In a very long email that can be read in its entirety here
, Mahalo CEO Jason Calacanis, who will be keynoting the 2009 OMMA Global Hollywood Conference & Expo in Los Angeles next month, advises startups to hold on for as long as they can during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
In the memo, Calacanis, who co-founded and then sold the blog network Weblogs to AOL in 2005, expresses the gloomiest of outlooks for the global economy. "The severity of what has happened can't be underestimated," he said. "Bottom line: there is zero chance of a short or medium term-rebound. Zero." This means that most startups will soon find themselves on their own, if they haven't already. "You can't count on your VCs saving you or some magical offer from Yahoo or Google showing up to bail you out," he said. "Chances are Yahoo and Google are going to be shutting down and/or selling off companies they've already bought -- like eBay and AOL have started doing. Parents don't adopt while they're putting their kids up for adoption."
He added that the decisions senior managers make in the next 30 days "will probably make or break your company...the death spiral has started. Once that happens, you can't stop it -- you can only ride it out."