LAGUNA BEACH, Calif.—With their valuations and earnings down, and their guidance gloomy, America’s tech companies have entered a phase when they have to be brutally honest with themselves about what really works. This means executives are trimming staff, moonshots and unprofitable distractions. They’re also deciding what to focus on.
It’s a transition away from more than a decade of “gee-whiz” projects—think self-driving cars, flying cars, metaverses and crypto—all fueled by seemingly limitless cash and venture-backed meal-replacement slurries. The task at hand now: the sometimes-boring but always-important work of building and expanding businesses that actually make money, by delivering things people and companies want and need.