Love or hate the recession?

Do you love the depression or hate the depression?

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There’s been a very interesting discussion heating up about whether or not the recession is good for design. My response is :

_…the recession is clearing the big guys and allowing the little guys to get more sunlight. Of course, the big guys aren’t going to like it, because once you’ve set up a successful system you would prefer to just sit back and reap the rewards rather than having to continue to fight for it. And if you’ve become one of the big guys, you’ve probably fought really hard to get there and done some really innovative stuff and deserve to be rewarded. But then you get complacent; suddenly you’re no longer as innovative as you were when you were young and hungry. A new generation of little seedlings will rise up.

Another great plant-based analogy for the recession is in this article that was forwarded to me by my aunt last month. The entrepreneur in a recession is like a Lotus in the Swamp.

“History suggests that difficult economic conditions may actually be the best of times for entrepreneurship. Like a lotus that thrives in a dirty swamp, some of the most innovative companies have emerged during deep recessions. And just as the lotus relies on the swamp for its nutrition, startup companies can actually benefit from difficult economic conditions. The Great Depression of 1929 was the most severe and prolonged economic crisis the world has ever seen. And yet, it was during these times that great companies like Motorola and Texas Instruments were founded. Ironically, it was during the Depression that Fortune was launched, when there wasn’t much business to talk about.”_


What does everybody think?

Its an interesting an wishfull hypothesis but I subscribe more to Murray Moss’s view:

Good things might come out of this in the end, but people’s lives will be affected tremendously, some people will succeed and some people’s lives will be destroyed. It won’t be easy for either group, nor anyone in the middle. It is not something to wish on anyone, and colorful analogies will be the first thing to go.

Budgets will get so paired down that some companies could become risk averse. They will need new products to succeed, but if they can guarantee even a slight marginal success by doing something conservative, vs a gamble on a breakthrough, they may feel influenced to decide on the first. That assumes they would even be in a position to spend money to develop a breakthrough product.

2009 will be a pivotal year and we will see if this is a temporary dip we can pull out of, or if this is a long term trend. The Great Depression lasted a long time, and what really pulled the economy out of it was transitioning to a wartime economy during WW2 with restricted consumption and manufacturing focused on the war effort. The economy was still in the dumps until we entered WW2. No one wants to repeat history there.

There is a lot of turmoil around the globe right now, economically and politically. Lets hope 2009 sees some sort of resolution to some of the strife out there.

Heard in the hallway:

“Long term innovation strategy out, short term survival strategy in. We need to make next week’s payroll.”

I think it isn’t a particular field that will necessarily benefit, but rather the type of person. As One-Word puts it, short term survival is the key. Charismatic individuals who are able to convince others of their ability to deliver results are going to succeed (think Raymond Loewy, who helped create the ID profession in the middle of the Depression). Those who may have the knowledge, but difficulty articulating it, will suffer.

If I were an ID student, or didn’t have a fairly stable job, I’d be be studying sales as much as sketching.

This might be of interest:

Maybe the frustrating thing is that instead of investing in innovative ways to work out of this, the only talk so far has been how much money can we throw at it.


exactly what I’ve been thinking

time to separate the looters from the producers

or time to make a Gulch v2

I hate it. It messed up my dads business. It caused us to move half way across the country, twice, in one year, which caused me to get behind in school. And now, my school is being hurt by it so much that they are not offering some classes over summer that I was planning to take (to catch up) becasue its not in their budget. And we lost our house that we moved from.

I know alot of people have been affected by it much worse. But its definitely kicked my a$$ :laughing:

It needed to happen - people got greedy, banks were pretty much unregulated. We were raping our planet. We need the correction.

But even more so, I’d like to see the end of pointless junk on the end of a usb dongle.

Dunno if a recession will get rid of that. :laughing:

the adversity scares me, but life has dealt it to me before. you learn what you can from any situation and it tempers your skills and resolve to survive in the present but allows you to thrive during the next challenge.

i love it, a chance to start anew. also gives designers a chance to sell a different view.