We have become too excited about the possibilities of the digital market, forgetting that people live in an advantageous way in the analog market. The coming year may be a renaissance of the customer service industry, a personal approach to the customer, and concern for the quality of his experience – from choosing a service to the long term of using it. After all, Apple maintains its power on the technology market by selling not only phones but the experience of using them. – says Marc Karasu, performance marketing expert, Chief Marketing Officer at the international software house Vention, in an interview with “Wprost”.
Marcin Makowski, “Wprost”: The technology market and the IT sector have undergone a serious collapse last year. The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, a series of layoffs in the largest companies in the industry, huge uncertainty. How would you describe the current market atmosphere?
Marc Karasu, CMO, Vention: The technology market has certainly undergone shock therapy after a multi-year bull market. Money from venture capital funds was easy to obtain, there was an atmosphere of excitement and sales records breaking. The collapse of the SVB bank was just the tip of the iceberg of problems growing in the background. After all, it wasn’t a big bank in terms of capital, but because many entities from the Silicon Valley technology industry invested their funds in it, the rest had a domino effect. You could say that it was, in a sense, a market recalibration, but it turned out to be more lasting than expected because it coincided with the increase in interest rates in the US and the end of “cheap money”. Suddenly, every dollar was looked at in all directions, risky investments were withdrawn, and innovative startups in the IT industry especially suffered.
If Silicon Valley Bank had not collapsed, would such a bear market not have occurred?
I don’t think so. This was a catalyst, but it also coincided with the above-mentioned unfavorable macroeconomic and geopolitical factors, such as the disruption of the goods supply chain. We were dealing with a perfect combination of fear, greed and short-sightedness, which is why the technology market, perhaps for the first time after the burst of the Internet bubble in the early 2000s, must rethink its priorities. Many companies, especially service providers, had to radically cut employment because their clients were just as quick to look for savings in outsourcing. It is easiest to save on development projects whose effects are uncertain. And so we have reached a vicious circle of reduced investments, higher borrowing costs, layoffs and a general reduction in optimism in the entire industry.
But don’t you feel that in a sense we earned it ourselves? The technology industry was full of unrealistically valued companies that had yet to create a profitable product and were already receiving tens of millions of dollars in funding.