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Tech layoffs may get worse before they get better

Carta’s former chief people officer turned entrepreneur chats through his advice for conducting a layoff

Hello and welcome back to Equity, a podcast about the business of startups, where we unpack the numbers and nuance behind the headlines.

This is our Wednesday show, where we niche down to a single person, think about their work and unpack the rest. This week, Natasha interviewed Nolan Church, the CEO and co-founder of Continuum, about his perspective on the tech layoff wave. While we do indeed get into how his vision of fractional work fits into this conversation, we start with the fact that Church helped conduct Carta’s layoffs in 2020 (a low of his entire career, he says) and what that experience taught him about the importance of being direct. 

Here are a few of the topics we get into:

  • Twitter’s recent layoffs, Jack’s silence and who should take ownership for what.
  • The generic CEO statement on macroeconomic challenges.
  • Stripe’s recent layoffs.
  • What is the best way to conduct a layoff, and how should you communicate with staff? How does that change based on stage?
  • Is the rumor that all startups should just cut 20% of staff to extend runway accurate at all?
  • If Church could go back in time, would he change anything about the way that Carta conducted its layoffs?
  • What executive role is most likely to be disrupted and why Q1 may bring more doom and gloom into the tech sphere.
  • And finally, Church’s attempt to summarize all of 2022 in a headline (I don’t disagree with his final answer, by the way).

I’ll fully take ownership for the fact that my column from just two weeks ago (!) has aged poorly. If you or someone you know is whipping up a cool program — like this — to support those laid off, hit me up on Twitter and I may just create a good news show.

Equity drops every Monday at 7 a.m. PT and Wednesday and Friday at 6 a.m. PT, so subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts. TechCrunch also has a great show on crypto, a show that interviews founders, a show that details how our stories come together and more!


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