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 […]

2020 Prediction: COVID-19 will suck like 9/11

This is the first of two 2020 predictions concerning COVID-19, the so-called coronavirus. This column will cover short-term impacts while my next column will cover longer-term changes that were probably going to happen anyway but are already being accelerated by the current health crisis.

NOT business as usual…

No, I’m not a doctor or an epidemiologist, but I’m also not an idiot. And as a non-idiot, I can confidently predict the significant short-term economic, social, and political impacts of COVID-19 on my global readership. The far more significant longer-term effects will be covered in my next column. Short-term, COVID-19 feels remarkably like 9/11, which wasn’t a health crisis in any sense, but it […]