Noah Parsons shared this photo on his Lighting Out blog. He took it with his iPhone in the Apple store in San Francisco last weekend. Noah described it to me as “wall to wall people.” No recession showing there.
Please don’t get me wrong: I’m not denying the very bad economy; it’s just that there are always bright spots around. I did an interview about this last week, about how people are still starting businesses even in what are clearly tough times.
Apple is doing very well with new technology and good design. A lot of new web applications are doing well. Green technology and organic foods are doing very well.
My advice, in that interview, was not to look for some list of businesses that are doing well, but to stick with who you are and what you know, because that’s the best way to develop your own business. Like the “write what you know” advice for writers, there’s the “stick to what you know” for entrepreneurs. With its natural corollary, “and what you’re good at.” Oh, and also: “what you like to do.”
And when times are tough, look for angles around your natural business. If you love autos, design some auto gizmo that helps cars save gas, for example. When I was at the Princeton Entrepreneur Network venture competition in late May I met somebody who was doing just that: marketing an add-on for a few models of Saturn autos. Or do a social website related to other auto enthusiasts. If you’re in the food or food-service business, come up with healthy organic foods, whether that’s a fine restaurant, fast goods, delivery business or whatever. Give it an angle.