Nowadays, barely a day goes by without hearing the expression "cash is king". I started to wonder, if cash is king, what's the rest of the royal family?
I knocked around this metaphor and my mind wandered to playing cards. It's clear that the game has changed, and the winning hand in a recession is going to be different than what worked before.
It feels like everyone is scrambling to figure out how to play "Recession Hold-em".
Sequoia Capital framed the new rules in a sobering presentation to their portfolio companies last month: "RIP: Good Times". It's depressing stuff, and you don't want to read it while listening to Leonard Cohen, but it gives a handy summary of how the game has changed and offers some good tips at the end.
What's unclear is exactly what makes up a winning hand in a recession. The temptation is going to be to hunker down and not try anything new. But, I think the old rule that "safe is risky" still applies, even in a time of extreme caution.
New leaders will emerge in the next few years, and I think they'll emerge by playing the game differently, and discovering a new winning hand.