Covid-19 Sink or Swim Survey

Covid-19 Sink or Swim Survey

Over the last week, we’ve surveyed CXO and other high-level tech executives across hundreds of companies in Silicon Valley. We wanted to get to the heart of the sentiment about how the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting business, fundraising, sales, hiring and overall company survival. The survey was anonymous and didn’t include any venture or private equity investors. Eighty percent (80%) of responses came from private companies, series A-C. Twenty percent (20%) of responses came from executives in public companies. All were software (or primarily software) companies.

Respondents represented a good mix of people with a feet-on-the-street view of the effects of the slowdown. CXOs represented forty-two percent (42%) of respondents, vice presidents represented fifty percent (50%) of respondents, and the remaining respondents were director level.

We asked respondents to review the Sink or Swim model below and then respond to the survey questions. The answers were surprisingly positive, with a few nuggets of uncertainty as well. Generally, we found that:

  1. While businesses are being cautious, there is a lot of confidence that the tech industry will survive the crisis with a lot of healthy companies in the market.
  2. Caution doesn’t necessarily mean reducing staff or completely freezing hiring in most cases.
  3. Many private company executives are confident that they’ll be able to fundraise but do admit that it may be harder than it has been in recent years.
  4. Sales are continuing to hold steady in most cases, and sales leaders are seen as critical contributors to a company’s survival plan.

Also, note that while our survey size was relatively small, the responses represent a statistically accurate picture of what is going on in the tech market. We’d love to hear from you about your experiences while doing business during the Covid-19 crisis. Reach us at

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