Recession, the father of invention

There are many conflicting views on what will lead this country out of the current economic recession, but Louis Foreman, the executive producer of the Emmy award–winning PBS show Everyday Edisons and the co-author of The Independent Inventor’s Handbook, is certain that innovation will be on the forefront of the recovery effort.

According to Louis, there has never been a better time in recent history for innovation: “It has been innovation that has led this country out of recessions in the past, and it will be innovation that creates new opportunities in the future.”

Jeff Bezos, founder and one of the world’s great innovators, agrees. Addressing the recession in a recent interview he announced that “We’re going to invent our way out of this problem [recession]. This is a very inventive country. And, in fact, everywhere I travel all over the world I meet young people working on alternative energy and all kinds of new technologies that are going to make our economy more productive.”

And if you look back over time, many amazing inventions were developed during the recessions or The Great Depression. A few examples:

1930s Great Depression – Scotch Tape, Revlon Nail Polish, Miracle Whip, the Fluorescent Light bulb
1950s Recession – McDonalds, Hula Hoop, Pampers
1970s Stagflation – Post-it Note, UPC Code, Microsoft
1980s Recession – Diet Coke, Microsoft Word, MTV

Who knows what amazing inventions the current recession will produce? Ask Louis Foreman in a couple of months, when he wraps up his whirlwind tour of nearly two dozen cities, speaking to local inventor groups around the nation and, perhaps, giving his feedback on the Next Big Thing of 2010.

Click here to watch Louis’s appearance on a local Nashville TV show a few days ago.

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