Layoffs are an unfortunate reality in a volatile workforce, especially in the years since 2008. While the US job market is on the rise, there’s been a recent spike in tech layoffs. Here’s just a short list of some of the major tech companies that have experienced layoffs in 2016:
• Dell (January): 10,000 jobs, with more to come following its $67 billion acquisition EMC Corp;
• Intel (April): 12,000 jobs and multiple factories shut down;
• Microsoft (May); 5,000 jobs, staggered over 18 months. But still the tech giant’s deepest cut ever;
• Cisco (August): 5,500 jobs, or a full 11% of its workforce. This follows layoffs in 2013 AND 2014, both shallower cuts, but significant nonetheless (5% and 8%, respectively);
• Sony also should be on this list; no layoffs yet but this company suffered a $1.65 billion operating loss (the first time it has suffered a deficit in almost a decade in a half). Layoffs are expected
The well known tech Consultancy Firm Challenger, Gray, & Christmas, INC estimated in August that the tech industry in the US had lost about 63k jobs. More pointedly, Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry estimates that the industry may lose as many as 370,000 jobs by the end of 2016.
Part of these cuts are due to changes in the Tech Hardware market, but we’re not here to get into that. We’re not even here to paint a dire picture of the future. No we’re here to talk about how getting laid off can be one of the greatest things to ever happen to you.
First, let’s talk about why the SDI team is qualified to talk about this subject. First, we’re a company founded by people who know how to be successful tech entrepreneurs. They have this knowledge because that’s what our company is: we started as a twinkle in the eye of our founder nearly 20 years ago. Today, we help other tech entrepreneurs realize their dreams – plus make some of that sweet sweet cash!
Many of us also speak from the position of having been laid off from jobs ourselves; in other words we know how it feels, but we also know how to pull ourselves out of that pit of despair! Most importantly, our team has helped more than 10,000 clients launch their own entrepreneurial ventures.
How to Be a Successful Tech Entrepreneur
Honestly there are really only two things that make a successful entrepreneur of any stripe. Sure, some funding is great. An idea or two never hurt. But really, just there are just two main characteristics needed: Passion and Dedication.
No joke. In fact, most VCs and Angel Investors agree. Most newbie entrepreneurs think that it’s your idea, or pitch, or demo that are the most important. And don’t get me wrong, those are all essential to attracting investors. But most Investors want to know that you are in love with your company – almost literally.
They also want to know that when the going gets tough (and it will) you won’t just give up. So there it is in a nutshell folks: Dedication and passion. If you have those (what Mattie Ross would call “True Grit”), you can make it! But what does this have to do with being laid off?
Well, let’s face it: you don’t have too much else on your plate right now, so dedication isn’t a problem. As for passion; well if you’re like most entrepreneurs, you’ve been secretly nursing your entrepreneurial idea for years – to the point of obsession! Even if you haven’t, who can’t get excited about making some money? So passion – check!
Being laid off is an opportunity for growth. It gives you the chance to dedicate yourself to your own project, and should not be taken as a mark of failure. Here’s a great summation of our point, from someone who was once laid off himself:
“It’s not about money or connections–it’s the willingness to outwork and outlearn everyone.”
Who said that? Mark Cuban, legendary entrepreneur turned billionaire investor. And also fellow sufferer who was laid off. How did he respond? Started his first major company. Or Take Michael Bloomberg, legendary business man and the 15th richest person in the US. He was laid off in 1998.
But he didn’t let that get him down. Instead he took a severance check and used to fund his first company, the very foundations to his billions. The good news is that most tech layoffs do receive a nice severance package (though probably not as nice as Bloomberg’s $10 million check…). A severance package can be easily leveraged into early seed money for your company.
Look. these stories are everywhere: Oprah got fired and was told TV wasn’t for her; JK Rowling got fired (and used her severance check to support her writing for a number of years); Madonna, fired from Dunkin Donuts in less than 24 hours after a…jelly…incident.
The point is that there is one truth you can divine from all of these stories: Success comes from our lowest points. Personal strength isn’t derived from not getting knocked down. It comes from getting back up.
Want to give it a go? SDI offers a free hour long consultation and quote, Give us a call at 408.802.2885/408.621.8481 – or click to contact us! We’ll help you unleash your true, inner entrepreneur, turning your idea into a viable, functional company, bound for success.