What a Industry Slowdown Means for the Future of Tech

May 13, 2016

2:00 pm

After several years of high exponential growth, the tech industry may be bracing itself for an industry slowdown.

In the Bay Area, where many prominent tech leaders reside and conduct business, an increased number of layoffs may be signaling a predicted slowdown for the industry. Just this year alone, “3,135 tech jobs [were] lost in the four-county region of Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda and San Francisco counties from January through April”. And these numbers are just the beginning. “Disappointing earning reports” from even the biggest names in the industry show a decrease of customer engagement. Is the tech bubble popping?

In an article for The Mercury News, Wells Fargo senior economist Mark Vitner commented: “We’re seven years into this expansion, so at some point we’re going to have a downturn. My general sense is the tide is beginning to go out. It doesn’t mean a recession is right around the corner.”

But layoffs haven’t been the only sign that times are changing for tech companies. A decline of infamous perks and lavish employee benefits also showcase that the unicorn startup stage may be ending. But this does this mean the entire collapse of an industry? Not necessarily.

What Will It Take To Stay Relevant?

The truth is, the decline of the industry will only happen if tech loses the innovation and forward-thinking that made it so prominent today. These companies may be faltering now, but if they are meant to stick around, they’ll find new ways to adapt to the industry changes happening around them. After all, many of them have the resources and employee tenacity to make it through tough times.

Change, however, doesn’t come without a cost. These companies will need to shed some excessive weight to stay relevant – meaning that in place of lavish benefits and expansive headquarters, companies move towards downsizing as a way to establish long-term efficiency. It means utilizing their resources now more than ever to create products that disrupt industry standards and innovate customer attention. It means, making some hard changes now to see long-term results.

Every industry is vulnerable to lose after a major change occurs. But change doesn’t automatically mean the end of times. Instead, this could be an inspiration for startups and companies in the tech industry to reacquaint themselves with long-term goals and missions. What are they trying to accomplish? How can they find new solutions that match these goals more efficiently than previous courses of action have?

In the end, it’s not about what we will lose – especially when we still have so much to gain.

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Cameron is a tech and culture journalist, comic book enthusiast, and lives near New York City. A graduate of Stockton University, she's using her words to shift the world of online journalism, one byline at a time. When she's not writing, she can be found reading sci-fi novels, collecting succulents, and planning her next obnoxious hair color. Cameron is an editorial fellow at Tech.Co. Send your tips to cameron@tech.co or tweet @BlkGirlManifest.

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