It’s true. The more things change, the more they stay the same. It was just about this time, seven years ago, when our little world was inundated with visions of Chicken Little and his falling sky. Literally. The technology boom – turned bust – had swept through the nation as friends and colleagues in the tech world were scrambling to determine how to navigate the maze of the unemployment process while trying to find a new job that would pay half of what they had grown accustomed to; housing prices were softening (although no one told the folks in Boulder), and you couldn’t pick up the paper or flip on CNN without reading about the latest dot bomb crisis du jour. Then came September 11. I am fairly confident everyone remembers exactly where they were when the second plane crashed and New York erupted into mass chaos.
I can’t forget it. I had just decided to launch this consulting business called GroundFloor Media, hadn’t even taken the time to buy a real desk and was getting ready to launch a nationwide program for breast cancer survivors. Then it all stopped.
While today’s headlines “U.S. Bends the Rule of Free Markets” and “Leaders Meet to Plan a Rescue” fill the pages of USA Today, I realize it’s not too different than the stories that filled our morning papers back in the spring of 2001. Sure, the content is different. We didn’t talk about irresponsibility and greed and the government bailing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; we focused on irresponsibility and greed with young entrepreneurs and the venture capital community.
As a country and as a community, we bounced back. When you start a business in the middle of one of the greatest tragedies to hit American soil, with unemployment rates peaking and not a good news story in sight, you begin to see that the more things change, the more they truly stay the same. Sit tight. Stay awake. This too shall pass.