In the beginning of the pandemic, we learned which companies were unprepared to handle a cataclysmic event. Now, as the world slowly starts to reopen in light of vaccinations, we’re learning which companies that soared during the pandemic also lost their discipline amid it.
Over the past two years, tech rightfully became more critical than ever for the services that it provided to the average human, whether it was empowering an entirely distributed workforce or helping us get access to health services via a screen. It also became vulnerable. Pandemic-era growth has always had a caveat: The tech companies that found product-market fit, and demand beyond their wildest dreams, are the same tech companies that knew their win was at least partially dependent on a rare, once-in-a-lifetime event that (hopefully) would go away one day.
Every growth round, mega-valuation, impressive IPO pop and total-addressable-market bump gave the appearance of strength amid the crisis. But the same tailwinds that drove so much value creation also quieted money-saving conversations and planning for a future deceleration.
Yet, a reckoning, or at least a re-correction, is starting to play out, as shown by recent news from Peloton and Hopin.