Innovation Loves a Recession

Updated: Jul 12, 2020

Many of us have had “free time” on our hands. Especially, as of late. And not necessarily the kind of free time, we’ve wanted. The living room vacation has lasted a little longer than we’ve all expected. I reflect back to a blizzard year (’96) in PA where we had a surprise 5 day “snow day” …. awesome for 48 hrs. then….NOT. I did find out you can eat local dive bar food for 3 straight days and survive. Anyway, I believe (and if you believe) most social media, many of you spent the last few days or weeks spring cleaning, finishing home projects, getting super creative with that pantry of “forgotten foods” and super binging Netflix, Hulu and Disney+…I am fairly sure I could re-enact Frozen I and II. My 18-month-old has not taken to the idea of watching “all” the princesses, much to my chagrin.

What do you do?

Some might meditate, do Yoga, lock themselves in a bedroom, or…“you do you, boo boo” to quote a famous Deborah Davis. I just try to look at the big picture, how it’s going to affect everything (like I have a clue) and look through lens of history. And do you know what I’ve found? No, not a 2-1/2 paragraph set-up for some internet recycled wisdom but Hope and Excitement for the future. Yes, my friends…put on your rainbow-colored glasses. Here it comes. I have found “Innovation loves a recession.” It also loves pain points, serial entrepreneurs and business failures. Innovation is often the cause of business failures but out of those failures, further innovation, competition and reinvention is seeded, planted and watered. Some can look at failure just as a Monday Morning Quarterback, and lord knows I can do that with the best of them. But when you stop and take a look from 30,000 feet…you will see so much more. Maybe that’s why people climb Everest. Can’t see any other reason too.

Is IT here ?

Well, here’s a little exercise. Let us try to fly above and look at what many believe, including me, is a coming global recession. What are the causes and effects? Spend a little time down in the weeds, letting all the why and how-dids, bang around in your head. Give a listen to the talking heads (people on the boob tube or your favorite podcast) argue and debate. You will find something most people have in common. Someone much smarter than I called it the BCDs….or Blame, Complain and Defend. Many live there in BCD land, I often do. Lost in the arguments and rehashing. Solutions do not live there, and Innovators certainly do not. Or at least not for long. It’s a very hard exercise to practice. You will catch yourself blaming, complaining and defending all the time. Take that from me, a bankrupt failure. I must often remind myself, Innovators look at problems differently.

We can solve it !