2023: Which Way Will the Winds Blow?

Steve LudwigValue Creation JourneyLeave a Comment

A girl drawing the number 2023 in the sand

Business leaders are wondering what 2023 will bring.

The war in Ukraine, the lingering effects of the global pandemic, layoffs at major tech companies, inflation, rising interest rates, artificial intelligence, the collapse of cryptocurrency, the worry around a recession, and a host of other issues can impact your startup. 

Enough to give an ulcer to the tech founder with even the strongest constitution. 

There are three things to keep in mind during this time.


We always think that this time, things are unprecedented. They might be—in recent memory. However, a quick look at some old newspapers (remember those?) and we are quickly reminded that wars, inflation, high interest rates, recessions, pandemics, and all of it have been with us—forever.

While there has never been a cryptocurrency collapse before, there have been plenty of investment bubbles. One of the most famous was the tulip crash of 1637. Odds are someone is already working on a Ph.D. dissertation that compares the two. 

We need to remember, things are always turbulent. It’s just a matter of scale. And, there are routes to success no matter the prevailing winds. 

Successful Startups During Troubled Times

Han Solo, as a smuggler, could have been considered an entrepreneur of sorts, especially with his “Never tell me the odds” approach to life. If we were not a bunch of optimistic folks, we would never have gotten into this crazy startup venture to begin with. 

When things are “perfect” in the marketplace about 90 percent of startups fail, with roughly 10 percent calling it quits during their first year. 

A number of massive companies, including Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Mailchimp, and HP were founded during recessions. It is important to remember that people are always spending money and investing. It might be easier to get funding during a boom cycle, but good ideas, products, and services are always in demand. 

It’s Always Been a VUCA world

VUCA, which stands for volatility,  uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, is a concept that was developed by the U.S. Army and has proven to be helpful for business leaders. 

The framework helps business leaders develop more nuanced approach to strategic planning. We have found the below chart from the Harvard Business Review to be helpful. 

A guide to approaching events in the four VUCA categories

Courtesy: Harvard Business Review

Hire Your First Salesperson Now? 

So, in these VUCA times, you might be wondering if now is the right time to hire your first salesperson?

It is, if you are ready for it, and if you can get the right one in that will help you bring in revenue and grow your client base. 

That’s where we can help. 

The Right Five brings to you Pathfinder salespeople, individuals with the right talent and temperament proven to be successful as the first sales hire at a B2B tech startup. 

The Right Five delivers:

  • A quick and painless hiring process: The Right Five automates the candidate assessment/scoring/communication leaving you simply with the selection of those Pathfinders you want to interview.
  • Fast on-ramping: Because your first Sales hire needs to be a Pathfinder (the clue is in the name) their need for on-ramping is minimal.
  • Reduced risk: The Right Five reduces the risk for you because our online assessment/rules engine identifies Pathfinders, i.e the candidates who will be successful as the first Sales hire.

Want to find out more? Watch this five-minute overview and demo of The Right Five or send us a note and we will set up a meeting.

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