You’ve heard of awards season. I think us in business should name this time of year lists season. While, I admit I’m being tongue-in-cheek about it, I do find some lists useful. Especially if they inspire.
The Linkedin News list of 41 big ideas for 2023 is one I recommend reading.
Though a warning, it’s long! If you have the time, give it a read. Or at a minimum scan the headings and dive into ones that strike a chord.
One that stood out for me was 17. VCs will stop hunting unicorns and start searching for work horses.
To add to what they say… I’ve learnt reading/listening to other sources that Tech stocks fall in economic downturns because of a shifting focus to value vs growth. Tech is often very much focused on growth.
Yet, growth can come at a cost. Not in the negative way that kind of saying implies, as in you lose something. In that it costs to grow. Growth requires investment. Also, often when innovating we are deferring profits. We are investing in the future.
In an economic downturn investment capital is also more expensive. Those wanting to invest, want to do so on things that have less risk. In terms of investment language, that might mean just a shift to more balanced investments, and less growth investments.
People look for value, not just growth. They look for investments where value might be there and just needs to be unlocked.
So why wouldn’t VCs also balance their risks towards seeking more value. Paralleling what is done in the stock market.
Looking for a surer bet rather than the mythological unicorn.
Looking for companies that focus on creating value, rather than chasing growth. Value is what makes growth resilient.
In some ways it’s also related to 4. The age of the tech CEO hero will come to an end. As, the tech CEO hero is almost inseparable from the unicorn they hope to build.
While CEOs of the work horses are often value driven. Focused on customer value. Measured. Hopeful. Strong.
I know it’s a conscious bias of mine to think that women fall more often into that category.
The unicorn CEO and the work horse CEO can be of any gender. Still, I have a feeling the mix tends to lean different ways for the two categories. Just because… women founders tend to get less of that growth-based VC funding, and need to bootstrap more.
So hopefully…. 2023 will be a great year for women entrepreneurs building strong resilient companies that focus on value!
My wish for 2023 and beyond!