January 10, 2023

We’re in an attention bubble

Authors:

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

The math says it’s not all bad

We’re in a bubble. Not an economic bubble. An attention bubble. 

Social media’s layoff news has been groundhog day on social media for the last 8 months. Another big name laid off. Lives upended. More panic.

But social media is just like old school media: bad news grabs attention. Good news falls by the wayside.

What kind of good news? Well, the kind that stabilized the unemployment rates at 3.7%. The kind that caused non-farm payrolls to increase beyond expectations in the last few Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

Yes, layoffs are happening. But an equal amount of (likely many of the same) people are starting something new. In short order.

There’s a counterbalance to the reality of layoffs. But there’s little to no observable counterbalance to the doom and gloom narrative we see in the media.

Does this matter? Yes.

You can in fact plunge into a demand side recession based on a lack of confidence alone. Spend less, hire less, invest less because you’re afraid of what you see and hear. And what might happen. Not what’s actually happening.

This is what we’re seeing among companies we talked to in the past few weeks. Two phenomenon happening at the same time:

👉Companies freezing hiring to start the year. Because they want to see what happens next.

Vs 

👉We’ve exceeded our quota for net new clients onboarded in the last 6 weeks.

There are concerns. But it’s not all burning down.

I can’t predict how this year will go. I have no idea who the “winners” will be.

But the losers will be those who pause hiring based on media fear. Instead of their business prospects.

And those who think tech hiring will be ‘easy’ if they wait for more layoffs. (Which we hear literally every year. “Fetch” is never going to happen, you guys.)

And if that’s all who loses, cool. I just hope there’s not so many that they drag the rest of us down with them.

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

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