It was the best of times; it was the worst of times…guess which camp Hanna is in?
This is Hanna just before leaving to get on the school bus for her first day of kindergarten. Gleeful kindergarteners jumping for joy was a stark contrast to their parents’ looks of anxiety (especially those in the convoy of minivans following the school bus to usher it to the intended destination). There’s a similar contrast in economic indicators at the moment.
On the way to work, I listen to reports of economic woes on NPR. Take your pick of depressing stories…European debt crisis, domestic deficit concerns, unemployment, housing, homelessness, etc. I never thought I’d be happy to see unemployment dip down to 9%. Partisan bickering and economic stagnation have some people wondering if we are headed for our own version of the Japanese stagflation suffered over the last decade…and then I arrive at the gym.
The newscasters’ attempts to ruin my mood quickly fade as do my hopes of recapturing my youth through exercise. It’s not clear to me why there are so many mirrors at the gym to reinforce that last point. When I arrive at the office, I’m greeted with financials and forecasts from my portfolio companies and prospects. They apparently haven’t been listening to NPR because they are almost universally reporting strong growth. They’re adding employees and in fact, many are having difficulty recruiting skilled engineers.
I’ll take a brief break from bragging about my children…to brag about my nephew and godson, Josh. He graduated at the top of his mechanical engineering class at Northeastern a few years ago (intelligence must be a recessive gene in my family). When his start-up employer floundered last month, he was unemployed for the grand sum of 21 days before he had two competing job offers. One of the offers came as the result of an initial lead from a twitter post from one of the boys at General Catalyst, whom I’ve never met. Social networking got him in the door; his hard work and marketable skills got him the offer. I’m seeing strong sales numbers in the tech sector and even the companies that are behind plan are growing somewhat.
We’ll see if the broader economic contagions affect our little microcosm in the economy but for now, I’m dancing with Hanna. If you’re not having fun now, I’d suggest that you start real soon.