Looking back at 2008, looking forward to 2009
As I had expected, 2008 was a year of consolidation. OLX continued to grow slowly but surely – we now have 115 employees and are present in 80 countries in 39 languages. I traveled far and wide for OLX and hope there will be less business travel in 2009.
On the personal side, I was hampered by a meniscal tear in my left knee and a right shoulder injury, both sustained playing tennis, which put me into rehab and out of the gym, tennis courts and extreme travel for most of the year.
My fantastic girlfriend is also helping me continue work (painstakingly slowly) on my open mindedness, patience, humility and cleanliness (a pet peeve of hers).
The best books I read in 2008:
My best blog posts in 2008 were:
- Beijing and China: 14 years later
- The Plasticity of Personality and the Power of Extroversion
- How it all began…
- How did you raise your very first round of financing?
- Graduating from College: Starting your own business or joining an established company?
- Interview about OLX on Fox Business News
- Sarkozy: The First Year
- The US Economy: How bad will it get?
- Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac: How we got here and what to do next
- The Economy: The case for (relative) optimism
- What the financial crisis means to entrepreneurs
- Startup Kit / Startup 101: Select Articles for First Time Entrepreneurs to Read
I suspect 2009 will be another year of slow growth:
- It will still be too early to tell whether OLX will be a success or not – it will probably take another 3-5 years to be able to assess where we stand.
- Several of my portfolio companies (14 at the latest count) are unlikely to reach breakeven and survive the year.
- I don’t think we will see an economic revival in the US as I suspect that further mortgage resets and deterioration in car, home equity and credit card loans will put further pressure on banks, which combined with an increase in the savings rate, will counteract the liquidity increases of global central banks and the fiscal stimulus.
- On the bright side, I look forward to playing tennis again which I should be able to within a month after nearly a year off the courts!
Happy New Year!