Wednesday, September 07, 2011

This Recession is Boring

This recession is boring. I know we aren't really in a recession any more, but it certainly still feels like one. I am bored with the feeling. Time to flip the switch.

Businesses are waiting for smooth sailing before hiring and investing. Waiting for the idiots in the White House and Capitol Hill to behave a little less stupidly. Waiting for our European friends to deal with or ditch Greece, Italy and Spain, etc. Waiting for Americans to deleverage and pay off the debt of the 2000's. Waiting, waiting, waiting.

We can't wait forever. There are 17,000,000 Google results for "innovation during recession."  Everyone knows that the strong invest, innovate and take market share during tough times. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has had no trouble taking over the consumer electronics space. Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM) continues to rake in boatloads of cash. Read here:

I was just reading an interview of Whole Foods CEO John Mackey by USA Today. The most interesting part of the interview is his discussion of how Whole Foods is entering the health and wellness services business.
The company is open up 5 prototype stores with “Wellness Clubs” to expand their business into the services sector.
“We’re opening Wellness Clubs in five prototype stores. It’s potentially a new paradigm for people being healthy. All of the key diseases killing Americans can be largely avoided or prevented through healthy diet and lifestyle, but people don’t know exactly what to do. Whole Foods will help educate them."
I find this fascinating for a company with $8 billion in sales that is the clear market leader in its niche. Instead of resting on its laurels, it decides to innovate instead.
The whole economy is being held back by a lack of confidence, by just about everyone, consumers and businesses alike. Confidence, or animal spirits as economists like to call it, is a fragile thing and hard to build. When you don't feel confident, you should fake it until you make it.
The article How You Too Can Be an Optimist in Prevention points out, "In research at Wake Forest University, for example, scientists asked a group of 50 students to act like extroverts for 15 minutes in a group discussion, even if they didn’t feel like it. The more assertive and energetic the students acted, the happier they were". Barney would say...

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