We’ll start by saying that no, we don’t have a crystal ball stashed away in the office. What we do have is decades of experience, insider knowledge, and eyes and ears all over the ecosystem, so Think & Grow Co-Founder, Anthony Sochan reveals his market predictions for 2023 and how businesses can capitalise, embrace and prepare for the next year ahead.
Environment for tech companies
Specific to Australia, tech will remain a strong growth area, perhaps not the doubling or tripling of the industry like we have seen the last few years, but a continual uptick as the industry here offers a lot.
We’ll see the emergence of some interesting types of businesses that have been in R&D and incubation mode for a long time. These are the businesses that have been taking advantage of new innovations, for example, software businesses taking advantage of different approaches to data science and cloud computing and hardware businesses looking into augmented or VR.
I believe we’ll see these businesses come out of R&D mode, with really game-changing products. Variables like climate tech and clean meat – a lot of those areas will start to fire a lot more, particularly as there’s added pressure with climate change, supply chains, deep localisation kicking in.
On a global basis, as big-tech companies are forced to let go of some of their workforce, we will see that workforce absorbed by other parts of the market that have been screaming out for that type of talent for a long time; banks, and insurance companies. For example, companies that can compete with technology companies, but we wouldn’t necessarily consider them a technology company. Hiring will remain incredibly hard as a result.Companies currently feeling the pressure
Companies undergoing stress will raise at lower valuations and so will be forced to make changes - whether that’s staff changes or cutting ops or budgets. They’ll not only have to consider cost structure, but also efficiency in the business, like their org structure, growth strategy, and what markets they need to enter into and as a result, I expect our lines of consulting services will become fairly busy as a result.Valuations and capital deployment
I believe the environment will remain fairly similar to what it is today, which is down from the highs of 2021 and early 2022 when companies were able to raise at crazy valuations and multiples when money was being freely deployed by capital firms.
Funding will continue because there are venture capital firms sitting on a lot of money and they have an obligation to invest that money and provide their investors with a return. But, I expect they’ll continue to be picky in what they invest in. People will flock to a certain type of business; one that is profitable, and growing in a more sustainable manner, the unit economics are such that if you put a dollar in, your ability to get a return is extremely high.Reducing burnout in teams during tougher times
There will need to be a continual investment in the wellbeing of employees. I suspect there are a bunch of companies that have underestimated the difficulty that their employees have experienced this year, with parts of their workforce being at risk of burnout. What’s required is a different support mechanism to help support what they’re going through.
What we find most effective is a combination of fresh policies and internal restructuring so that the entire workforce is supported and able to stay within their genius without feeling overwhelmed or having to push themselves to their limits constantly.Increasing diversity within the tech industry in Australia
I expect within the world of technology, there’s a strong archetype of employee that companies want to hire, and true diversity is not something they’ve actually embraced properly just yet.
My view is that the conversation around diversity, particularly in Australia, needs to shift from being so narrow and focused purely on gender to being broadened out to include socio-economic issues, upbringing, and religion as well.
Project One, a Think & Grow designed program, enables companies to broaden the type of people they hire in a way in which they’re accessing a talent pool that have been vetted by specialists who understand the inherent mechanism of how tech companies grow. From a soft skills point of view - they are talented and experienced - but they struggle to find employment on their own and what they need is assistance to figure out their soft and hard skills as well as the job hunting process, which can feel daunting for parts of the community.
As this year draws to a close, we invite founders and leaders of tech companies who know they need guidance to reach their next growth phase, but don’t know how or what they need to do, to see our current services. From Executive Search to People Advisory and Global Expansion, we cover all aspects of growth and development for people and teams and would love to connect with you.
ARTICLE by Anthony Sochan, Co-Founder, 1 February 2023