Startup Winter is Coming

Winter is coming. We've had many years of a warm summer. Perhaps the longest we've seen in recently memory. That long summer is always followed by a long winter. That's just the way this thing goes. There many not be some epic battle between dragons and white walkers, but it's going to get messy.

I know that people have been calling for startup winter for years now, and they've been very wrong for a long time. Now is different though. It's almost a self-fulling prophecy. VCs are becoming a bit more cautious with their investments and advising their portfolio companies to really get their financial house in order. Public markets aren't taking to kindly to tech IPOs these days, and companies are staying private for as long as they can so they don't have to face the real world. I have no idea when winter is coming, but it certainly feels like we are much closer to winter than we are to summer.

I'm excited for winter. When the cold winds come blowing, we'll very quickly be able to see who's prepared and who has what it takes to survive. The casualties are going to be catastrophic. I'm not excited for that part, but things have been too easy for too long. Companies have been doubling in valuation every 6 months, raising a new round of funding with little friction and burning money at astronomical rates. That's summer time when the living's easy. That doesn't happen in winter.

Prepare Like the Starks

If you pay attention to Game of Thrones, the Stark children know that winter is coming. It is their House Sigil and has been engrained in them since birth. All of them are preparing, whether they like it or not, for what's to come. Jon is a military leader, Sansa is learning politics through Baelish, Arya is becoming an assassin, and Bran is north of the wall receiving his jedi training. Maybe they all live or maybe not, but they are all doing their best to be prepared.

Now compare that to what Tommen, Myrcella and even Daenerys are doing. Tommen has been playing with kittens and is being played for a fool by Cersei and Margaery. Mycella was frolicking in the Water Gardens and doesn't appear to be doing so well. Even Dany seems doomed to failure. She's been pretending to be queen of a place that wants to kill her, making bad decision after bad decision while two of her dragons rot in a cave. I don't see Dany faring too well when winter rolls in.

When Life Gives You Snow

I don't know when winter is coming any more than I know when GRRM will release the next book, but I'm entire certain of one thing: both are coming. When there's snow on the ground, give me a snowboard and the highest mountain you can find, and I'll figure it out. Will it be a smooth ride? Probably not. I'm sure there will be a few wipeouts along the way, but for me, that's all part of the fun.

Right now we have too many people who feigning ignorance in hopes of keeping the summertime dreams alive. I'm sorry, but it just doesn't work like that. If you haven't started your wintertime, post-apocalyptic white walker combat training, now would be a fantastic time to start.