The U.S. economy is suffering through its worst unemployment rate in 26 years-and it’s not going to get better any time soon. Luckily, the New York Bureau Chief for the economist has an alternative to fruitless searching.
Question: Is now is a good time to be an entrepreneur?
Matthew Bishop: I think entrepreneurs thrive in situations of change because they are people who are thinking hard about the future—where is the problem that needs to be fixed? And the more change there is, the more opportunity there is for opportunity. Clearly, the world at the moment is going through massive change partly due to this economic crisis, but also due to globalization, due to technological trends, biotech, or information technology. So, that’s a great opportunity for entrepreneurship. A recession is always good for entrepreneurship because many of the dominant firms in industry tend to be very inward looking and defensive in a recession and less likely to take risks. And so if you are a smaller business person you are likely to find less attention being paid to your new ideas by the big players. And so, you may be able to get further ahead before they realize you are there and start to squash you and by that point I may be too late for them. So, you actually see a number of the greatest companies in the world that have historically been founded during recessions.
Recorded on: September 24, 2009