Time to check in to my blog again. Lots of doom and gloom this week. I attended a panel discussion hosted by the Churchill Club, an organization that brings together members of the Valley’s venture capital community, and the general consensus was the economy was really bad and only going to get worse. The number of startups funded has fallen, the number of startups folding has risen, VC firms are finding it tough to raise funds, and so on. Times are really, really tough and the job market is brutal. This has been clearly reflected in my ongoing job search – it’s pretty much impossible to get firms to even look at my resume, even if applications are sent through personal contacts and not via HR. The reason is depressingly simple – virtually every law firm has just completed one or more rounds of lay-offs, and in that climate, they’re not going to turn around and hire more people – especially with an uncertain deal pipeline. The question is, will things recover over the next few months, or will the hiring freeze continue (or worse, will there be more lay-offs)? The university is suffering as well – the endowment is expected to take a huge hit and continue to shrink over the next year. One result is that a few Masters students here who wanted to do PhDs have been unable to obtain PhD funding. I was out with a friend tonight who is working towards a PhD and we walked past a large sign saying “We are hiring! Inquire within!” Jose turned to me and remarked, “Wow, that’s rare to see during an ad like that in these economic conditions! I wonder if they hire PhDs?” The sign was on the wall of a fast food joint.
So for a variety of reasons, professional but unfortunately also personal, it’s been a Real Bad Week for me.