Great analysis, Carl. I’m glad you shared this, as it’s been coming up often both with investments and friends asking for advice.
I completely accept the premise of the peak. My concern is that one of the things that makes Silicon Valley so special (especially for those of us funding the companies) is that the talent pool isn’t diluted by “other options”. When talented engineers have strong options in places like Austin, Boulder, London, and Beijing, we run the risk of losing the critical mass that allows startups to bring in talent as needed.
I’m based in Mountain View, and if I need a strong machine learning engineer, it takes a maximum of two phone calls before I have several capable candidates sitting down to coffee. Same with databases, distributed networking, and even hardware. The capital efficiency of not having to plan ahead to add talent is incredibly enabling for startups. If we lose that, we are in danger of forcing startups to hire earlier and pay more to secure talent.
I’d love to know your thoughts.