If you are considering becoming a 1M/1M premium member and would like to join our mailing list to receive ongoing information, please sign up here.

Subscribe to our Feed

Forbes Column 2009: Recession Entrepreneurship

Posted on Friday, Mar 13th 2009

Zero-In this week focuses on ideas for Recesssion Entrepreneurship. Let me know (in the comments below) if you are hatching one of these.

And here are two excellent related posts from Don Dodge: Create 50,000 startups and 250,000 jobs for $1 billion and VC investors make Silicon Valley the startup capital of the world.

This segment is a part in the series : Forbes Column 2009

Hacker News
() Comments

Featured Videos


Nice article. Reading this made me think of a few things.

The initial quote about “going for government jobs” made me want to cry. I read this post in the WSJ about Atlas Shrugged and it is worth the read. (The book is long; but it is must read for any entrepreneur)

More to the point of the article, two thoughts.

First, inside Shipwire we are proud to be succeeding in this market. It is not easy; but, as entrepreneurs we know that when we succeed in this market we’ll be “battle tested” for better markets.

Second, distance learning isn’t just for online universities. Shipwire helps SMB retailers grow into new markets. However, we need to support a lot of merchants. Webinars (both group and 1on1) are absolutely critical to us being able to help customers when they need it and be able to troubleshoot everything in real-time. I just read this article from SaaS implementation company OpSource (CEO Treb is a great guy and I used OpSource at a previous company so can attest to their professionalism). Note what he says about software providers that are going SaaS needing to know about online training.

Thank you,


Nate Gilmore Friday, March 13, 2009 at 2:28 PM PT


You reminded me about the whole Ayn Rand spell where I skipped classes, skipped friends and skipped dinners to finish the books starting from We the Living to Fountain Head to Atlas Shrugged.

One needs to say no to easy business, comfort and fame to stick to ideology and belief. Though it was depicted as a natural decision for the heroes.

What Sramana has captured in this article is easy bucks to get in the market and influence the life of a few students and making money selling the inner motivating and mentoring capabilities of the right people.

It is extremely hard to scale this to a large corporation and go beyond making good money and having a good life.

If this needs to be done in a manner which changes the face of teaching in the world and making learning easy for the students there is a lot of hurdles to cross beyond choosing the right tool or the right content.

Every student’s mind is a different universe and building a company which helps ‘mentoring’ students over the Internet is asking too much on the technology and the number of right people needed to have a real impact.

I agree we can always create a framework where “willing” students can come and get ‘information’ BUT to create a platform where one can mentor a ‘non-willing’ student to do great in learning, I see a big gap in technology and too much focus on the individual quality of the teacher.

A lot of work needs to be done to package mentor-ship if that is at all possible.
Mentoring a student is a full time job and beyond teaching maths (here teaching means helping the student to understand maths).

I spend whatever time I get to teach my own kids and I see what I could have done given more time and having a better controlled environment.

I think Internet can provide a ‘willing’ student with more tools and make it easy for them to find out information and can connect to right people but building a company which provides mentor-ship over Internet to a very large number of students is still far away from reality.

However, I completely agree that there is a big market of teaching students and for a certain subjects we already have the right technologies to be able to do that over Internet. And in this market of recession, people can certainly use all their qualities to be used to pass a few years.


Santanu Saturday, March 14, 2009 at 11:48 AM PT

Santanu, Building an enterprise is not for everyone. My point is that there is plenty of room for building small businesses that can sustain people. With the colossal unemployment rate we’re facing, it is essential that people learn to make a living through alternative means.

Sramana Mitra Saturday, March 14, 2009 at 1:23 PM PT