Innovation during recession?

Hewlett Packard was launched (from the famous garage) in the middle of the Great Depression.  So was Sentry Safes.  It’s when Birds Eye took frozen food to market for the first time, and Fortune Magazine began.  Television, nylon, fiberglass, and synthetic rubber were all introduced then.

After World War II, and during a severe economic crisis in Japan, Toyota figured out how to fund car manufacturing by minimizing the cash tied-up in inventory.  The Toyota Production System led to the quality movement and lean manufacturing.

During the 1990-1991 recession, Michael Dell perfected his demand-pull production system, Intel launched their “Intel Inside” campaign, and Kodak was at work on the first digital camera for consumers.  It’s also when we first saw dial-up internet access, the first internet browser, and DVDs.

In 2001, Apple launched the first iPod.  Steve Jobs said they increased their investment in innovation at that time, and they’re doing the same in this recession.

What’s your excuse for holding back on innovation today?

2 thoughts on “Innovation during recession?

  1. I concur. It seems like a lot of large companies are really struggling from this economic slowdown. I wonder if this will set the stage for many small businesses to step up once the recovery starts. Typically they are the ones that are big on innovation also.

  2. Pingback: Innovation during recession? « Bob Legge — Return on People

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