Innovation in Crisis
What do General Electric, GM Motors and IBM have in common, besides being leading multinational corporations? They all had beginnings during one of our country's most difficult economic times (1). Hard times are just the sort of disruptive fodder humans seem to need to think outside the box of traditionally successful business endeavors. As a result, many small businesses and self-employment endeavors have been spurred from recessions and the great depression (2,3). Women and minorities, already marginalized during good times, are especially hit hard in times of economic downturn, forced to create small business to survive. These individuals are referred to as survivalist entrepreneurs, or those who find ways to make money as a self-employed person when no one else will hire them, Madam C.J. Walker being one of the most famous examples (4). Combine the resourcefulness of the survivalist entrepreneur with the maker movement and we have a powerful revenue of innovation brewing that we can not ignore.