Fear in uncertain times

posted by Jeff | Saturday, February 7, 2009, 9:52 AM | comments: 1

I have to admit, whether the danger is real or not, the current economic climate makes me nervous. A lot of people aren't working and I predict that things will get worse before they get better. That economists don't even have a good feel for when we'll bottom out is scary.

I'm working, sure, but for how long? I don't get as many recruiter calls as I used to, but maybe that's because this time I was smart enough to turn off my Monster.com profile this time around (duh). I don't know what the job market for people like me is, but I doubt it's as awesome as it was last fall. This general feeling that others have with me has led to some interesting conversations.

What it generally comes back to is the suggestion that having to rely on someone else to determine your fate sucks. Carrie mentioned this in one of her last blog posts, and we chatted a bit about it. Indeed, it's a conversation I've had with a lot of people that I consider smart and generally top notch.

After establishing that line of thinking, the next question is always, what do I do next? It's not that anyone has a lack of good ideas, it's that they can't easily take the risk of acting on those ideas to form a viable business. People like to eat. And when you reach a certain level of income, you also like to eat at nice places. I think that Gonch was right in a comment from a previous post, that as you get older, you do actually have things to lose.

But there's an interesting theme that you read about from economists and pundits as well. They consistently say that in a down economy, many new businesses are born. In some cases it's because people have nothing else to do. There are opportunities to win, even in competitive markets because your competition might be dialing back.

So where does that leave me? I don't know. I have several Web sites in the pipe, but a part of me gets bored with the idea of making yet another Guide to The Point for another niche. I still need to fight through that, because one of those I know could be sweet, and I owe it to my partner in that one.

That kind of relates to one of the side effects of running a business with people that you employ. You have a responsibility to them. They depend on you to make the right decisions so they can maintain their quality of life. I don't think very many business owners and executives take that seriously enough. It's why I'd probably be a shitty CEO too, because I couldn't deal with having to let people go on my watch.

One of the things I'd like to do is do the one-weekend software challenge. Basically it's one of those things where you have an idea and you bang it out, all in one weekend. I have an idea (and a domain name!) that would be perfect for that, but as usual, I'm not that motivated when I've been writing code all week at my day job!


Neuski, February 7, 2009, 3:44 PM #

I too would love to create a site in a weekend, or even a week, but I can think of so many other things I would rather do instead.

Post your comment: