by Michelle Lentz

Once upon a time I was a news junkie. I was on top of things, but my heart got broken on a regular basis – by Wall Street, the government, the world. So I’ve done a pretty good job of weaning myself off of the news – right when everything goes crazy.

In Cincinnati, we had our own dot-com boom and bust back in 1999 -2001. I was part of it and I was lucky. My company at the time survived the bust, but many did not. It was such an exciting time though, and I miss that fun and excitement of a startup. I hope that the few startups currently in Cincinnati, such as ShareThis and PhoTrade, are currently positioned well enough to survive what’s coming. I believe they are – I’m sure it helps that the very cost of living (and doing business) is so much less here in Ohio.

I’ve been seeing a lot of posts around the tech sector lately about how startups can weather the “nuclear winter” into which we seem to be heading. Everyone seems to take a slightly different viewpoint on this, and I’m intrigued.  In case you’re wondering where people currently have their heads, I want to point you to two well-written posts.

Jason Calacanis, who gave up blogging, had a large amount of requests for him to share, with the world, the contents of his latest newsletter. So he has one more blog post. It’s not short, but I think it’s worth your time to read through and ponder. Jason spends a bit of time on the psychology of it all, which is important right now, as well as the philosophy. Based on my own experience in a startup all those years ago, I’d say Jason’s ideas and advice apply to the very art of being a startup, regardless of how much our economy is slumping.

Another viewpoint comes from one of my favorite writers, Rafe Needleman. Rafe gives some tips for how to ride out the wave (spend into the recession). He also points out, quite rightly I think, that while lines of credit may be drying up through Venture Capital, those Angel Investors may still have the cash to help you out.

Both writers make the same point. Plan; plan now; plan quickly.

Yesterday, TechCrunch sifted through their CrunchBase and listed out around 160 startups that they think are best funded to survive the downturn. They based their list on the companies who have received at least $25 million in funding over the last two years. I was surprised at several of the companies on the list, whereas others weren’t surprising at all.

While Google execs may be cheery about the Silicon Valley economy, everyone else is heading into planning mode. How is your company planning to weather the upcoming storm? Are you expecting cutbacks in people, activities, or other things? Tell us in the comments.

Contact Michelle with your news, apps, and events via email, Twitter, Pownce, or FriendFeed. Visit Michelle at and Write Technology. You can also catch Michelle presenting on Twitter at the upcoming DevLearn ’08 in San Jose.

About the Author:

Comments are closed.