Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Mater Artium Necissitas

The pace of change lately reminds me of another deep economic trough I experienced when I first moved to San Francisco in February of 1992. A commercial real estate bubble had recently popped and construction was at a standstill. As this was just before the rise of the Internet and the dot.com boom, living in The City was relatively affordable. A person had the pick of the town's neighborhoods, although the job situation was stagnant. After 1995, that changed very, very quickly.
We're a boom, bust, boom, and another bust past that particular era today. While there is a sense that times are tough, even panicky, there is a countervailing upswing in entrepreneurialism, a willingness to try anything. That's the same spirit that fueled the period between the CRE collapse of the late 1980s and 1995, when the Internet took over. Mater Artium Necissitas -- Necessity is the Mother of Invention -- is a constant truism in the downturns. San Franciscans embody that idea whether its selling goods on the sly at a music festival, holding a pop-up street fair, or setting up a food cart, making way for the next economic epoch.

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