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R.I.P. Good Times, again

What does Brexit mean for tech? Time to dust off Sequoia’s famous presentation from 2008.

Via Sequoia
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

What will Brexit mean for the tech world and the companies that fund the tech world?

We don’t know! And we won’t for a while.

But can we make a reasonable guess: Lots of the excess cash and credit that have been sloshing around Startupland will be going away, and that’s going to create problems that will ripple through the ecosystem.

The last time we had a big convulsion like this, in the post-Lehman days of 2008 and 2009, lots of startups reacted the same way: They tried to cut their expenses and payroll by 20 percent. Perhaps it will be different this time around, and if you’d like to offer a different prognostication, we’d love to hear from you.

In the meantime, since we’re talking about the past, it seems like a good time to dust off the famous/infamous “R.I.P. Good Times” presentation that Sequoia Capital distributed to its portfolio companies in October 2008, commanding them to buckle up, slash costs and “get real or go home.”

If you’re in a hurry, you can check out the first couple of eye-popping slides, then skip the middle of the slide show, since the housing + derivatives bubble that created the collapse of 2008 may not be relevant this time around. (Though it is worth remembering just how terrifying that period was — the worst part blew over fairly quickly, but for a few weeks it seemed entirely plausible that things were going be very, very dark for a very long time.)

Sequoia’s playbook for its companies starts on page 39. Past results don’t guarantee future performance, but it never hurts to study history.

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