How Tech Startups Can Maintain Momentum in A Down Economy

August 30th, 2022

We’ve all seen the latest headlines: tech hiring enters the Big Freeze. Major players in the tech industry, including Microsoft, Apple, Meta and Twitter, have all recently announced plans to pause or slow down hiring (also known as a hiring freeze). Even Google isn’t immune to the challenging economic environment, with Sundar Pichai, Alphabet’s chief executive, presenting the economic downturn as an opportunity to “be more disciplined as we go forward.” 

While it’s a challenging time for tech giants like Microsoft and Google, it’s an especially challenging time for once-hot tech startups, often at a higher risk of losing funding, losing employees, being ditched by investors, and becoming obsolete. It’s a shock to an industry that has experienced booming growth for years, stimulated by the pandemic moving the world increasingly online.

In a slower economy with rampant inflation, consumers become more cautious, monitor their purchases, cancel subscriptions, delay upgrades, and might avoid new apps and ventures, opting to instead, as Sundar Pichai put it, be “more disciplined” about their spending. When startups struggle to entice new customers or retain existing ones, their revenues shrink, leading to fewer resources, less incoming investment, and a freeze in hiring.

In representing freelance tech talent, we’ve seen firsthand the impact of the current economic climate on startups. Enthusiastic entrepreneurs seeking freelance tech talent that once approached 10x with optimism have changed their tune to one now often tempered by caution. With less funding, more discipline, and a freeze in hiring, we completely understand why tech startups are more cautious right now. These are uncertain times, and uncertainty is always uncomfortable. 

We’ve been in business since 2011, and we’ve helped countless startups source amazing tech talent at a moment’s notice. Uncertainty always goes with the territory with tech startups, and the entrepreneurs that we collaborate with are a special breed of brave. So with the economy in a potential downturn, we’d like to share some of the benefits that tech startups realize by partnering with 10x, whether the economy is booming or not. Uncertainty in a down economy isn’t a reason to freeze progress on a promising startup. Here are a few of the reasons that tech freelancers can help startups be more disciplined with their funding and continue to build momentum:

  1. Freelancers or consultants aren’t beholden to a 40-hour work week or steady paycheck; they can work as the needs of the startup dictate, whether it’s 10 or 20 hours per week, while still providing essential value and keeping that early startup momentum going. This means that, as a startup, you can still continue to build and improve your product, without full-time employees, in the leanest way possible!
  2. Truly talented freelancers do not require an extensive onboarding experience – they’re accustomed to learning how to solve problems for new organizations quickly. This means you’re spending less time and money on training!
  3. Talented tech freelancers are always sharpening their skills with new projects, adding new languages to their repertoires, staying curious and on top of the latest tech trends. While an employee might get comfortable within a full-time position, a talented, experienced freelancer is constantly gaining varied experience, and startups reap the benefits of that curiosity and hunger.
  4. Freelancers come without the burden of expensive benefits packages that full-time employees have, from paid time off to 401k to health insurance.

Through our decade-plus history and vast experience helping startups find incredible freelance tech talent, we’ve learned why our company is so valuable to startups experiencing this new-found discipline and uncertainty. And our value always crystalizes when startups take advantage of the flexibility and expertise that truly gifted freelancers provide their organizations. We take great pride in helping startups remain flexible and efficient with their capital. 10x has been here to help startups maintain the momentum they need to deliver amazing products, services and value to the world.