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Comment on Why a Bad Economy Is the Best Time to Start a Business by 5 typische Fehler bei einem wirtschaftlichen Abschwung

Why a Bad Economy Is the Best Time to Start a Business A guest post by Adam L. Penenberg While researching my latest book, Viral Loop, an in-depth look at how companies like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Skype and others grew so big so fast, it occurred to me that each of them was founded when the economy was flat, bad, or worse, in recession. I suppose that describes virtually any company founded since the dot com bust, but what’s interesting is that it also characterizes some of the most successful companies in history, some that trace their roots back more than a century.Since 1851, the US economy has been in periods of contraction roughly one-third of the time, yet sixteen of the blue-chip companies that comprise the Dow 30 were founded during recessions and almost 60% of Fortune 500 companies began business in a bear market, according to a June 2009 report from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Proctor & Gamble survived the panic of 1837, then the worst recession in our young nation’s history, while General Electric came out of the economic chaos of 1872 and Hewlett Packard was born in the Great Depression. McDonald’s fried its first french fry just before the onset of World War II. Charles Schwab sprouted out of the early 1970s as rampant inflation threatened to get out of control.Of course, there are many more. Home Depot, Microsoft and Apple emerged from the depressive Carter Administration when stagflation choked the American economy. Verizon (originally Bell Atlantic), Adobe, Compaq, Lotus, Silicon Graphics to Sun, withstood the recession of 1982. And as I noted above the dot com bust of 2000-2001 didn’t prevent MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and a host of other social media companies to achieve billion-dollar valuations in the span of a few years.Why, though? After all, venture capital investment dips dramatically when the economy hits rough patches, which means there’s much less money available for startups. In 2000, the high point, investors anteed up more than $100 billion into startups. By 2008, that number had dropped by almost three-fourths to $27 billion, and in 2009 it plummeted to less than $20 billion, about the same level as 1998. Nevertheless it appears that money is spent more wisely. Dot com excesses—startups with scant business plans and which spent millions on forgettable Super Bowl ads —were borne of cheap money (insert usual snide reference to pets.com). When the economy is tight, however, investors gravitate to companies with well-articulated revenue plans.This hasn’t ...Read more

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