Salad Days Over In The Valley
Things aren’t looking so good in Silicon Valley these days. As the US economy adjusts to recession, funding for ventures is down, stock prices are falling, and online tabloids have to let go even their decadent Valley prostitution reporters.
Vallewag’s Owen Thomas relayed the news from Gawker that his best paid-per-page-view staffers were on the list of newly unemployed. Among a 60 percent reduction in Valleywag’s staff were associate editors Nicholas Carlson and Jackson West, and Silicon Valley deviant behavior reporter Melissa Gira Grant, queen of page views and vessel of working-girl related news.
Instead of citing a decline in Valley-area prostitution, Gawker cited expected declines in advertising revenue, especially in the consumer electronic sectors, Valleywag’s biggest clients. Sure enough, Apple stock has been hammered in anticipation of an impending, if uncertain in strength, recession. Fewer people are going to have the cash to luxuriate their subprime home offices with Apple products.
The anticipation of financial difficulty, not actual difficulty, seems to be driving cost-reduction moves among many ventures. New York Times’ Brad Stone and Claire Cain Miller don’t want you to panic or anything, but “a pall of anxiety seems to be spreading over the land.”
Cue spooky music and soliloquy by Vincent Price.
Noticeably, financial services and automakers are pulling back advertising, and at the top of every web startup’s mind is the trimming of the ol’ budget. Looks like those salad days are at least put on hold for a while, at least until the credit crunch subsides.