What do we call this mess?


hurricane from satelliteIt’s been difficult to find a good term to describe the economic climate we’re in now.  As difficult as the R-word was for political leaders 6 months ago, having said it a few times, like a kid who uses profanity for the first time, they’ve realized it’s not as painful to utter as they first thought.

But, our economic climate is not your run of the mill recession. It’s far worse than that.  Some people have dared to utter the D-word — yes Depression — to foreshadow what may be in front of us.

Oh yeah, and we can thank Madoff for putting us another $50 Billion in the hole, just in case we needed something to tip us over the edge.

The problem with using “Depression” to describe the situation is that, it’s already taken. We had “The Great Depression” early in the 20th century. Not just a depression, not just the Depression, but the Great Depression.

Not to make light of what happened then, but how can we compare what we are going through with the Great Depression? Few people expect things to be as bad as they were then. So, if we are headed into an economic depression, it will not be as significant as the Great Depression.  So, will this be:

  • the Not-so-Great Depression?
  • The Lesser Depression?
  • The Depressionette?
  • The Decession?
  • The Repression

It’s pretty clear that a good name is needed for this situation. Especially if the folks that got us into this situation are going to have something to refer to a few years from now when they claim they’ve saved us from it. And think of the marketing opportunities for t-shirt’s, mugs, bumper stickers etc. Called it on all of those by the way. They’re mine once a good name is found.

The folks at the NYTimes are asking for suggestions.

My favourite is: The Great Disruption.

Really, I like it. Credit goes to Scott Anthony, who blogs on innovation at Harvard Business Online.

It feels right. It sounds more severe than a recession, but not as bad as the Depression. But it inspires hope, because it’s only a disruption. Things will recover in time.

And it lends itself to some word play. If you develop new products or services during this time, are those examples of disruptive innovation? 🙂

Your thoughts? Any suggestions for other names?

Saeed

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