[author: Caroline Gieryn]
Some interesting links we found across the web this week:
11 Trends That Will Shape Work in 2022 and Beyond
We are currently experiencing what this article calls “the greatest workplace disruption in generations”, which has resulted from the far-reaching and long-lasting volatility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as pressing economic, social and political concerns, and employees’ responses to it all. To navigate this disruption and to retain employees, companies are having to rethink a number of their corporate policies. This article from the Harvard Business Review explores the challenges that companies are now facing in greater detail and some of the changes to the workplace that we are likely to see emerge as trends in 2022, including how companies are expected to manage remote and hybrid working environments, vaccine mandates, rising inflation resulting in real wage reductions, unprecedented employee attrition, pressure from employees for greater engagement in political and social issues and an increased focus on wellness.
Why Experts Think the SPAC Trend Can't Last
SPACs have captured the attention of everyone from the traditional investment community to celebrities such as Shaquille O’Neal and Jay-Z. But, will SPACs suffer the same fate as so many other celebrity fads? According to this article, some experts are skeptical about the long-term viability of SPACs, despite 2021 being a record year for them with 613 SPACs going public in the United States last year alone, raising almost as much money as traditional IPOs domestically. These experts cite the following as reasons for their skepticism—the fees and expenses inherent to the SPAC structure, the potential for enhanced regulation, intense competition to find target companies within the typical two-year contractual timeframe and concerns over the ability to generate sufficient earnings per share—each of which are addressed more fully in this article from INC.
Why Some VCs Are Hopeful of a Pullback in Sky-High Valuations
It has been well-publicized that valuations of private companies have reached record levels. In 2021, median late-stage VC valuations in the United States reached approximately 20x revenue, a metric which has nearly doubled since last year. At the same time, shares of technology companies that have recently gone public have fallen in value, some by over 50%, since their peaks in 2021. This Pitchbook article explores the current disconnect between the public and private markets and predicts that sustained trading of technology stocks at lower prices in the public market will start to put downward pressure on the sky-high valuations in the private market. It further explains how the potential declines in private valuations will impact the venture capital community and why such declines are not necessarily welcome news for investors.
How Entrepreneurs Can Leverage Visualization: A Neuroscientist Explains
The unlikely subjects of neuroscience and entrepreneurship intersect in this article from Forbes. According to neuroscientist Mike Tranter, the practice of visualization causes adaptive changes in the brain called plasticity that can help entrepreneurs better prepare for the myriad of unexpected obstacles and pitfalls inherent to starting and growing a business. In addition to explaining the science behind visualization, this article provides a fresh perspective and unique advice to founders on how to obtain a competitive edge by incorporating visualization as part of their everyday routine.
Europe’s Unicorn Herd Multiplies as VC Investment More Than Doubled in 2021
European startups are beginning to capture a significant portion of investment dollars and accordingly, a number of Silicon Valley investment firms are beginning to set up shop in Europe. This article from Crunchbase quantifies the explosive growth that the European startup market has experienced over the past year with funding at all stages—angel-seed, early stage and late stage—growing by staggering amounts year-over-year. Further, the Crunchbase Unicorn Board now includes 150 European private companies, over half of which joined this year. The data in this article really serves to highlight the maturation and increasing importance of the European startup market.