Archive for the ‘recession’ Category

More Social Media Abuse

November 22, 2010

Recently I launched a new website/company, SynergiSocial, focusing on social media training for people who have never used social media before.  Apparently I need to expand my scope of services to experienced technical people who can’t keep their e-traps shut.

First there is this gem about a guy trashes the city of Memphis on Twitter while visiting FedEx which is located there.  This condescending Tweet could have cost Ketchum a multi-million dollar contract.  Then I came across this post describing how, after accepting a job at Cisco, some guy Tweeted that he hated the job before even starting.

Folks, social media is not about you; it’s about everyone else who reads what you put out there, which is why it’s called social media and not me me me me media.  I previously wrote a blog post about topics people should generally avoid posting to Facebook and Twitter.  I didn’t think I had to say this but apparently I do:  in addition to the other things I listed in the earlier blog post, DON’T trash your employers, employees, clients, enemies or friends on social media.  The Internet has a long and unforgiving history, and these postings will probably end up biting you at some point down the line.   This is especially true in a terrible economy.

So please be careful when using your social media.  A good rule of thumb is to use your outside voice:  if you wouldn’t say something in polite company or at a dinner party, why would you put it on the Internet for the whole world to see?

Yay! I (Kinda) Got a Promotion!

June 21, 2010

Great news!  I recently (kinda sorta) got a promotion!  I am now a Regular Contributing Writer for FourStory, a Foundation-funded, non-profit website dedicated to advocating for fair living conditions for everyone in the Southland.

My feature is entitled In Transit, where I write on a broad range of topics, including transportation issues, economics, government, policy, politics and whatever else comes to mind and / or pisses me off.

You can read my latest article here.  Be sure to check out the other writers as well; they’re very bright and write compelling and interesting stories.  You can follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn or at the website’s home page.

Follow-up on Recessions

June 16, 2010

I previously wrote a blog post about how recessions could be good things. In this article I elaborate on these thoughts and add concrete examples of how entrepreneurs use recessions to their advantage.  Hopefully this can inspire you to think about how you can turn bad economic times into new and exciting opportunities to grow.

How Can Recessions be Good Things?

May 17, 2010

Recessions suck.  And this recession has been more painful than most:  food banks are depleted, children go to bed hungry and opportunities for advancement are put on hold, if not thrown in complete reverse.   But I’m going to make a counter-intuitive observation today:  that recessions have a significant upside to them, and for those fortunate enough to get ahead of the curve, they can be quite profitable.

For instance, this downturn started just as I was leaving grad school in December 2007.  At the time I couldn’t buy a job, and I found myself in a very precarious financial position.  Growing increasingly frustrated, I began attending networking events across the Southland, at which point I met real, honest-to-goodness entrepreneurs.  These people had taken an idea, brought it to life and sold the resulting firm for hundreds of millions of dollars.   For example, I met the guy who founded Ethos water and sold it to Starbucks, as well as the fellow who founded Atari and, later, Chuck e Cheese.  These folks were truly incredible.

Ever curious, I began looking for trends in their behavior.  One trait they shared was boundless optimism in general, and genuine excitement about this recession in particular.  This baffled and insulted me:  millions are suffering, and these people are excited?  “It’s easy for them to say,” I sniffed, “they are already rich and don’t have to worry about losing everything they own.  How cold-hearted can these people be?”

And then, just a few weeks ago, it made sense to me.  I attended a presentation on cloud computing where one speaker showed a very interesting trend:  every recession saw a correlating boost in technological innovation, thus opening opportunities that were not there before. 

But why do mass innovations happen during downturns?  For one thing, innovation isn’t required during good times because, well, times are good:  firms are hiring, people have jobs and all is well with the world.  But when bad times hit, people become increasingly innovative to avoid homelessness and hunger.  At the same time, firms are looking for ways to increase operational output with less money, allowing these entrepreneurs to sell their goods and/or services to willing firms. 

In a nutshell, recessions seem to spark opportunities, even as millions are hurt.   There’s obviously a lot more to this; what are your thoughts?