Silicon Valley is like no other place in the world right now. The Bay Area has been booming with ideas and innovation for the past decade. But in 2016, the IPO market wilted and unicorns suddenly had to prove their worth. Startups that had raised hundreds of millions of dollars began shuttering and investors are nervous. In “The Down Round” series, we talked to entrepreneurs and venture capitalists about what happened and what’s next for startups, real estate and Silicon Valley as a whole.
Episode 1: Greed vs. Fear
Everyone wants to be the person who calls the next bubble. But is it a mistake to even label it a bubble? Maybe scarcity can be a good thing. Capital is stuck at companies when they don’t IPO, and the unicorn market has become selfish.
Episode 2: The Benjamins
Late-stage funding has changed dramatically, and some say Silicon Valley is the destination for the next gold rush. In this episode, we examine where venture capital comes from and where it goes. Why are companies staying private longer, and what does it mean to be overvalued?
Episode 3: Bootstrapped
“You’re on a plane and it’s falling. And you’re trying to rebuild the engine as it’s falling, and you’re asking everyone to help you.” Layoffs, shutdowns and emotional roller coasters. Founders discuss what happens inside a startup when funding rounds tighten.
Episode 4: Job Hunt
Does Silicon Valley have an employment problem? As the market softens, so does the availability of jobs. Startups hired too aggressively at first and cutbacks are hitting the Valley hard. This episode explores what kind of jobs are in demand and other trends in tech hiring.
Episode 5: Real Estate
Software may be eating the world, but technology is eating real estate. So what is it actually like to work and live in the most expensive city in the U.S.? This episode gets into how real estate affects tech companies and the rest of the Bay Area. If you have a well-paying job, you should be able to afford an acceptable apartment, right? Right??
Episode 6: The Disruptors
If you don’t care about what you’re doing, no one else will. Silicon Valley has a risk-taking, experimental atmosphere where entrepreneurs sacrifice everything to build their own companies. This final episode explains why failure is necessary for success.