Tech Layoffs, Plus the Presidential Election: SX Speaker Series

January 25, 2024 Hugh Forrest

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Every week in our Conference Community Newsletter, we mine the minds of some of the best and brightest speakers headed to Austin in March.

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Here’s what this week’s participants had to say about the recent spate of tech layoffs and the presidential election.

We've seen a huge number of layoffs in the tech industry in 2023 and early 2024. Do you see this trend reversing in the next few months?

Cal Thompson / Potty Talk: Service Design Post-Binary at JW Marriott Salon 7: "I hope so. It is a trend and one driven by investors. Allowing innovation and creativity to thrive is key to a sustainable future. If the working bodies of tech companies are constantly living in fear of their survival/livelihood going away, we're going to see a wave of stagnancy in innovation. A sense of safety is mandatory for innovative creative solutions to emerge."

Deanna Brown / Fundraising in a Down Market: How to Keep Your Startup Alive: "Not disturbing - right sizing in my humble opinion."

Joseph Jaffe / Mentor: "It always gets worse before it gets better, especially with automation and AI continuing to disrupt the conventional game. Yes, new jobs are being created, but short term, the blood will continue to flow."

Sydney Williams / Hiking Your Feelings: Blazing a Trail to Self-Love: "I don't see this reversing until we radically change the way we approach business in the United States. When profits are prioritized over people, nobody wins."

The November 2024 US presidential election is now less than 10 months away. When (if ever) do you think America will abandon the state-by-state electoral college as the format for deciding who will be the leader of the free world? What other changes could push the US presidential election process into the 21st century?

Cal Thompson / Potty Talk: Service Design Post-Binary at JW Marriott Salon 7: "To push the US presidential election process into the 21st and 22nd centuries, the US could benefit from a five party system with more ways of seeing things, and/or a coalition government or, no political parties at all. What if we all were one?"

Deanna Brown / Fundraising in a Down Market: How to Keep Your Startup Alive: "Don’t think they will abandon but maybe de-emphasize and push to a popular vote in the next window (it will take a lot of wrestling to make this change)."

Joseph Jaffe / Mentor: "These no-brainer decisions are ultimately reinforced and perpetuated by those who favor the status quo and resist change. I have to believe that progress and ultimately overhaul are inevitable and without question, the continued shifts in demographics of the voting population will ultimately tip the scale. Hope springs eternal."

Sydney Williams / Hiking Your Feelings: Blazing a Trail to Self-Love: "This is a great question, because what we're doing clearly isn't working. I would love to see a complete and total overhaul to how we run this country, how we do business, and how we care for this planet and all of its inhabitants and resources."

We hope you've enjoyed this edition of the Conference Community Newsletter SX Speaker Series!

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Photo by Lauren Lindley

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