Tips for tough times: design in an economic depression

I found this blog on the internet. As it an elaboration of previous post on my blog, I copied over here.

I appreciate the content because in the context of the financial depression, connecting with trends creates opportunities. Which has impacts for you and your organisation.

Tips for Tough Times: Making Your Job Recession Proof, Design in an Economic Downturn, and Innovative Startups

by Celine Roque

7 Experts Paint Enterprise IT Landscape for 2009
Dana Gardner collects some 2009 predictions, with the recession in mind, from7 noted IT industry experts.  Worth a read if you want to see several different outlooks on the industry.  Especially interesting is Mike Meehan’s reminder about getting equipment for lower prices: “Back in 2001, when that recession hit, all of a sudden you could buy wonderful amounts of IT gear on eBay for next to nothing. I remember talking to one guy who was smiling like a Cheshire Cat, because he had replaced $45,000 worth of Unix with $500 worth of Linux. I think you are going to see a lot of that. Expect a glut of servers and storage gear and network gear, and you are going to be able to get it cheap and affordable. That’s going to hit the storage and network and server companies.”

The 5 Stages of Coping with the Recession – Shock, Assessment, Plan, Support, Rebuild
Lianne Bridges writes about the several stages that businesses go through during a recession and what business owners can do to minimize its effects.  According to her, it’s the best time to tap your support networks:  “Today there are so many ways to access free information and support. The Internet provides an endless array of Web sites, blogs and podcasts dedicated to providing helpful information on every topic imaginable. Outsource expertise to fill internal business gaps without investing in additional headcount. Tap into social media and join associations or groups to share information and ideas for solutions. Or create a group yourself.”

2009 May Smile on Disruptive Startups
Kevin Kelleher from talks about how startups that are original and disruptive have a chance of thriving in an economic downturn: “In an economy where risk is shunned, boldness is a risk that still offers a shot at success. It’s much easier to say this than to make it happen. But there is reason to believe that 2009 will allow original ideas, and companies behind them to come forth.  Recessions dry up funding for innovation, but often innovation goes underground — or rather, back into the garage. For those that produce successful innovations, there may be fewer competitors around to copy their successes.”

Web 2.0, Social Networks in 2009: The Year of Consolidation, Not Innovation
Conversely, C.G. Lynch voiced out in that 2009 will be the year where businesses will stick to working with the more established IT and Web 2.0 companies, rather than up and coming startups:  “With shrinking access to venture capital, there’s reason to believe some of the enterprise 2.0 start-ups will fail or struggle to make money in 2009. When this happens, they’ll either fold or be purchased by IBM or Microsoft.”

How to Make Your Job Recession Proof featured an article about how the average corporate employee can achieve job security in these economically uncertain times: “Almost every employee hears about layoffs in the wind before they happen. If you suspect they’re imminent at your firm, talk to your boss before the axe swings. Ask him or her how you can be more productive and what it will take to ensure you’ll still be part of the team after the unkindest cuts come.”

The Role of Design in an Economic Downturn
A blog post at the Customer Experience Labs website discusses how economically challenging times call for an increase in customer value: “If you think that this downturn is different and you do not need a designer to make your products ‘look nice’ you should think twice. Making things look nice is not the job of a designer. Solving problems and providing value is one of the essential goals of design and looking at current problems from a different perspective might just provide the insight or solution that could prepare you for the next upturn. “

Telecommuting: Going Up or Going Down?
CommuteZero ponders the effect of the recession on telecommuting practices: “But hard times bring new reasons to embrace telecommuting. As Workforce Management explains, telecommuting can save real estate costs. It can save great employees, too.”

Despite Downturn, Social Media Rises
At Communicopia, Jason Mogus discusses how social media can be leveraged during a time of extensive economic change.  He writes: “This is consistent with what we’ve seen for a few years now, with big organizations shifting more and more attention and resources to digital. Why? (1) efficiency of cost in reaching customers, (2) innovation in finding them where they are today, (3) importance of new models of engaging customers vs. shouting at them (to paraphrase Seth Godin), (4) the total accountability detailed web metrics offer marketing execs on the impact of their spending”

9 Websites IT Pros Should Master in 2009
Carolyn Duffy Marsan lists the 9 online tools that IT professionals and other corporate workers should master this year.  One of the tools she mentions is Secunia: “Security will continue to be a top priority for 2009, but you’ll need to figure out how to do it on the cheap. That’s where comes in. This site aggregates security vulnerability information from leading vendors, providing you with one-stop shopping for the latest news about security bugs and the software patches available to fix them. The site has an active community of IT security folks who can help you fix operating systems and applications before you get attacked.”

Top Marketing Geeks Make Their Predictions for 2009
ReadWriteWeb discusses their take on the predictions of top marketing experts.  While some experts think that social media will be the main marketing focus of businesses in 2009, ReadWriteWeb doesn’t think it’s that simple: “This makes a lot of sense to us, but we expect that it will be tempered by the fear of totally blowing it. Getting into the social media space and doing it wrong is something that a lot of companies fear getting blown apart for. We expect that to change slowly and only for a limited number of companies.”

These links are really worth a further investigation. Even better, start acting after reading. And in these times act compact!!!