Fuck the Recession – Links to think about

The worst thing you can do if you read the below post and what I consider some inspiring links and feel energised from them is to bookmark this blog post or any of those links. So let’s make an agreement before we begin. If you like this blog post, don’t bookmark it and don’t go off and write a blog post and link to this. If you really really want to do something go off and do it, there and then. Register a domain for a business idea, drop every damned thing and do that. Way better than that, walk out of the office or where you happen to be with a pen and paper and using the energy or elation that you have, plan something out on a pen and paper right then. But do not, do not, DO NOT bookmark, do not consign to the back of the browser drawer these webpages. This allows your excited brain to eject those feelings and move back into doing something comfortable, routine, mundane.

But do not spec out an elaborate plan either. Concentrate on one piece of it. See that piece as a a whole part and work on figuring out that and that alone. Forget the overall system that it ties into right now. You want to challenge all parts of your brain and get them working together. Visio is evil. Wire diagrams are evil. Bookmarks (I’m just reiterating) are evil. It is better to build a nut and bolt for a system than it is to spec it out. Yeah you want to build a new car but concentrate on the alternator for now. (Spot the guy who calls the AA to start his car)

Here’s another thing. If the idea turns out to be shit. Grand. Your brain however has now been exercised. It’ll let you know it liked it. Pretend that silly joke about the guy that made 1up and 2up and 3up and gave up at 6up is true. Think of these as warm-up laps and one warm-up lap you realise you’re not so much running as flying. When it all clicks and it all makes sense you’re going to have a good environment to start. Here’s why:

The economy is going to shit but with it prices are falling down, people need money, companies are charging less, people are charging less, many are happy to take a job that pays the mortgage and will work at home afterhours doing work to pay the other bills, work you can provide, non-unionised labour is going to be cheaper, people will want to work on things that help their portfolio and get their name spread if YOU do well. Inflation is going to go into negative percentages soon. 2009 is the best year ever for those with spare cash or who can rob a piggy bank for some. Fuck the recession, break the routine. Fuck the recession, try something. Fuck the recession, build something. Fuck the recession, fail at something. Fuck the recession, start again. FTR. And yes I have badges that say this.

One in a series. And being another. And Hero.

And with my lecture to you out of the way…

Photo owned by karpov the wrecked train (cc)


The mobile web is here. Look at how much mobile web traffic the iPod Touch has created. Think app store.

An idea that started on Twitter is expanding out now that they have traction.

Om Malik talks about 2009 being the year of the hacker. Go try things out. Go write stuff, go break stuff, go use your spare time to do.

Less features, less rules, less restrictions and the community will evolve your platform.

β€œGiven fewer rules, people actually behaved in more creative, co-operative, and collaborative (or competitive, as the case may be) ways.”

Tim O’Reilly suggests working on the stuff that matters. Brilliant essay.

I’ve been a professional developer about ten years now and I don’t want to do it any more. I don’t mean developing, I love coding. I mean work.

Read on.

34 Responses to “Fuck the Recession – Links to think about”

  1. Joe Scanlon says:

    I know not all the good websites are registered – but sometimes it does feel like that. Damn good post. Thanks.

  2. Nellboy says:

    I dunno, you really need some serious moxy to do this, and some serious skills… not for the faint of heart… I’ve been studying for 2 years to even get near starting out on my own… but it is rewarding

  3. Inspiring post and no I didn’t bookmark it.

  4. MJ says:

    Brilliant work Damien, excellent stuff. I feel like shouting from the rooftops – “dont’ be afraid!” to all the people who are nervous of taking a risk after redundancy etc – it’s *not* a bad time to start a business, because it’s never a bad time to have a good idea. Thing is, anyone can have a good idea. Hopefully this post and others like it will encourage people to turn those ideas into fruitful businesses – honest ones that aren’t greedily popping 100% markups here and there, but good honest businesses that echo quality and value for money – what Ireland was all about before the Celtic Tiger Cubs took over.

  5. Gamma Goblin says:

    Scooter are to release a single as a follow up to their 1999 hit “Fuck The Millennium”. Anyone want to take a stab at the title of it? πŸ™‚

    [For completeness, the KLF under the pseudo-name 2K, released a single with the same title in 1997. This was the inspiration for the song by Scooter. N.B. The comment about a new Scooter tune is more than likely a joke. I say more than likely because you can’t rule out anything these days :)]

  6. Superb post Damien!

    I’m off to punch my boss in the back of the head…

  7. Aidan says:

    A dam great post Damien, but not strong enough as ide like it. i am sick to death of all the begrugers , i left a secure job to start my own company last april and i haven’t looked back, never been happier. half the problem is that the media seems to wish we were in a major recession.

  8. Neil says:

    Great post – consider it bookmarked πŸ˜‰

  9. The first few lines of this post demonstrate your intimate knowledge of the process of reverse psychology

  10. Nev says:

    It’s not bookmarked – it’s printed…. πŸ™‚

    Great Post Damien. And even though, I’m in the process of a few ideas now anyway – this has just reiterated the need to get motivated an get the gears in action – motivation and initiative are sometimes my biggest problem…

  11. Great post. I remember dark times in the 80s. I shared a bedroom with three brothers and walked to school barefoot (slight exageration). What kept the show on the road was mutual support from the community. In Dublin that’s largely gone. I don’t know who the hell lives on my floor in my anonymous appartment block never mind my street…

    At risk of sounding completely gooey, the community on the Irish internet is certainly inspiring, supportive and uplifting and posts like these show it. We’re all kind of fecked but at least we’re all fecked together.

    I’ve been running my job CV site since November and have sucessfully avoided bothering social welfare through sheer belligerence for as long. If I don’t get a job I’m not going to lay down and die or psychologically wilt away on a dole que.

    FTR up its hairy hole.

  12. I wanted to leave a comment and sign up for this kick in the pants. I have some wacky back-burner ideas that need legs. My goal for 2009 is to create work for myself, and claim authority to propose, budget, plan and make stuff up.

    I was at an opening for a show here in Sligo today. And with a few arts council senior staff in attendance, people took it as a general opportunity to complain about “the lack of funding”. There’s alot we can do to just *get things off the ground*, and all without funding. Hey, stick your neck out, if it floats, you might even attract some funding. It’s called the arts for a reason: be creative…

    Anyway! Just wanted to link the full rant in my comment here.

    OK, no blogs/tweets/nothin for me tomorrow, I have sh*t to do! Love this post.

  13. I think fucking the recession is a great idea. Certainly makes a lot more sense that sticking your fingers in your ears and pretending it’s not happening.

    I was presenting a “how to market in the recession” thing for the West Cork Entrerprise Board last Monday, and the wonderful thing was around 15% of the people present had started new businesses within the last couple of months.

    One thing I’d add is this: if you have a dozen differnt ideas, try them all at once (or to the extent you can). Reason being, if only one works and it’s the 12th one, you can be in deep shit by then.

    Start small, minimum exposure to it going wrong, and always test.

    — Jon

  14. Nellboy says:

    @Jon McCulloch

    Hi Jon, I understand what you’re getting at, but surely you’re more likely to succeed if you give one project your full attention, rather than trying to execute a whole load of projects at once, no?

  15. Nellboy,

    Yes — which is why I said “to the extent you can”. I was really coming at it as a marketer. So, if you’re thinking, “shall I advertise, send direct mail, post card, flyer, online…?”, the answer is do them all at once.

    Obviously, trying to make a dozen different businesses work is probably beyond most of us, but testing a dozen different niches within our business isn’t.

    Am I making more sense this time?

    — Jon

  16. Nellboy says:

    @jon McCulloch

    yes, you are… sorry, i missed the ‘marketing’ angle, I actually thought you meant ‘business ideas’, as opposed to ‘marketing ideas’

    For me, a project is a big undertaking, but yes, that makes sense


  17. Great post Damian ,

    With so many people being taken in with all of the doom and gloom at present , there has never been a better time to start a business . Less competition , as others fear making the leap , cheaper rents , everything is negotiable , etc . I think that this will be seen as a great era for the entrepreneur as many more people will realise that they have the ability to set up in business and take control of their own lives . As Sean Kelly once said when asked why he would train with a basic amateur when he could be training with his fellow professionals ‘ You’ve a pair of balls , I’ve a pair of balls ! ‘

  18. worldwidecycles,

    Damned right. There is no doubt SOME industries just don’t work any more (client of mine, for example… his original business simply doesn’t exist now), and some have had to change.

    But there are uncounted opportunities if you look for them.

    — Jon

  19. When they made millions it didn’t matter a joy to me
    Why should it matter now that they’re all losing it again?

    ‘Fuck the Recession’, I say, ‘fuck it.

  20. […] frankly, get the f**k on with it. As Damien said, f**k the recession. Tomorrow I’m going off to make my own chances. ← […]

  21. Aidan says:

    damien, can you email me privatley i have an idea worth submitting id like you to be involved


  22. […] mentions: Mulley and his FTR mantra. Seth Godin and his […]

  23. If you’re got fired up enough to set up your own web business and registered your new URL go to 99designs.com to get your logo done for seriously low cost. If you don’t have a URL you could visit incspring.com and get a URL and a logo at a relatively low cost. I am not connected with either of these sites. I’ve just used them recently and found them really useful.

  24. I agree Fuck the Recession.

    Whilst it is awful 10% of the working population may be unemployed that still means 90% of the working population are still employed!

    The company I work for is targetting a 17% uplift in revenue this year, and I seriously think that we will achieve it. To put it mildly the senior team are ‘busting their balls’ to identify new opportunities and as a result, at present, we do not have a single consultant sat on the bench.

    A recession is nasty but it also provides numerous opportunities for those willing to grab them.


  25. Your damn right! Fuck it, grow up and see what really matters in life! not that X5 you have parked in ur drive!

  26. Paddy on the Dole,

    Instead of complaining about what other people have and perhaps thinking you are somehow “entitled” to a slice of what they have worked for, you could be “Paddy In The Library Learning New Skills To Increase My Value In The Market”.

    Just a thought, you know.

    — Jon

  27. Jon,

    I would be in the library learning new skills if I could afford to but looking for a job is a priority.

    And as for complaining about what people have…… it makes no difference to me that someone bought an overpriced house or car and is now lumped in debt. Thats their problem.

    I only feel sorry for the fact that they put value in something of materialistic value, borrowed money to pay for it and now whine about it.

    My thoughts πŸ™‚

  28. Well, you have the evenings, when I presume you’re not out looking for a new job?

    Point is, everyone else is doing the same thing — looking for a job. Yet employers are also in the shit. I’m sure they’d love to give you a job, because that’d implicitly mean they had the business themselves to be able to.

    So, since you were so polite in your response to me (most would not have been), here are some tips. You can ignore them or take them on board as you will.

    First, understand no one cares about you except perhaps your family. In life, we’re all doing what we feel is in our own interests. So potential employers are thinking about themselves.

    Your job, then, is to show them you are of value to them. They DON’T just need people to work for them. They can get them anywhere. You need to be able to solve their problems.

    So. A couple of things you can do. They don’t cost you anything but time.

    1. Call your existing and past customers/clients and ask them what they want or need and then just listen. Go away, do the research, find at least 3 ways to give them what they need and then call them back. EVERYONE I know who has ever done this has got work out of it.

    2. A variation of the above. Call them and ask them what their biggest problem is and then how much it’s worth for you to be able to solve it for them. If you can’t help with the #1, ask about the #2, and so on.

    If you don’t have past/existing clients, identify a list of, say, 100 firms you really think you can help, and call them.

    Do your reasearch into their business. Pick firms and talk to people in those industries. Find out what the common problems are and snout around the competitors of the firms you’d like to work with.

    — Jon

  29. Jon,

    Appreciated. Very valid points!

    I’ll email you now.


  30. Glider says:

    Great blog – thinking like this needs to be encouraged and recognised.

    There is a lot to be said for putting your head down and getting on with it. Ignore others that try to deflect you – if they have nothing positive to say then they should stay quiet. Sheer pig-headedness can overcome lots of things.

    I started one business in 2001 when the dotcom crash happened after I lost my job. Now working on expanding that one further and also starting another one in a different market altogether.

    BTW – I want some of those FTR badges!!

  31. Hi Damien,
    Very inspiring post!! I am trying to set up and my own and it is damn hard…harder than I ever antisipated…Sometimes I feel like giving up but know I cant as I have but many long hours and effort into it. I am a 60`s baby so I am re-learning everyday which excites my brain.
    But with this new budget coming up I just hope they lower the VAT to help people like me to compete with our foreign neighbours.
    Thank-you for your excellent post.

  32. Fergal says:

    Hi Damien,

    This post inspired me to set up norecessionroundhere.com – especially the paragraph:

    “But do not spec out an elaborate plan….”

    We have just gone and done it. It may never become anything but wtf we did it anyway!

    A fluffy link would be appreciated but it was not the purpose of this post (I will understand if you don’t even publish this post).

    Just thought I’d show this post is still making a difference 4 to 5 months later.

    Best of luck,