Ad Service Startups Will Emerge From Thousands Of Tech Layoffs

Nearly two months into the new year, more than 93,000 workers across U.S. tech companies have been laid off in mass job cuts.

The numbers from Crunchbase News include Twilio’s 1,500-person cut, DocuSign’s 680-worker cut, and Wix’s 370-person layoff announcements last week. Google, Microsoft, Amazon and other tech companies laid off more than 70,000 employees in 2022.

The bright spot in all these layoffs is that the tech and advertising industry will see an onslaught of new companies come to market, especially as artificial intelligence (AI) takes hold.

“This is not just a tech bubble that happened overnight,” said Marty Weintraub, founder of marketing agency Aimclear. “It took five years to happen.”

Using the word “prodigious” to describe the number of inquiries his company receives, Weintraub said he is hearing about a lot of startups -- more than usual.

“A lot of people parachuted out of these companies with a ton of money,” he says.

Weintraub said the layoffs are not over. Not many marketers will lose their jobs to AI, but lots will lose their job to marketers who use AI, he said.

“That’s one thing to do -- start a company,” he says. “We’re seeing a lot of early stage to been-around-the-block-looking-for-another-round-of-money companies.”

Timur Yarnall, CEO and co-founder of Neutronian, a data quality and compliance company, noted a ton of chatter that, yes, this is a great time to launch seed and series A funding efforts and to hire good folks." 

He's seeing it more in the privacy and security sector, and around AI. 

A survey of more than 4,000 laid-off tech workers from Clarify Capital shows that a large proportion of tech workers who lose their job start a business shortly after.

The company surveyed more than 1,000 tech workers laid off during the pandemic and have since started their own company. Some 63% of tech workers have started their own company post-layoff, and 91% of those workers said their new company competes with the one that let them go.

For 40% of respondents to Clarify Capital’s study, the idea to start a company came between six and 12 months after getting laid off. Nearly one-third came sooner, in less than six months, and the rest took a year or more to decide that owning a business was the next logical step in their career.

In one instance, a Google manager who got laid off from work his colleagues so much he is trying to set up a new company with six of them, according to Business Insider.

Henry Kirk worked on improving the iOS and Android experience on Google apps for eight years, He, among the roughly 12,000 employees that Google announced would be cut from its global workforce, got laid off on January 20.

"I was pretty bummed out for about five minutes, but then I said, 'well, I still have a family to take care of, I learned a lot, and I think I'm ready to do my own thing,'" Kirk told Business Insider.

Then he texted his former team to see who else was affected and found that most had also been laid off. They started a group chat for moral support and now the group is trying to decide on a business to build.

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