We can all agree now that 2022, after the hangover of Covid-induced investment boom, was a great reckoning (read: brutal) year for tech companies across the world. 

There were (very few) bright spots, but overall the market for tech was down significantly, triggering layoffs across the ecosystem, as well as challenges in unicorns still in the private market. As the Fed gave a modest 0.25% rate raise last week, there is cheer in the market that we might have finally gone through the worst. 

However, the world is now different. Not only is the cost of capital at levels not seen since the 2008 great financial crisis, the geopolitics are also at a heightened level not seen since the 1990s. 

Maybe we have been through the center of a storm, but the waters in 2023 remain choppy. We know great companies are born out of uncertain times, great leaders emerge during such periods as well. 

The question is – how should we navigate the opportunities and find clarity in these uncertain times? Are we doing the right things? 

We are all collecting sound bites from the market and making projections on what to expect in 2023. But are we putting things into perspective? How do we figure out the bigger narrative on where the world is heading, and what the opportunities are?

 

What have leaders done in the past? 

One way to look at it is to dive into history – as there are a lot in common with uncertainties and how people respond to them. 

Top Chinese tech leaders, as we have described in “Tech leaders with Chinese characteristics” report last year, are almost all avid readers of history. 

The founders of the current generation of tech giants in China – Meituan, Bytedance and Pinduoduo – have all navigated their business through complicated terrains and often very challenging times. 

We have synthesized many of the learnings in their journey in the book “Seeing the unseen: behind Chinese tech giants’ global venturing”. What Momentum Academy will do this year is to dive even deeper in each individual journey to create a series of case studies so you can learn from their experiences in a very immersive and relatable way. 

Our case study published last week, on Meituan, showed how they navigated turbulent times in 2011 to find business clarity that projected them onto a path of success.

Later this month, Momentum Works will also release a report on Temu – Pinduoduo’s cross border ecommerce assault on Amazon and SHEIN – that is making waves in the North American market. 

 

What does 2023 hold for us? 

At the end of the day, everything comes together as we share our points of view, stories, fears and aspirations – and navigate the great unknown together. 

Momentum Works is hosting an invite-only event in collaboration with 01VC – titled “Navigating tech companies in turbulent 2023: Culture, people and leadership” this week. 

The presentation deck will be shared with the broader community after the event – do watch out for them in our newsletter.

If you find these topics on the macro trends, leadership, organisation and culture interesting, reach out to Momentum Academy at [email protected] to find out how we can customise these insights (and more) for your leaders and your organisation.

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at [email protected]