Anti-depression thinking: what do we do?

I’m watching the economic news this morning flow through FriendFeed and I can feel the fear. The depression. Apple is down 14%. Startups won’t get funded. Etc. Etc. It’s all there, if you want to follow along. Lately I’ve been clicking “Like” on a lot of unlikeable news (that’s how I share interesting stuff with you on FriendFeed).

I’ve been through all the emotions too. Depression. Fear. But now I’m working through all these and I’m wondering what we can do? After all, we don’t have the ability to ask Congress for a bailout. I’d love to see ideas for everyone thrown around here and we’ll sift through the best ones. If you were a big-company executive, what would you do? What if you were a startup CEO? A VC? A geek churning out code?

I know a financial trader in Europe and he told me about losing a lot of money in one morning. I asked him what he did. He said he kept working the problem and by the end of the day he had made it mostly back.

So, let’s work the problem together. Here’s my challenge to Techcrunch, GigaOm, ReadWriteWeb, Center Networks, Mashable, and all my other thought leader friends.

Work the problem. Give us some things we can do right now. Feel free to link your URLs in the comments here. Make sure your blog is on FriendFeed, I’ll also share the best ideas there.

UPDATE: we are discussing this over on FriendFeed too.

Comments

  1. Don’t stop what you are doing. Don’t stop moving forward. Work extra hard, put in longer hours and keep moving.

  2. I think this is the time to focus on what you _can_ change (your business, your product, your skills etc). Try to keep a lid on expenses and work your way out of this.

    Sitting and reading through depressing news and stock market figures will not do you any good. Everybody starts talks about the great depression in the media and quite frankly if we don’t change that way of thinking – we just might believe in it and if enough people believe in a depression then that’s where we are heading.

    Yes times are tough – but it is time to be constructive and innovative and pull ourselves out of this situation – it was made by people – it can be fixed by people.

    Just my $0.02

  3. I think this is the time to focus on what you _can_ change (your business, your product, your skills etc). Try to keep a lid on expenses and work your way out of this.

    Sitting and reading through depressing news and stock market figures will not do you any good. Everybody starts talks about the great depression in the media and quite frankly if we don’t change that way of thinking – we just might believe in it and if enough people believe in a depression then that’s where we are heading.

    Yes times are tough – but it is time to be constructive and innovative and pull ourselves out of this situation – it was made by people – it can be fixed by people.

    Just my $0.02

  4. science, engineering – we’re going to need to build real things. our biggest export can’t just be debt.

    this will take a lot of time, but if you’re a parent – exposing your kids to science, engineering, electronics, computer programming is an investment that will actually pay off.

    so my challenge to “Techcrunch, GigaOm, ReadWriteWeb, Center Networks, Mashable” would be for them to cover some of the cool and interesting people/companies that make things. we are what we celebrate…

  5. science, engineering – we’re going to need to build real things. our biggest export can’t just be debt.

    this will take a lot of time, but if you’re a parent – exposing your kids to science, engineering, electronics, computer programming is an investment that will actually pay off.

    so my challenge to “Techcrunch, GigaOm, ReadWriteWeb, Center Networks, Mashable” would be for them to cover some of the cool and interesting people/companies that make things. we are what we celebrate…

  6. You wanted specifics? Here goes:

    Get 10 investors types (angels, rich folks, maybe VC’s) in a room with 10 entrepreneurs in need of $$$; Make some “microcommittments” of $10K, right then and there ON THAT FIRST DAY to each entrepreneur who presents a good business plan of 3 pages and a list of action items for the next quarter; plan a meeting for late December/early January to assess.

    Assign one mentor to each entrepreneur to meet with them every week between now and then — the mentor should NOT be the one who gave that person the $$$. Make sure it’s half men and half women entrepreneurs. They should have a goal to hire at least one other person.

    Do it in SF, LA, NY, Boston, Chic, St.Louis, Atlanta, Phoenix and Denver.

    Scoble — make it into a show — duh. Call it YOU’RE HIRED.

  7. Companies are going to be looking for ways to cut costs and save money in this economy. If your sell something that can do this than you will come out a winner. The company I work for sells enterprise document management, imaging and workflow software and we are doing well.

  8. You wanted specifics? Here goes:

    Get 10 investors types (angels, rich folks, maybe VC’s) in a room with 10 entrepreneurs in need of $$$; Make some “microcommittments” of $10K, right then and there ON THAT FIRST DAY to each entrepreneur who presents a good business plan of 3 pages and a list of action items for the next quarter; plan a meeting for late December/early January to assess.

    Assign one mentor to each entrepreneur to meet with them every week between now and then — the mentor should NOT be the one who gave that person the $$$. Make sure it’s half men and half women entrepreneurs. They should have a goal to hire at least one other person.

    Do it in SF, LA, NY, Boston, Chic, St.Louis, Atlanta, Phoenix and Denver.

    Scoble — make it into a show — duh. Call it YOU’RE HIRED.

  9. Companies are going to be looking for ways to cut costs and save money in this economy. If your sell something that can do this than you will come out a winner. The company I work for sells enterprise document management, imaging and workflow software and we are doing well.

  10. The best thing we can do as employees is to stay focused on growing our businesses, staying innovative and profitable. Regardless of the market, there will always be a need for differentiation and product leadership. The quest becomes how do you transition that into real revenue when budgets are tight.

    Having been at the same company for eight years now, I weathered the first Bush recession and look like I get the opportunity to go through another one. It’s important to be smart about the money you hold, and to not sell low, and not put yourself in debt. If you and your business have cash and no debt, it makes the process much easier.

  11. The best thing we can do as employees is to stay focused on growing our businesses, staying innovative and profitable. Regardless of the market, there will always be a need for differentiation and product leadership. The quest becomes how do you transition that into real revenue when budgets are tight.

    Having been at the same company for eight years now, I weathered the first Bush recession and look like I get the opportunity to go through another one. It’s important to be smart about the money you hold, and to not sell low, and not put yourself in debt. If you and your business have cash and no debt, it makes the process much easier.

  12. Franchising is the best solution in moments like this. Let others take risk and do your marketing. It works.

    But on the other hand I’m on the lookout for cheap stocks. So a plunging share price is welcome. One more thing, some people should dissociate share price and actual company’s performance. Microsoft makes more money than Google but its share price is cheaper than Google.

  13. Franchising is the best solution in moments like this. Let others take risk and do your marketing. It works.

    But on the other hand I’m on the lookout for cheap stocks. So a plunging share price is welcome. One more thing, some people should dissociate share price and actual company’s performance. Microsoft makes more money than Google but its share price is cheaper than Google.

  14. I know this might be the cheesiest thing you will see all day but I will share it anyway…just watch the first minute…

    When we lose to fear, we have lost. I will have more on the topic later…I come at the angle from someone who has very little money – maybe it gives me different perspective.

  15. I know this might be the cheesiest thing you will see all day but I will share it anyway…just watch the first minute…

    When we lose to fear, we have lost. I will have more on the topic later…I come at the angle from someone who has very little money – maybe it gives me different perspective.

  16. I’m not in the US so things may not affect me as directly as someone in the US but there will undoubtedly be a trickle down effect worldwide.

    Here are some of the things I’ve done in response to the turmoil in the past few weeks:

    1. Reviewed all my expenses and eliminated any that were not 100% essential to reaching my goals – both personal and business. I took a look at any expenses that were funded primarily by credit card (recurring subscriptions, etc).

    2. Reviewed my business systems to see where improvements could be made. Smoother systems call for fewer challenges. Ensuring things are running at full efficiency will help stability and help get me through and blips in the forecast.

    3. Started an investment account. The best way to spur economic change is to reinvest in the economy.

    I wrote about this in a post on my blog last week.

    http://myvirtualpartner.com/blog/2008/09/24/economic-crisis-in-us-spurs-change/

    Thanks for starting the discussion.

    ~ Deborah :-)

  17. I’m not in the US so things may not affect me as directly as someone in the US but there will undoubtedly be a trickle down effect worldwide.

    Here are some of the things I’ve done in response to the turmoil in the past few weeks:

    1. Reviewed all my expenses and eliminated any that were not 100% essential to reaching my goals – both personal and business. I took a look at any expenses that were funded primarily by credit card (recurring subscriptions, etc).

    2. Reviewed my business systems to see where improvements could be made. Smoother systems call for fewer challenges. Ensuring things are running at full efficiency will help stability and help get me through and blips in the forecast.

    3. Started an investment account. The best way to spur economic change is to reinvest in the economy.

    I wrote about this in a post on my blog last week.

    http://myvirtualpartner.com/blog/2008/09/24/economic-crisis-in-us-spurs-change/

    Thanks for starting the discussion.

    ~ Deborah :-)

  18. On a positive note, price of oil is going down.

    Where are the winners in this situation? There must be somebody, somewhere who’s taking advantage of it. For example, price of gold – “safe haven for investors” – has risen.

    As for the “what can we do” question, I’d see that there’s a storm going on and the best thing to do is to calmly wait till it’s over. So, I opt for: Don’t panic.

  19. On a positive note, price of oil is going down.

    Where are the winners in this situation? There must be somebody, somewhere who’s taking advantage of it. For example, price of gold – “safe haven for investors” – has risen.

    As for the “what can we do” question, I’d see that there’s a storm going on and the best thing to do is to calmly wait till it’s over. So, I opt for: Don’t panic.

  20. Most importantly, stay calm and try to maintain some sense of personal balance. Yes, it’s hard in this difficult environment, but a relaxed mind makes every problem more manageable.

  21. I’ve been thinking all day that it’s a coworking space for new companies that don’t need much money and a barter economy among them. One of the commenters above said a WPA of entrepreneurs. This is when we can really drive innovation, because there’s nothing standing it its way. I’m looking at sustainability solutions. Sustainability is what got us through that other “Depression.”

    OTOH, don’t think all is lost. The Fed injected $630b into the financial markets today and it didn’t do a thing. So maybe if we stop struggling and just let it flow, we will be better off.

  22. I’ve been thinking all day that it’s a coworking space for new companies that don’t need much money and a barter economy among them. One of the commenters above said a WPA of entrepreneurs. This is when we can really drive innovation, because there’s nothing standing it its way. I’m looking at sustainability solutions. Sustainability is what got us through that other “Depression.”

    OTOH, don’t think all is lost. The Fed injected $630b into the financial markets today and it didn’t do a thing. So maybe if we stop struggling and just let it flow, we will be better off.

  23. Our community is having a similar conversation here:

    http://blog.ebsqart.com/2008/09/29/open-thread-staying-an-artist-without-losing-your-soulor-your-shirt/

    One recurrent theme I’m seeing in comments is that people are looking to expand their knowledge and looking for better practices rather than cutting back on quality to keep costs down. I do very much think we’ll see a lot of ingenuity and success stories from people who push harder rather than scaling back right now.

  24. Our community is having a similar conversation here:

    http://blog.ebsqart.com/2008/09/29/open-thread-staying-an-artist-without-losing-your-soulor-your-shirt/

    One recurrent theme I’m seeing in comments is that people are looking to expand their knowledge and looking for better practices rather than cutting back on quality to keep costs down. I do very much think we’ll see a lot of ingenuity and success stories from people who push harder rather than scaling back right now.

  25. “I know a financial trader in Europe and he told me about losing a lot of money in one morning. I asked him what he did. He said he kept working the problem and by the end of the day he had made it mostly back.”

    This experience is one of the reasons why a bailout is wrong. Bankers and rich, location-independent people seldom have troubles getting back their money. A broker can make A LOT of money in falling markets.

    The working poors, in contrast, have no choice. They are location-dependent, have a below-average education, don’t know how to make money with money, have to move out of their houses or flats. And they depend on a good economy for their jobs.

    However, what about using public transport instead of having an own car? I’m talking about urban and suburban areas here. What about using teleconferencing instead of flying half around the globe for a short business meeting? How about using environment-friendly renewable energy sources instead of oil and nuclear power? How about trying to pay off the debts step-by-step instead of making new debts for things that aren’t necessary for survival. How about saying NO to consumerism?

    So, better use the 700 billion dollars for REAL CHANGE instead of throwing them at people who have enough money anyway and can bail out themselves.

    Let’s improve PUBLIC TRANSPORT. Let’s find means to lower energy consumption (use some of the money for tax-cuts to promote building well ISOLATED HOUSING). Promote new, environment-friendly technologies.

  26. “I know a financial trader in Europe and he told me about losing a lot of money in one morning. I asked him what he did. He said he kept working the problem and by the end of the day he had made it mostly back.”

    This experience is one of the reasons why a bailout is wrong. Bankers and rich, location-independent people seldom have troubles getting back their money. A broker can make A LOT of money in falling markets.

    The working poors, in contrast, have no choice. They are location-dependent, have a below-average education, don’t know how to make money with money, have to move out of their houses or flats. And they depend on a good economy for their jobs.

    However, what about using public transport instead of having an own car? I’m talking about urban and suburban areas here. What about using teleconferencing instead of flying half around the globe for a short business meeting? How about using environment-friendly renewable energy sources instead of oil and nuclear power? How about trying to pay off the debts step-by-step instead of making new debts for things that aren’t necessary for survival. How about saying NO to consumerism?

    So, better use the 700 billion dollars for REAL CHANGE instead of throwing them at people who have enough money anyway and can bail out themselves.

    Let’s improve PUBLIC TRANSPORT. Let’s find means to lower energy consumption (use some of the money for tax-cuts to promote building well ISOLATED HOUSING). Promote new, environment-friendly technologies.

  27. I’m a start-up. a blogger. trying as hard as any company to succeed. I don’t complain about someone not giving me money so I can ‘get out of a rut’.

    Instead, I keep working my ass off. This ‘downturn’ is all speculations. It’s all ‘fail, fail, fail’ – the market needed a correction. Yeah, businesses tank, but businesses making better decisions take them over. That’s how it goes.

    oh, hey, guess what, there’s some cheap(er) stocks out there right now… Can’t get VC? try your hand at a solid company stock. It couldn’t be any riskier than the mess Carter, Clinton and Frank got us into.

  28. I’m a start-up. a blogger. trying as hard as any company to succeed. I don’t complain about someone not giving me money so I can ‘get out of a rut’.

    Instead, I keep working my ass off. This ‘downturn’ is all speculations. It’s all ‘fail, fail, fail’ – the market needed a correction. Yeah, businesses tank, but businesses making better decisions take them over. That’s how it goes.

    oh, hey, guess what, there’s some cheap(er) stocks out there right now… Can’t get VC? try your hand at a solid company stock. It couldn’t be any riskier than the mess Carter, Clinton and Frank got us into.

  29. At a more basic level, I suggest we return to basic investment approach that has been lost by many, too young to know the difference – no disrespect intended. In the 50′s and 60′s rule #1 was to maintain balance bewteen equities and safer investments if you are concerned about risk. Consider cash and government bonds (widows and orphans was the category).

    Stock market investment is not safe. Repeat after me … not safe. its also a long haul investment, not a short term one.

  30. At a more basic level, I suggest we return to basic investment approach that has been lost by many, too young to know the difference – no disrespect intended. In the 50′s and 60′s rule #1 was to maintain balance bewteen equities and safer investments if you are concerned about risk. Consider cash and government bonds (widows and orphans was the category).

    Stock market investment is not safe. Repeat after me … not safe. its also a long haul investment, not a short term one.

  31. “Work The Problem” is a cool phrase Scoble. Its actually a neat mantra for entrepreneurs.

    Its important to remember the micro side of the problem. Reach out to your friends and offer help. Pick up the phone, ask your friends how their doing, and offer recommendations on how you can lend a hand.

    I wrote twice about this on my blog.

    1. “Don’t Be A Dick”
    http://tinyurl.com/3gm2ag

    2. “Crisis And Friendship”
    http://tinyurl.com/4rj9bv

  32. “Work The Problem” is a cool phrase Scoble. Its actually a neat mantra for entrepreneurs.

    Its important to remember the micro side of the problem. Reach out to your friends and offer help. Pick up the phone, ask your friends how their doing, and offer recommendations on how you can lend a hand.

    I wrote twice about this on my blog.

    1. “Don’t Be A Dick”
    http://tinyurl.com/3gm2ag

    2. “Crisis And Friendship”
    http://tinyurl.com/4rj9bv

  33. Depression can be finding a religious leader or guidance to speak to.

    I think depression is due to neglect by the surrounding, the person should go to the nature e.g the beach and feel the wonders of nature.

  34. Depression can be finding a religious leader or guidance to speak to.

    I think depression is due to neglect by the surrounding, the person should go to the nature e.g the beach and feel the wonders of nature.

  35. The working poors, in contrast, have no choice. They are location-dependent, have a below-average education, don’t know how to make money with money, have to move out of their houses or flats. And they depend on a good economy for their jobs.

  36. The working poors, in contrast, have no choice. They are location-dependent, have a below-average education, don’t know how to make money with money, have to move out of their houses or flats. And they depend on a good economy for their jobs.

  37. [...] Scobleizer: “Anti-depression thinking: what do we do?” “After all, we donÕt have the ability to ask Congress for a bailout. IÕd love to see ideas for everyone thrown around here and weÕll sift through the best ones. If you were a big-company executive, what would you do? What if you were a startup CEO? A VC? A geek churning out code?” http://scobleizer.com/2008/09/29/anti-depression-thinking-what-do-we-do/ [...]