Today’s installment of Talk of the Nation (a good lunchtime or mid-afternoon listen, depending on your time zone) gave many interesting examples of how recessions reshape entire industries. For example, the number of startup auto companies in the U.S. has jumped since the Big Three have been teetering on the verge of collapse or obsolescence. In addition, recessions seem to be times when a lot of people with the entrepreneurial bug make big business leaps, because they don’t have as much to lose as when the economy is strong.
One of the show’s guests (I believe this was Paul Maeder of Highland Capital) named a few industries that are ripe for a shakeup. For example, he commented that home construction is one of the last holdouts of “fully custom tailored” manufacturing, and that more eco-friendly and more modular home construction is a trend that seems to be brewing during this recession. Likewise, economic and environmental concerns led to a 35% increase in bike commuting in New York City in 2008, which is forcing the city to look at its general transportation plan, traffic patterns, bike parking locations, etc. This increase has also caused sales of commuter bikes to go “through the roof,” according to one bike dealer, with bike companies moving R&D efforts from high-end racing bikes to more modest around-town models.
So, what major changes can we expect in the translation industry when the recession shakes out? I have to say that while I can see some of our industry’s bottlenecks, I’m not really sure how the industry might or should change due to the economic slowdown. Thoughts?