What? In this economy?
We've hit the perfect storm for Indian startup employees. Years of easy money fuelled overly-large teams led by inexperienced operators which fuelled a crisis of meaning which was papered over by ever increasing valuations and the promise of ESOPs providing life-altering sums of money.
Now that those heady days are over, we're in for a period of worsening layoffs and curtailed spending by any startup that has money in the bank.
And en masse the funding is moving towards the AI bubble that means many startups from previous cohorts will have to work extra hard to maintain investor interest.
In this environment, there are two kinds of people -- those who have an emergency fund and can go 9 months to a year without income and those who cannot. And for the former, the current time represents a golden opportunity.
Paradigm shifts used to happen once every few generations. The invention of electricity was one such. Radio was another. The Internet was another. AI is the current one. So my generation has lived through two paradigm shifts. Subsequent generations will live through many.
And what my experience has taught me is that being correctly aligned with the dominant paradigm it is worth 40 IQ points and/or millions of dollars (because if you're so smart, you will also be so rich, right?)
If you're burnt out, working for a legacy startup (yes, much SaaS is on the brink of being legacy) with no hope of raising some sweet sweet AI funding, it might be worthwhile to consider taking a career break to recover and move towards the new dominant paradigm.
The AI field is so new that 4-6 months of dedicated study in this field can put you in very rarified company. The RoI on this beats the RoI of flogging a legacy role at a legacy company with a complicated cap table and possible down rounds.
If you have the runway, just go for it. And if you're wondering how to execute this well, I have the ultimate guide for you. I'm putting together the Sabbatical Handbook precisely for those of you who resonate with what I just said. In it you will find a lot of practical advice about how to think about, plan, execute and exit a career break like a Simone Biles nailing the vault.