A key measure of the US economy, the ISM Services Index, just plummeted this morning to a level not seen since Oct. 2001. Anything under 50 indicates “recession” and the ISM index fell to 41.9 for January from 54.4 in December. That’s a huge drop.
Virtually every CEO in the US and the smart ones in Asia and Europe will be calling meetings today to discuss cutting costs. I know that most CEOs in India and China still believe they will dodge the US recession (they told me so in Davos) but they are probably. However much consumers in India and China continue to buy stuff, the downward drag of the biggest consuming nation in history—America—will inevitably pull India and China downward into lower economic growth.
It's time like this that I remember what Sam Lucente, the innovation and design director over at HP, once told me. When the new CEO Mark Hurd came in and HP needed to cut costs and streamline to position itself for growth, Lucente showed Hurd how design and innovation could do just that, while creating much better printers and computers at the same time. After saving HP millions even as he brought out better machiens, Lucente had "cred" in the corner office.
This is a good time for designers and innovators to seek cred.
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