most of the technology industry in BC, 2002 will be
entirely forgettable. In fact, if 2002 was a dog, you'd
take it out back and shoot it. I'd rather have a needle
in the eye than live through this year again. In 2010,
you will talk about the years of the first decade of the
new millennium and skip over 2002 with barely a mention.
It'll be the blank spot immediately after the big party
finished. "You know, it started with a bang and
then I got kind of drunk in 2001 and, well, frankly I
just don't remember 2002. Must have blacked out."
with me on this sentiment?
of the continuing horde laid off by other BC
technology companies, big and small?
union or non-union, working at Telus (do they hand out
barf bags for the stock volatility in what should be a
stable slow growing company)?
of you holding a brand new degree that says Class of
'02 that has a fridge papered with rejection letters?
entrepreneur trying to get investment this year from
angels, VCs or the public market?
sick of the words "downsize", "rightsize"
or "cut the burn"?
your answer was No to all of these and you had a good
time in 2002, then you work for ALI Technologies,
Electronic Arts, Crystal Decisions or Larry Campbell.
Either that, or you have been featured on that TV show
are the days that the media just loves. The reporters
were forced to interview mealy-mouthed CEOs of up and
coming technology companies and write positive stories
about the "new economy". They did this just
long enough to get a good "hate" on. It is
always harder to write about positive stories and have
positive, insightful opinions than it is to just kvetch.
Now, the revenge is palpable. Every pedestal is being
cut down, every bull being gored, every sacrificial
lamb, rotisseried. Unless you are being investigated by
the BCSC or SEC, your PR person can't get a story done.
In this environment, it would be tough to sound bullish.
But in the spirit of Christmas and just, plain feeling
better, let's talk positively about the BC technology
scene for the remainder of this column and the rest of
this god-forsaken year.
the best news for 2003: It is not going to get any
worse. I'm not saying that just because the sentiment is
that it simply can't get any worse... because it can.
One simple, awful attack by any type of wacko extremists
on North American or western European soil will, in
fact, make it worse. What I mean by the statement is
that the technology industry has bottomed and the
spending in technology has stopped decreasing.
you start whooping it up, the year ahead is not likely
to see dramatic growth. In fact, any growth in tech
spending would be remarkable. The thing that makes 2003
interesting is that stability and consistency are likely
to be good things. Even if growth is not there overall,
knowing that the person you are dealing with will buy
something and that they will still be there in a month
when you come calling again, well, this is a good thing.
If the overall telecom spending market in North America
is $55B next year and it is not in doubt from quarter to
quarter, it will be nice to know that there is some
business to be won. If the overall market is
stabilizing, vis a vis spending on technology, but is
not growing, then the challenge will be to take market
share away from someone else. We can live with that,
right? We can strategize, position and sell to win some
the market will not sizzle, the calmness of steady
spending and the lack of earnings warnings in 2003 will
be very refreshing. I think we will do handstands at the
end of '03 because flat and steady will seem like a
world of difference from 2001 and 2002.
enjoy your holiday this year. Take a few deep breaths.
Know that you won't have frantic success next year, but
that, with solid execution, you will make your numbers.
The slaughter is over and long, slow steady growth in
technology markets are much more likely on the horizon.