Since stock market gyrations and the elections seem to be making everyone rightfully nauseous and depressed, I thought I would take this email to discuss the biggest ramifications of these challenging times: depression. It's my believe that the economic downturn will be much worse than it is today, and that 50-80% of the venture-backed startups currently operating will shut down or go on life-support (i.e. 3-4 folks working on them) within the next 18 months. Make a list of every Web 2.0 startup to raise an A or B round and cross 80% of them off the list, because they will not make it to their next round of funding or profitability. Now, I could be totally wrong. No one can guess or time the markets perfectly. However, planning for the worst is a virtuous idea, so I encourage you to read on. Everyone I talk to is feeling confused, paralyzed and anxious—many are in full-blown depression. People are scared, and they should be. This could be the start of a very difficult time for our country and the rest of the world.