Looking forward to 2009 makes me think back to other periods in recent history when it looked like the economy was heading the way of flushing water. It’s not difficult to realize that when people think long and hard about spending money, you need to be either selling something of value, or working on creating it.
We don’t need to go back that far to get examples of how desperate economic times gave life to innovations that changed the world. The early 90’s we were coming off the raging 80’s and in recession. Digital dreamers responded by giving us Netscape and the Web was born (ok, it already existed but only really real nerds were on usegroups. Netscape gave the web life).
When the bubble burst in 2000, shares plummeted and companies that should never have existed failed. Most notably, as we headed into economic worry, the geeks headed back to the garage. With not much venture capital money around, and everyone thinking ‘start-up’ was a bad word, the two kids in the garage started working on the foundation of what would become Web 2.0.
Simply put, when times are tough innovation happens. Clients and consumers are picky about spending, and you can’t bank on laughable valuations and venture capital money. Creating another social network or Twitter knock-off won’t cut it. The game changers are already working on projects of value (trust me) and in a few years technology will change our world again.
So, with all the economic negativity out there have some solice in the fact that we will emerge, and when we do we’ll all be talking about the next new thing that we can’t live without. I can’t wait.