Hope in the downturn

Phil Morle
2 min readMay 27, 2022


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Who did you take some hope from today?

We’re all talking about the market downturn and adjusting our plans to operate in the new context.

Hope is a casualty. And without hope, startup founders struggle. Hope, belief, conviction, mission, confidence… these are currencies that don’t need to parallel the financial market downturn.

I am leaving some conversations with the reflection that I just took away some hope. I just talked the founder into having less confidence in their work. The niggle that it might all come crashing down.

If we all do that every day in every conversation, we will cause damage.

Keep your eye on the horizon.

We’re adjusting. That’s it. The businesses are the same. The mission is the same. There is no reason that the impact, in the end, should be any smaller than the one we have talked about all along.

So let’s hold each other accountable for maintaining hope.

Make sensible changes to your plan. Extend the runway if you can. Prioritise sales if you can — all that.

But leave every conversation with a shared view of the horizon because there is the company you are building operating at scale.

It is still there.

We’re just going to take a different path.

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Phil Morle

Deep tech VC — Main Sequence Ventures. Ecosystem builder. Maker. Director. Startup Scientist.