Adam Hardej

May 11, 2023·Newsletter

We Are Back

We Are Back

Wow. Really glad that's over. Recessions are brutal. Almost had to start a cash flow focused business. Good to be back in the saddle slinging meme coins. Jokes. Jokes. Kind of. $PEPE saw a pump this last week that brought the market cap close to $1B. Meanwhile Google shows off some AI plans in their annual keynote.

Going to do my best to keep it short this week because I've been rambling a bit long the last couple of weeks. Here's the main point:

This doesn't feel like the bad times. It could just be the bubble I'm operating in, but it feels like we've been teetering on the edge of something actually bad for a while without it ever actually getting dire.

Lay offs are hard. Tech stocks and late-stage VC getting cut in half is hard. All in all though, both have felt pretty... fair.

If a company can operate the same way with 20% less employees, shouldn't it? Should valuations be rooted in some sort of expectation around future free-cash-flow?

I'm too young to speak from experience, but I've always imagined the post-bubble period to be a bit more apocalyptic and less "return to the mean" feeling.

Gun to my head - zero data in front of me - would I say we're through the worst of it? No.

I'm definitely not asking for things to get worse. I'm just saying if a meme-coin is in the news for almost hitting a $1B market cap maybe it's not the bottom.

Also, while I was writing this today, Domm - the former high flying founder of Fast - literally posted a Tweet saying "we're back"... so there's that.

On the Stonkier side of things, deploying and building through these periods (or further down periods to come) - whether we're at bottom or still headed down - is where legends are made. Whether you're thinking about writing an Angel check or deciding to launch a new startup - if you're still doing it when things are bad that's probably a good sign.

I spoke with a VC yesterday who's been writing Seed checks for a decade and has previous winners including Robinhood and Webflow - this was his take on the market (heavily paraphrased):

"It's actually a lot easier to be a VC nowadays. A lot less noise. Founders are launching companies because they have deep conviction - not just because they can."

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