The Very Human Cost of Job Cuts

The global economic downturn has started to take its toll on Silicon Valley, especially since the news of an emergency meeting Sequoia Capital held for its entrepreneurs, asking them to buckle up for the nausea-inducing ride that lay ahead of them. In the weeks that have gone by since, we have seen waves of job cuts – 20,000 or so, by some estimates. Whether it is Sun Microsystems, Yahoo, eBay or Jobster — they are all shedding jobs.

The news of the layoffs has a tinge of morbid glee. American writer Russell Baker once wrote, “Misery no longer loves company. Nowadays it insists on it.” Perhaps we try and use the cacophony to turn a blind eye to the human cost of these cuts.

This weekend, when details emerged on the news that three executives at a Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip startup, SiPort, were shot dead by Jing Hua Wu, an employee recently laid off from the company, I like many others was forced to face the harsh and dark side of the job cuts. In a few random shots, four families were destroyed forever. The sad episode is weighing heavily this weekend. Join me in saying a silent prayer for the families of these three victims.

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