Investing in People
Warren Buffett, in his 1986 letter to shareholders, defined his investment philosophy:
We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.
In other words, good investors buy low and sell high. They don’t follow market frenzies or panics; they pursue strategic positions based on their long-term interests. They keep some “ammo dry” at all times so they can capitalize on one-off unexpected opportunities.
The same idea should apply with companies. Right now my LinkedIn feed is awash with extremely talented and pedigreed people available for hire - research scientists, engineers, marketers, salespeople, recruiters, engineering managers. We are in the midst of the massive Big Tech layoff of 2022. Companies which have seen much harder times in the past, without doing mass layoffs (maybe because money was easy to borrow?) have now frozen hiring or are actively laying off amazing people. Often it’s unclear why: look at some of their balance sheets and you know they can take a punch.
Were it in my power, I’d be hiring like crazy right now. There are so many amazing people that have come up on the job market for the first time in over a decade. And (assuming you can weather an upcoming downturn, which shouldn’t really be a problem for a well-run company) the potential long-term upside is huge.