Fear is not the Answer, It is Time to Adapt

One of several versions of the painting

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I know I had a lengthy post yesterday, but sometimes some articles get posted that warrant some sort of response. Given the economic situation we have here in the US, there is a lot of belt-tightening going on. The other problem is that there is a lot of fear, and the media is spreading this fear. This fear is also leading to some technology investors telling their portfolio companies to lessen their spending. While this makes all the sense in the world, I take issue with the fact that it is news or more directly that startups should have to be told to watch their spending. Whatever happened to startups basically existing on soda and pizza in one small apartment? Honestly, I think this economy will force that concept upon us again, but that is a good thing. This forces companies and startups to be innovative and imaginative.

Some people are even using this as a call to action of sorts. Mark “Rizzn” Hopkins wrote a fantastic post on technology and the current economic fears. Rizzn really talks about how people will survive, they just need to relearn how to work on limited funds:

what this is instead is me saying you, the reader, exercise your capability in the face of economic adversity (no matter what form it ends up taking) to survive this and perhaps even prosper. It’s less important for those of us in sectors outside investment banking to pay minute attention to every movement of the stock market than it is stay nimble, practical, resourceful and to keep an eye out for opportunity. Is that, after all, not the goal of all the great tools and services we talk about daily on these pages?

It is great to see people trying to turn this into a positive. I believe this is required so that we do not all start a major panic. However, when I saw a post pop up in my Reader from Steven Hodson, I was fully prepared for a major rant. However, even he had a very reasonable response:

Are we going to feel some pain? You betcha we will. Some will feel it more than other but in the end we all will rally once more to regain the feet we may have lost and move ahead.

As you can see, people have faith in each other. People have faith that companies and startups will figure it all out. For the startups that are listening, just tighten your belts and run as lean as you can. This is the type of time that separates the wheat from the chaff. Those who can not survive may be able to sell off their assets in order to start something new. As Steven said, “are we going to feel pain?” Absolutely, but there is a lot to learn from pain. You learn not to do the same things. Personally, I think we will see some interesting ideas start to appear, and they will be created cheaply. Innovations in technology will continue to appear, but consumer prices will drop in order to stay competitive and affordable.

This type of time may be scary from the economic perspective, but you just need to adapt. Adaptation is the key.

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