The state of the tech economy: Takeaways from Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Meta and Alphabet

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This week on the GeekWire Podcast, we play highlights and offer our thoughts on the recent earnings calls of Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Meta and Alphabet, seeking to better understand what’s next for the tech economy.

A few of my thoughts after listening to all of the calls last week:

  • “Uncertainty” is the watch word. Big tech companies are adjusting to the potential for a recession, with job cuts and other belt-tightening moves, but generally aren’t seeing the extreme realities of an actual downturn.
  • One exception is the advertising market, where a pullback in marketing spending was evident for companies including Microsoft and Alphabet, which saw slower growth than expected; and for Facebook parent company Meta, which posted its first-ever revenue decline for the quarter. Amazon is faring better than most in this regard.
  • Perhaps more than ever, many of the big tech CEOs are in full “pitch” mode on these ostensibly level-headed financial calls, touting their latest initiatives as if they were speaking at a product launch event, and trying to persuade investors that every threat to their business is actually an opportunity.

That last trend made me wish they would apply a traditional “SWOT” analysis on these calls, soberly assessing their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the style that many corporate leaders learned in business school.

But as my colleague John Cook points out in response, the mantra that many CEOs follow is ABS: “Always Be Selling.”

In that spirit, we invite you to listen to this week’s episode via the audio player in this post, or subscribe wherever you listen, and rate and review the GeekWire Podcast in your favorite podcast app if you’re so inclined.

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Related headlines and links:

  • Microsoft earnings come up short, hit by global economic trends and cutbacks
  • Amazon stock rises 10% as tech giant beats revenue expectations amid ‘inflationary pressures’
  • CNBC: Alphabet misses on earnings and revenue for second quarter
  • The Verge: Facebook reports drop in revenue for the first time
  • Marketwatch: Apple raises $5.5 billion in debt after upbeat earnings, iPhone sales offset fears of a consumer pullback

Audio editing and production by Curt Milton.

Listen above, or subscribe to GeekWire in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen.

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