothing about cholera. 

Nobody dies of cholera at masked balls because people shit themselves […]