Are Google and Meta stalling?

NEXT GAFA is Green Tech or January 25, 16:38

A major American IT company called GAFA, which has dominated the world such as Amazon, Google, and former Facebook meta.

However, due to concerns about an economic slowdown, we are now making large-scale personnel reductions one after another.

Then, where will the employees who quit GAFA find a new job?

What is attracting attention is "green tech" that tries to solve environmental problems with the latest technology and ideas.

We followed the new movement of Silicon Valley looking at NEXT GAFA.

(Los Angeles bureau reporter Nana Yamada)

Large-scale job cuts for the first time in 20 years

"Raise to about 7.5 times in 2022"

Do you know what this number is?

Actually, it is a year-on-year comparison of the number of job cuts by US IT companies.

The latest survey by Challenger Gray and Christmas, an American outplacement support company, reveals that the number of job cuts by American IT companies in 2022 will be 97,171, about 7.5 times more than the previous year. It is said that there was a rapid increase in

This is surprising because it is the highest level in 20 years since the IT bubble burst in 2002.

Meta, the former Facebook, announced that it will cut more than 11,000 jobs in November 2022.

Amazon has revealed that it will expand the workforce reduction, which was initially set at 10,000, to more than 18,000 this year.

And Google also announced that it will cut 12,000 people on January 20, 2023.

Companies are refraining from distributing Internet advertisements due to concerns about an economic slowdown, sales of online shopping, which had been strong due to stay-at-home consumption during the coronavirus pandemic, are declining as the economy returns to normal, and costs such as personnel expenses are rising due to inflation. This is believed to be the reason for the increase.

Professor Ahmed Banafa, San Jose State University

"The Great Reset is happening. IT companies expected that consumers would use the Internet for a long time even after the corona crisis passed, and that demand would continue, but they realized that this was not the case. We are starting to reduce redundant personnel.”

NEXT GAFA is green tech

GAFA to stall.

So what will the next energetic IT company look like?

One of the answers was at CES, the world's largest technology trade show, held in Las Vegas in January 2023.

Greentech, the latest technology and products that solve environmental problems, had a particularly strong presence.

For example, a system that instantly recognizes the type and amount of food from the image by simply scanning the leftover food, and converts food loss into data, such as when and how much of the food was thrown away.

The aim is to reduce food loss by introducing it to restaurants.

A small electric vehicle with a solar panel on the ceiling that can run up to 25 kilometers on a solar charge.

Furthermore, even a simulation of a submarine farm that grows vegetables etc. on the seabed if it becomes impossible to grow crops on the earth.

Green technology was a big push.

This year, the theme of "human safety and security" was set for the first time at CES, and the momentum to use technology to solve global problems such as global warming and food crises has increased more than ever. rice field.

GAFA personnel rush to green tech

It is said that many people who quit American IT companies, including GAFA, have moved to the green tech industry.

The startup "Climate Base" operates a job site specializing in green tech.

Once every one to two weeks, we hold an online event for those who aim to change jobs in the green tech field.

Over the past two years, the number of users has reached nearly 1 million.

It is said that GAFA human resources from Amazon and Google are particularly noticeable recently.

Climate Base Co-Founder Jesse Hines

“There is a big trend moving from things like GAFA to green tech. These people are starting to think about making use of their own experiences in addressing environmental issues.”

In December 2022, I also participated in an online event and interviewed.

Then, nearly 400 people participated, even though it was early in the morning on a weekday.

Six green tech companies, including companies promoting the use of renewable energy in housing complexes and companies aiming to mass-produce next-generation lithium-ion batteries, gave presentations on their businesses.

During the question and answer session that followed, the participants asked a series of questions about the type of personnel sought by each company and the details of the types of jobs that are currently being offered.

I was able to talk to a woman who is secretly looking for a new job without being in the company.

The woman works for American ride-sharing giant Lyft, but the company has announced that it will cut 700 jobs, or 13% of its total workforce.

Maybe I will get fired too?

He said that this anxiety pushed him to seek a career change in the green tech industry, which he had been interested in for a long time.

Money goes to green tech too

Investors are also eyeing green tech.

Silicon Valley investor Tommy Leap, who specializes in investing in green tech companies that have just started.

Early on, Next GAFA considered green tech, and has invested approximately 900 million yen in 24 companies over the past three years.

Mr. Leap is known as a solo venture capitalist who makes investment decisions much faster because he works alone.

Mr. Leap said he would go to hear about the progress of the startup he had invested in, so I went with him.

We headed to a San Francisco-based robot development company.

We are currently developing a robot that can automatically sort garbage at garbage disposal sites.

Using AI (artificial intelligence), it is possible to instantly recognize and sort garbage that should be selected based on characteristics such as shape and color, which is useful for recycling.

In 2022, it was introduced at two facilities, but in 2023, I was told that six more facilities have decided to adopt this robot.

According to Mr. Leap, more funds are needed to expand the business, so by regularly grasping the current situation of the company, it is possible to properly judge when to make additional investment next time. It seems that it can be done.

Investment decision within a week

Leap frequently meets online with CEOs of green tech companies who have been introduced to them by fellow investors.

After listening to the details of the business and judging that it has future potential, it is said that at the earliest, an investment decision may be made within a week.

According to Allied Market Research, an American research firm, the size of the green tech market, which was $8.7 billion in 2019, will more than quintuple to $48.3 billion in 2027, or approximately ¥6.3 trillion in Japanese yen. expected to reach.

Tommy Leap, Silicon Valley Investor

“We are thrilled to see greentech attracting more funding than ever before. I expect this to continue.”

Changes in awareness of IT human resources in the background

Why are both human resources and investment concentrated in green tech?

Three interviewees, Professor Banafa of San Jose State University, Mr. Hines of a green tech job site, and Mr. Leap, an investor, all pointed out the change in the awareness of IT human resources.

They don't want more people to see and click on Internet advertisements and lead them to purchase products. It is said that there is a strong tendency to want to

In particular, this tendency is remarkable among the younger generation, who are flying away from Generation Z, and it seems that they want to "do good things and earn money".

There is also a view that there is a limit to the business model centered on Internet advertising.

Next GAFA may not become a single company with huge influence like Amazon, Meta, and Google.

Although the efforts of each company may seem small, I am looking forward to seeing what kind of businesses will be created in the future, green tech, which is likely to exert a great influence when it gathers together.

Los Angeles bureau reporter

Nana Yamada

Joined in 2009

Current position after working in the Nagasaki Bureau, the Economic Department, and the International Department