Half of the companies in the Fortune 500 were started during a bear market or recession. In fact, Fortune Magazine itself was founded ninety days after the market crash of 1929.
FedEx, Oil Crisis of 1973
UPS, Panic of 1907
Hewlett-Packard, Great Depression
Charles Schwab, Market Crash of 1974-75
Burger King, Korean War Recession
Trader Joe’s, Eisenhower Recession
The Jim Henson Company, Eisenhower Recession
Costco, Recession in the late 70’s
Proctor & Gamble, Panic of 1837
United Airlines, 1929
Microsoft, Recession in 1973 – 1975
LinkedIn, Post Dot-Com Bubble
Could you imagine how much worse our current situation would be if none of these companies ever existed? Maybe those don’t strike a chord with you. If they feel like ancient history and irrelevant to today’s time, then it’s helpful to recognize that there are a lot of recent examples, as well:
Credit Karma, 2008
This begs the question – why? Why are there so many strong examples of companies that got their start during an economic downturn?
One belief is that a business born during a bear market is forced to stay lean. These companies adopt concepts like six sigma, scrum, etc. and as a direct result, they stay smaller. For some, that means relying heavily on software development. For others, it implies that they hire the best in town, not the most in town. Others push to keep their inventory to a minimum.
In fact, Airbnb is so lean that they don’t even have customer service contact information on their homepage. They do have a support team but their contact info is incredibly challenging to find – something I imagine is a feature, not a bug in the eyes of Airbnb’s leadership team.
Many companies need to scale back operations during this time, however, many of these same companies have support teams that currently need to scale in the opposite direction. For example – with almost every Apple store in America closed right now (rightfully so), their support team has been inundated with calls, chats, complaints, and essential orders that would normally be handled by their Genius Bar. How do they scale these needs?
For teams that need to stay lean, we recommend using our productivity tools to make the most of your time. We create solutions like HelpDesk+ that allow your existing support team to handle this increase in activity.
Instead of wondering whether or not your situation is fair… Instead of wondering what a specific downturn means for you… Instead of analyzing what everyone else is doing… recognize that this time spent overthinking could be better used on whatever task you could be handling instead.
It doesn’t matter if this is the best time ever to ever start a company or the worst – most Jira deliverables will not change as a result of your outside situations. If you put your head down and tackle the tasks that need to be handled in the present moment, you will move yourself and your team closer towards the companies listed above.
Instead of context switching back and forth between coronavirus statistics and 8 other open tabs, use this as an opportunity to dive deeply into work that otherwise would be constantly interrupted by daily office happenings.
If you need help, reach out to me directly. I’m here to help – as is our whole team.