How Recession Affects
Well, it's damn good thing for the news
industry that the American forces are steaming their way over to Iraq.
Not because any more or fewer people will be freed as a result, but more
because a lot of editors will finally have something to write about. After
all, it was starting to get pretty slow around the news department.
At this point, it looks like President
Clinton is going to escape any real serious threat, Monica Lewinsky is
gaining weight faster than Mike Tyson. And Mark McGwyer's memorable season
is indeed already a memory.
When news gets really slow, the pundits
start crawling out of the hovels. They expound on anything and everything
that can possibly make a headline. This season, everyone is jumping on
the coming recession.
Is there going to be a recession? Hey,
I could lie to you and say I know. But I don't. And neither do the dopes
who supposedly are paid to study these things. The truth is that if someone
panics on Wall Street, the lemmings stampede right behind. One self-fulfilling
prophecy tips over another and pretty soon you get the economy you imagined.
But that's not why I'm writing.
The real reason why I'm writing is that
you should always prepare yourself for a recession, regardless whether
it's coming or not. And the way you should prepare yourself? Of course!
Make sure you're branded.
On this morning's taping of LOG ON USA
(Jaclyn Easton's nationally syndicated radio show), we were talking about
how a recession would affect the web. And there's no doubt in my mind
what would happen if a really sever recession hit the U.S.: The big boys
would pull their ad budgets off the web in a heartbeat. The pundits would
predict the end of e-commerce as we know it. And every single Internet
related stock would drop like a brick.
Or would they? Not in my book. Here's
what -- in all my pundit splendor -- would happen:
If a recession really hit hard, you bet
your mouse pad that the big boys would run like rabbits off the web. They'd
stop all their advertising and "return to a focus on their core business."
And because so many pundits would pick up on the negativity, the papers
would be filled with stories about how the Internet never fully lived
up to its promise, which in turn would hammer internet-based stock prices.
But just ask any running back about his
favorite wish, and you'd see that if those events were to occur, that
would leave people like you and me a clear, open field on the web. We'd
be doing even more of the same cost-effective business we'd always be
doing --and the really well-branded among us would be doing even better.
If a down market really hits, people who
already have bought their PC's and monthly access will be looking even
harder for bargains. Their increased motivation will actually increase
sales for those of us who have established our operations online. And
those among us who have invested resources in their brands are going to
do the best, because they'll be in more of the places where these highly-motivated
consumers scour about in search of the perfect deal.
So where does this leave us? I suppose
I could make some oblique reference to finding a silver lining in even
the darkest cloud, but I'd rather end on a note that's less philosophical
and more utilitarian:
Don't believe everything you read in the