As I feared, the recession is turning out to be much worse than expected. It is going to be sharper, deeper and probably longer than recent shallow recessions. We are just beginning to feel the pain, which will get worse through the Spring and Summer, and perhaps the Fall. Why? Because we are seeing the unwinding of an entire economic model—an economy based on highly leveraged credit-fueled consumption. A system that is not regulated by any government. The US built this economy over the past decade and it is virtually collapsing. Today’s news on the emergency rescue of Wall Street investment firm Bear Sterns is just the beginning.
They key question to ask today is how do we spark economic growth in the US and the world and pull it out of recession. And the answer, very clearly, is innovation. I am offering up four big game-changing areas
of innovation that I think could be engines of economic growth, if...
The big if is politics of course. Who wins the Presidential election will determine, in large degree, whether innovation is allowed to play the role of invigorating the economy.
Here are the four game-changing innovation spaces that I believe can be engines of economic growth to pull the US out of recession:
1) The iPhone platform. The iPhone is developing into the key mobile computing/communicating/connecting platform of the early 21st century and thousands upon thousands of developers are designing new applications for it. The next iterations of the iPhone, with deeper broadband, and, hopefully, a better keyboard, will enable it to fulfill many of the dreams of mobility. Innovation in the iPhone platform could be a key driver.
2) Health Care. This $2.1 billion industry is so ripe for innovation that enormous economic growth can be generated. A technological, organizational and cultural revolution in health care, as the boomers move through it, can transform the economy. This is a huge, pervasive space that can generate enormous growth. It is a game-changer.
3) Green Tech. For both economic and foreign policy reasons, the US and the world must get off carbon-based energy. A massive government-sponsored effort to move the economy and transportation away from oil could generate enormous growth. Again, this is a huge, pervasive space and would prove to be a game-changer.
4) Social Networking. AOL's buy of Bebo is just more proof that the tribalization of the world's population into online and real communities could drive economic growth--if the right advertising formula is found. IT is now generating millions of new online communities with their own cultures as well as connecting to millions of once-isolated village communities, opening up major new opportunities for business. Once the advertising puzzle for social networking is solved, social networking could boom as a driver of economic growth. It could be another game-changer.
Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.