As we head into the maelstrom of another economic downturn, flacks and spinmeisters will be rushing out to tell the world why the bad times are actually good for their companies. I’m already hearing people deliver some version of this, including the one that while many companies are going to get crushed, this particular company won’t suffer, because they possess the magical Anti-Downturn Potion, or they’re living inside the protection of an Economic Distortion Field. Some go a step further and even say the downturn could be a wonderful opportunity. One example is the statement that MLP put out yesterday regarding Sun. Another was Max Levchin of Slide who told me (see my Newsweek column about it here) the hard times might help his company because some of his competitors will go out of business. (Funny thing about that same Newsweek column was that Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, was quoted saying that his company was “prerevenue” but would do just fine during a downturn, although for others “it’s going to be painful. There’s going to be lots of fallout.” Days later Dorsey was ousted from Twitter. I don’t think that’s the kind of painful fallout he was talking about.
True, some companies gain share during downturns. But most don’t. Most just find that sucky times, um, suck. But times like these provide a rare opportunity for flacks to shine with outrageous lies and made-up stories. So I’ve decided it might be a fun game to keep an eye out for examples of people or companies claiming that the downturn is going to be a good for some company for some reason. The more tortured the logic, the better. Send them in and we can keep track of them here. Peace.