The biggest silver lining in periods of economic turmoil—such that we are in right now, despite what the stock market may tell you—is that they often lead to significant innovation.
This is true for most major economic depressions and recessions in U.S. history. General Motors (NYSE: GM) was founded less than a year after the Panic of 1907, a crisis so severe it led to the creation of the Federal Reserve. The first Publix grocery store was opened in 1930, less than a year into The Great Depression.
More recently, the dotcom bubble burst gave way to Web 2.0 companies like Skype, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB), and YouTube, three companies that would all grow to be worth over $1 billion.
In each of these cases, entrepreneurs either identified a shift in consumer behavior that was already beginning to take shape (automobiles in the 1910s and supermarkets in the 1930s) or