End of an Era

For years, the tech industry (newfangled and fresh) has served as a guide (of sorts) for employment trends in other industries. Tech leaders like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk have gained millions of admirers, built out social media profiles as rock stars (of sorts), and even become evangelists (of sorts) in this regard (See: No Rules Rules by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer and It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson).

However, a multitude of substantial layoffs (thousands of workers at Twitter, Microsoft, Meta, Amazon, Alphabet, etc.) and related developments might suggest that some of the once-admired “new age” concepts may be very much overblown and, in any event, of limited usefulness as lessons for the rest of us. Some pin these recent developments on the overuse in the industry of flat organizational structures and, in turn, “bossism,” or “the notion that management has given up too much control and must wrest it back from employees.” Whatever the cause, it is a trend worth watching.

Business Takeaway: While the tech industry may, in fact, be changing, it is certainly related to a variety of factors—some better understood than others. It is also bears noting that, many of the laid-off employees were able to find other positions relatively quickly. It may simply be too soon to say what definitively has and has not worked in the tech space, but it is worth watching as the tech industry goes through another transformation. Have you attempted to adopt any “new age” employment or workplace ideas in the past few years? What has worked for you?