This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Cut the Fat to Lose More Weight

  The Herman Trend Alert

August 1, 2000

Pink Slips in Paradise

150 Days until January 1, 2001

The bloom is off of the dot-com rose. A number of the start-ups that held so much promise are floundering on the beach of the real world. What this means is while we may be experiencing a Brave New World of enterprise, not ALL the rules have changed. Companies still need to make a profit, and those that are not profitable will NOT remain.

Upon inception, many of the young up-starts were cash rich and they spent like drunken sailors. They splurged large sums on traditional advertising, lavish parties, and other inappropriate expenses - without regard to ROI. They rode the crest of the dot-com wave for all it was worth.

Unfortunately for many, that wave did not carry them into the safety of shore. Instead, they became trapped in a whirlpool of unfulfilled expectations. Somewhere along the way, the sea calmed enough for more rational minds to prevail. Venture capitalists and sponsoring corporate entities became less tolerant of delayed gratification. When these newbies did not have rational explanations for their funders, these upstarts found themselves with their boogie boards pulled away.

These developments have even greater implications for the labor market. Seduced away by the potential of a life of ease, of millionaire status, and an opportunity to be part of the IT revolution, some of the brightest stars in corporate firmament eschewed conventional career pathing. Expecting to work hard and be rewarded accordingly, they jumped into to the new dot-com sea and started swimming to catch the wave.

However, after months of 16 to 20-hour days with little end in sight and promises that were not kept, they began to feel disillusioned. Many left of their own volition, choosing to retreat into the waiting arms of the traditional corporations. Others received the inevitable pink slips. The party was over.

However, we maintain this development is not bad news: The labor market can surely use the relief and will absorb these refugees without even a blink. Equally important, we forecast a return to emphasis on profitability as a more valid measure of success than stock price.

© Copyright 1998- by The Herman Group, Inc. -- reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From "The Herman Trend Alert," by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 336-210-3547 or To sign up, visit The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc."

To find the translation for Tikkun Olam for last week's Herman Trend Alert, I went to Google Translate. Not surprisingly, it was not a great translation. Actually Tikkun Olam means "repairing the world". Special thanks to reader Jeff Rothman for this information. JLG

On March 1st, Joyce graduated from Clint Arthur's Celebrity Launchpad. Since then, she has made twenty-one appearances on local television stations, including Fox San Diego and CBS Las Vegas. In a couple of weeks, Joyce will start a new TV Media Tour with her new segment: How Soon Will You Be Replaced By a Robot? (coming soon to a television station near you) You can see most Joyce's appearances on her travel website at You can do it, too! If you sign up for Celebrity Launchpad, you will qualify for a free coaching session from Joyce in your chosen area. Launchpad's are held monthly, but space is limited. For more information, call Joyce at 336.210.3548.

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