Let’s talk about how it can benefit startups:
Time Rich vs. Time Poor
There is a clear divide between time rich (I just spent 4 hours on MySpace working on my design!) and time poor (I just bought a Getting Things Done app to manage my other GTD app).
If there is a continuing downturn, the amount of people with time on their hands is going up. Give them a great product, and even think about having ways for them to earn a few bucks.
If every other company is freaking out, you have an advantage.
User Generated Content Sucks
Admit it. We suck at participation. More people go to a restaurant every night than their are reviews for that restaurant every night. We don’t reward users for engaging. We don’t teach users how to leave really quality content. We don’t make it easy. Fix it.
Don’t Sink The Ship
There is a lot of talk about being as light as possible in your startup. There are a lot of styles on how to run your company, and one of the worst, especially in bad times, is to have people actively demoting you. Be careful with your hires, and with your fires, and don’t do something stupid like fire a great engineer because a blogger said so.
Find Creative Ways To Earn
Not spending is earning. Getting a 50% off a TV is still spending. Get creative. Create a trade relationship with your coffeeshop. Sublet your empty desks. Cook your own meals. Rent a desk for afterhours. Use twitter search to find new work opportunities. Start a business and enjoy the tax breaks.
Listen to the Crowd
Now is perfect.
(I’m a bootstrapper at heart.)