Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

For the last couple of years, startups have been preparing for a recession, but the coronavirus pandemic and its effect on the economy are unlike anything they predicted.

Why it matters: Even companies that had recession plans and have been modeling burn rates, cash flow, and dips in business are throwing those projections out the window and taking drastic measures.

Case in point: TripActions, a company whose app lets employees book their business travel, laid off three hundred employees this week — roughly a quarter of its staff, per Protocol.

  • Last October, co-founder and CTO Ilan Twig told Axios that the company had been preparing for a recession with cash in the bank and modeling potential decreases in business travel.

Between the lines: Whatever TripActions predicted about a recession was much milder than what it’s facing right now, as business travel has essentially dropped to zero across the U.S.

"This situation is one that virtually no one was prepared for," says Shift co-CEO George Arison, whose company recently announced salary cuts and furloughs.

  • "I mean, who would have ever thought that our entire economy would be 'shut down' for a month or longer?"

The big picture: Companies are rushing to stretch out budgets for as long as possible, given the fog of uncertainty hanging over the economy.

Go deeper: Sequoia Capital calls coronavirus "the black swan of 2020"

Go deeper

Why the pandemic isn't like a hurricane

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow likes to compare the coronavirus pandemic to a hurricane, arguing it's a devastating but finite event that doesn't leave a lasting economic mark.

Why it matters: It's a flawed analogy being used to inform America's economic policy.

Jun 22, 2020 - Technology

Snapchat explains its Juneteenth filter misstep

Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Snapchat's head of diversity apologized to employees Saturday for a widely criticized Juneteenth filter that encouraged people to "smile and break the chains." However, in the same note, the executive insisted that it was white employees who raised concerns and black employees who suggested it was fine.

Between the lines: While the letter offers some clarity about the process that led to the filter's release, it's not clear that it makes the company look much better.

The coronavirus recovery may be W-shaped

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

U.S. economic data has shown improvement in recent reports, starting with May's nonfarm payrolls report and including new home sales, various Fed manufacturing indexes and retail sales, all showing better-than-expected rebounds.

Why it matters: The momentum could reverse quickly if the coronavirus pandemic picks back up and policymakers drag their feet on renewing stimulus measures, experts say.