The big bet Big Tech got wrong

“I got this wrong” — Tech CEOs everywhere.

Yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg announced the largest layoffs in Meta’s history.

The big bet Big Tech got wrong

In a letter to employees, he mentioned a now familiar admission of guilt among tech CEOs — incorrectly predicting that a pandemic surge in ecommerce would be a permanent trend, and investing heavily in headcount to meet that growth.

“I got this wrong,” he wrote.

He’s not the first to admit that error.

  • In a July letter about Shopify layoffs, CEO Tobi Lutke said he’d mistakenly bet on the permanence of ecommerce demand. “I got this wrong,” he said.
  • Last week, in a letter regarding Stripe layoffs, CEO Patrick Collison explained how, in early 2020, “the world rotated overnight towards e-commerce… The world is now shifting again.”

As for Meta, investors consider the layoffs a major step toward better cost management, though their concerns about competition with TikTok and Apple remain.

That, and concerns about whether placing the company’s fate on the success of the metaverse was a good idea. That, too.

Topics: Big Tech

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