the winning hand


Nowadays, barely a day goes by without hearing the expression "cash is king".  I started to wonder, if cash is king, what's the rest of the royal family?

I knocked around this metaphor and my mind wandered to playing cards.  It's clear that the game has changed, and the winning hand in a recession is going to be different than what worked before. 

It feels like everyone is scrambling to figure out how to play "Recession Hold-em".

Sequoia Capital framed the new rules in a sobering presentation to their portfolio companies last month: "RIP: Good Times".  It's depressing stuff, and you don't want to read it while listening to Leonard Cohen, but it gives a handy summary of how the game has changed and offers some good tips at the end.

What's unclear is exactly what makes up a winning hand in a recession.  The temptation is going to be to hunker down and not try anything new.  But, I think the old rule that "safe is risky" still applies, even in a time of extreme caution.

New leaders will emerge in the next few years, and I think they'll emerge by playing the game differently, and discovering a new winning hand.


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