The Sky Is Falling, The Sky Is Falling. The Sky Might Be Falling, Maybe!

Of course, it is. Or maybe not, but you have to admit if you pay any attention to any type of media there is a story just about every day stating in one form or another that “It’s Coming.” You know what it is. They call it “The Downturn.”

We as in you and I have seen this before, but some of the “less experienced” of us have not seen anything like a downturn ever.

So am I going to be one of those media types who sit back and just make shit up? Wait, that’s what I do anyway, but I do indeed digress. Am I going to call it just to call it and say I told you it was coming because I called it way back when? Uh, no!

“But, you say, Duke, things are going so well, what are you trying to do?” Nothing really other than just maybe get your attention and throw you a few ideas, hints or as I have been known to do some thought-provoking statements to help you get your head out of your ass and pay more attention beyond your safe little life bubble.

You think you are ahead of or at least on top of the curve that is #CRE and #TECH? I think maybe not.

How about this…

Your phone does not make you a genius.
It’s a small, powerful mobile computer. But it’s only going to be as good as the user of that phone. It’s an incredible piece of technology without a doubt. Do I need to bring up what I think Peter Thiel is famous for generally saying that this generation gave us mobile computers that play games and Candy Crush and the generation before that went to the moon and back with almost nothing? When you look at it that way, it doesn’t seem to be like too much has been accomplished.

How far have we come?
What about commercial real estate? Quantum leaps? You know the answer to that. Blame and point fingers at whomever you want but all as in all of us are in part to blame for what I consider almost zero progression with the use of any technology. Sit back and think. Name one just one technology we can say was “that” technology breakthrough. Can’t think of anything, can you?

Just Because.
I am of the opinion the reason for that is that is has been far too easy to “do tech” in the past five years or so. Also, the market has been robust at the very least. The combination of those two things equals mediocrity. I can hear the tech Ceo’s from here “fuck you, Duke, what the fuck do you know?” I know that I have seen zero original ideas funded by people who have to deploy money and they look at this asset class and say, ”hell something’s got to happen” so into the fray they jump.

More pain, wait how about just pain, to begin with.
I attended a tech conference recently, and the panelist were flat out giddy with their ”genius and ability to dominate a certain segment in the future. Sitting next to me was a “seasoned finance and tech global CEO, and all we could do was sit back and shake our heads. How many of these giddy geniuses have been through a down cycle? NONE. How many have seen the money dry up? NONE. How many think it’s going to happen to them? NONE.

Yes, I will enjoy it more than most.
As much as I am a cheerleader, I have been around for a while and seen it when there was NOTHING in the pipeline. Who is going to survive when that comes? I can guarantee that it will be hardly any. I think I heard one of the panelists say that “the suits and the money have shown up and are doing their best to ruin it.” Those suits and money are your customers you stupid, arrogant little shit. At least two of them were right in front of you. Might be time for a change in your company. Starting with your dumb ass.

But you are smarter than that right? Are you sure?
You are not that stupid, and I hope for you and your company you are not. What’s going to happen when it all goes away and it will. I said it would. Don’t be so arrogant that you sit on a stage and show your stupidity to the world.

Let me help you now.
You do have it all figured out, don’t you? Just in case you are open to a few ideas, let me throw you a few more hints or thoughts your way to help you when the shitstorm does hit.

-Let’s start with the obvious. Headcount. Start chopping now. You are in a growth mode you say. Who is not selling? Get rid of them. While you are at it move the sales “people” to the front of the office or right next to you. Don’t banish them to the back, if they even have some space at all. They are supposed to be out selling right. How about all the others taking up prime office space? What do they sell again? Revenue generation or why exist?

-Is your product working and selling/generating revenue? If it is then leave it the fuck alone. Don’t screw up what got you to this point. Fix the pain, and they will pay. Bring them toys and flashy add on’s, and it’s just time-consuming bullshit. Kill the pain and get paid. Did I mention selling recently?

-Leave the bullshit out. This is from personal experience. Quit fucking lying about your real revenue and expenses. If you aren’t honest, that means you are hiding something and lying. Wow, that helps the company grow right. Bullshit until what? You no longer have any money? The answer to that is, yes!

-Find help and partners or just buy their ass NOW. I’m serious. Get aggressive. Do you have a better chance of surviving by yourself or not? I’m not suggesting you get away from your product at all but why are certain companies willing to partner or get “bought?” There are a thousand reasons. Taking the 24/7/365 pain in the ass away from somebody and making it work. There are a thousand reasons that will work for you. I suggest you do this often and quickly. Let me put this out there also. Pick a number stick to it. Put a time on it for a yes or no. Be ready to execute in days not months. If it’s not your number walk away! I said Walk Away. Move on. Fuck negotiation. You are trying to survive not to negotiate your way out of business. Let the losers negotiate. The winners will do the deal or not and move on. It’s called Surviving.

You may be but just a few.
I mentioned before not many if any will make it. The ones that do will be stronger and better companies. They will have better products and better positioned to move on past this phase of easy money and total bullshit. The companies that make it won’t be on a stage blasting the very people who will help their company thrive. Not the smart, lean and mean companies anyways.

It’s Coming, Maybe.
You may disagree with me, but that’s ok. Maybe this will be a learning experience for you. You have never seen the signs before. One quick hint, it’s not about the tech as much as it is about the commercial real estate market. What happens when your customers won’t or can’t make a decision to pay for your product? Do you have what it takes to survive and thrive?

So, The Sky Is Falling, The Sky Is Falling. The Sky Might Be Falling Maybe!

+1 Let me ask you this. Who’s hanging on the sidelines with BILLIONS in the bank just waiting for the market to tank so they can do some hellacious deals? Don’t know? You might want to do a bit of research and find out. They are going to back the survivors and winners of the next cycle…because they were way ahead of not only “the curve” but ahead of the entire market!


Duke Long

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