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The 2022 Rollercoaster Car Crash?



I should have thought of a more dramatic title because 2022 was just a WTF type of a year. Don't you agree? I still remember January 2022, full of promise and enthusiasm for the first full year out of lockdown, out of the pandemic, and personally, out of burnout from a frustrating job. And then, everything rosy started turning into red flags, and ups and downs mainly into downs. The markets crashed, VCs pulled back, layoffs followed, the war raged, and the UK pop-up Prime Minister popped together with the economy in her wake.


It's almost time for the 2023 resolutions, but first, let's walk through some of the events of 2022. Any lessons learned from this WTF 2022?


Jan

  • Should I even mention the craziness of the riots on Capitol Hill? Nope, let's start with Microsoft and Activision Blizzard announcing the largest tech deal ever in the video gaming market - a $69bn merger to get Call of Duty to play nicely with Xbox. That was going to be the year-defining deal, but the US regulators were not having any of it. A year later, they are still at it.

Feb

  • A crazy Russian dictator invades Ukraine. Lives are lost, businesses are shattered, and every missile sends a ripple across the world economy. A year later, they are still at it.

  • UK interest rates rise to 0.5% to keep inflation at 2%. (well, we know that didn't work. The inflation is >10%, and the interest rate is a whopping 3.5%!)

Mar

  • The US Fed started rate hikes for the first time since 2018. The first of many in 2022 that is supposed to curb inflation. I don't know if the inflation would not have risen by the current 10%, but I know the markets and tech stocks didn't like it. A personal Ouch!

Apr

  • Epic Games raises $2bn from Sony. This one went smoothly.

May

  • Legendary SoftBank announces the first-ever loss of $27.7bn in its Vision Fund.

  • Sequoia Capital warns of a "crucible moment" of uncertainty for the venture market due to inflation, markets and geopolitical issues.

Jun

  • SpaceX raised another $1.7bn, while according to Crunchbase, the global VC funding slowed down by 26%.

Jul

  • Klarna (by the Polish founder, Sebastian Siemiatkowski) is devalued by 85% to $6.7m! That should be brief, given where the crisis is hitting the hardest.

Aug

  • Stock markets tumble after the US inflation report, and the UK Pound posts the biggest monthly fall since the Brexit vote. Just in time for the summer hols abroad.

Sep

  • VC funding drops by a further 53% YoY (though 2021 was a bumper year) while the dry powder is piling up.

  • If approved, Adobe acquires Figma for $20bn, the largest acquisition of a private tech to date.

  • The UK has a new Prime Minister, Liz Truss. The markets and the pound and the Central Bank didn't like it.

Oct

  • The UK has another new Prime Minister! Rishi Sunak

Nov

  • Monster layoffs month. Meta, Amazon, Netflix, Twitter, the lot. As many as 100k US employees lost their jobs.

  • FTX and the Peter Pan of Crypto files for bankruptcy

  • Elizabeth Holmes is sentenced to 11+ years in prison for defrauding investors in Theranos

  • Musk reluctantly buys Twitter, and the deep cuts and fun follow

  • ChatGPT is born in the OpenAI stable. OpenAI's valuation already stands at $13bn. What next?

Dec

  • The UK is on strike

  • Christmas.

  • Renewed enthusiasm.


If we did 2022, we could do anything! Happy 2023!


@AnnieK

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