We are in a strange moment for technology. can you feel it The mighty forces of inexorable change and technological prosperity roll ahead, but there’s a shred of something else mixed in: doubt.
Some of the titans of the digital age, including Netflix and Facebook, are simultaneously ubiquitous, disruptive digital supernovas and ailing stars embarking on existential growth challenges.
The war in Ukraine, government efforts to curb rising consumer prices and the unexplained economic and social impact of the pandemic have all had a negative impact Break on some digital advertising and tech purchases. Money professionals who rely on the promise of young tech companies lose some faith.
A half-dozen tech giants — Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Netflix — have collectively lost $1.3 trillion in market value this year, worrying investors. (Facebook’s soaring share price on Thursday had only crawled back a little from its epic 2022 meltdown.)
The last decade has been an almost non-stop party for technology as we digitize our lives. And although there were regular tech panics before, including Just after the coronavirus began spreading in early 2020, predicting the fate of the technology and the industry leaders feels harder than it has in years.
Careless optimism is out and realism is in. It’s so very non-technical.
Perhaps this jittery period is just a lull and the near future will be something like the years since 2010 where technology has grown in importance, which has spawned tech companies crazy dollars and tech investors reveled in riches. Or maybe we’re on the cusp of something else – not a collapse, but perhaps a sadder phase for technology.
A lot is still rosy in Techland at the moment. We need technology in our personal and professional lives, and many manufacturers of these technologies are still unimaginably wealthy. Supporters of Meta, Facebook’s parent company, were relieved on Wednesday when the company reported more people after losing users in late 2021 picked up the habit again from using Facebook or the company’s Messenger app. Facebook shares rose 15 percent on Thursday.
But many of the tech leaders are struggling to replicate past successes. Netflix in the first quarter of this year lost subscribers for the first time in ten years. Facebook predicted that its quarterly earnings could soon decline compared to 2021. That’s not shocking in part because last year was a strange year for Facebook, but a tech company’s revenue shouldn’t shrink.
We’ll have more data points later today from Amazon and Apple, which will report their earnings for the first three months of 2022. Emerging tech companies, including the stock trading app Robin Hood have this week announced layoffs as their investors want them to lie down.
There was also a more nuanced one revaluation believing that the pandemic would accelerate technology. Many retail sales moved back to physical stores from the online shopping craze of 2020. Turns out not everyone wants to be zooming all the time, right Ride Peloton bikes in their dining rooms. Businesses that panic-buy work-from-home technology in 2020 may not need it for a while.
Twitter is emblematic of this time of uncertain ground. Maybe Elon Musk who approved the purchase of the company This week for $44 billion, Twitter will help fulfill one Potential that always seemed unattainable. Or maybe he’s driving the company into the abyss.
And if there is a US recession, as some economic watchers have said think, all bets are off. Last time there was a prolonged global recession – apart from that briefly due to the pandemic US downturn in early 2020 – Technology was a tiny bit compared to today. Many technology companies that are now basking in success have never experienced dry spells.
In a recent conversation with a veteran tech investor, who declined to be named so he can speak more freely, he outlined what a dark tech phase might look like, particularly for companies selling technology to companies.
Companies have poured money into buying technology over the past decade, mostly with little financial constraints. But when a recession hits, he imagined executives would scrutinize budgets and cut unnecessary technology. If that happens, tech companies that expected to grow rapidly for a long time will be in for a rude awakening, this investor has warned.
We’re not there yet. But the fact that investors are envisioning bad scenarios underscores a shift in sentiment. The days of the tech boom were largely based on hard facts — more people got online, more companies were desperate to modernize before the competition, and investors have found few places to make good money other than technology.
But another foundation was the belief that the technology sector would continue to expand uninterruptedly. When that feeling wears off a little, it’s not always easy to get it back.
Before we go…
Elon Musk is hard to like, but so is he contributed to improving the situation of mankind, wrote Farhad Manjoo for the opinion section of The New York Times. “Anyway, I’m excited to see what he comes up with,” Twitter’s next owner Farhad wrote.
More on social media: New European rules can improve social media sites without hampering free speech, and the US can do the same writes Frances Haugen, the former Facebook product manager who published documents of her findings on the harm caused by Facebook.
And my colleague Brian X. Chen was blown away by his experience on Truth Socialthe social media app endorsed by former President Donald J. Trump.
Contest Tips: It’s one thingand the hobby has found new life in online communities.
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Multitasking Extraordinary Today: This Guy caught a baseball without bumping into the baby he was feeding.
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