Third party request for help

April 11, 2009

Walter Derzko is looking for examples of businesses that have started in the recession or have seized opportunities. More details below, if anyone has any then comment here (I will advise Walter to monitor) or email here.

Hi David,

I was wondering if you could please circulate this notice to your network of colleagues.

I’m about 3 weeks away from submitting my manuscript to the publisher, and I’m looking for more examples of business that were started in the recession or that have seized opportunities resulting from the recession

Thanks in advance

Walter Derzko

Smart Economy


Dear Colleagues

Re Opportunity Recognition in a Recession

I’m looking for more current recession-related examples of businesses that were started in the recession or that have seized opportunities resulting from the recession for my new book-Hard Times Golden Opportunities or even other examples of recession-specific scenarios, beyond the 45 listed below.

The titles and descriptors are a “working version” only and will be modified by the time the book comes out. I’m also open to changing /modifying the titles of the Opportunity windows to simpler synonyms that a lay person (reader) could understand.

Everyone who provides a real or anonymous example that is used in the book will be duly acknowledged on page 2 in the book as an opportunity contributor. I’m also looking for companies that had the guts to launch or launch new products or services in this recession

Thank you in advance

Walter Derzko

Smart Economy



Hard Times Golden Opportunities > 45 Recession focused Opportunity Scenarios and one-line descriptors v2.0 (PRIVATE & CONFIDENTIAL)

1) Cast Away / Left Behind Opportunities

Opportunities that are ignored or discarded by the mainstream players who are pursuing dominant trends (see Trends Opportunities)

2) Cast Away / Left Behind Opportunities Layoffs and Labor Pool

Staffing opportunities resulting from mass layoffs during a recession, migration and seniors returning to the workforce to make ends meet.

3) Cast Away / Left Behind Opportunities—Bankruptcies

Corporate Asset opportunities from companies declaring bankruptcy or distressed firms selling off assets

4) Cast Away / Left Behind Opportunities–Redundant Equipment

Redundant Equipment Opportunities from distressed organizations

5) Cast Away / Left Behind Opportunities–Killed off opportunities

Business ideas or projects, that may be perfectly viable, but are victims of cold, hard, recessionary decisions and are cast off by established players or incumbents

6) Trends Opportunities

Bandwagon Opportunities that result from a confluence of major trends, such as social, political, technological etc fairly visible to all and consequently become quickly overcrowded

7) Niche Opportunities

(synonyms: cubbyhole, corner, cranny, pigeonhole etc)

Opportunities are explored with newly-discovered niche customers in niche markets away from the mainstream spotlight and incumbent market players.

8) Situation Opportunities

Unique or repeating situations or events that present opportunities

9) Changing Circumstance Opportunities  –àNostalgia Opportunities

Positive or negatively changing circumstances that lead to new opportunities

10) Shortage Opportunities

Products or service or staff shortages that present opportunities to fill gap or design substitutes

11) Reversal Opportunities

Suddenly shifting trends (peaks or bottoms) that offer unique, one-time opportunities

12) Synergy Opportunities

Combining previously unassociated components, attributes or features that offer greater value combined than separate

13) Variable or Dynamic Value Opportunities

Opportunities that change in value for different customers depending on a significant attribute that they value

14) Customer Value Shift Opportunities

Sudden shifts in customer needs, wants or desires and underlying values that offers both threats and opportunities

15) Piggyback Opportunities

Opportunities resulting from a smaller player riding on the efforts or coat-tails of a larger established player

16) Barter, Reciprocity or Tit-for-Tat Opportunities

I-help-you and you-help-me opportunities, which could involve barter of goods or services or contacts

17) Risk Shifting Opportunities

Opportunities resulting when one player in the value chain shifts the risk down the value chain

18) Bundling Opportunities/Un-Bundling Opportunities

Opportunities resulting from players coupling or uncoupling their product or service offering

19) Value Chain Migration Opportunities

Opportunities that result from shifting away from your traditional position in the value chain

20) Value Chain Interaction Opportunities

Novel opportunities that result from the interaction of new players or products or services in a traditional value chain

21) Science-Based Discovery Opportunities

Incorporating new science discoveries into your products or services that solve existing problems or offer new-to-the-world capabilities or features

22) Import Opportunities

Importing ideas and opportunities from one geographic location where they are common place to where they are novel

23) Core Technology Transfer Opportunities

Shifting core technology capabilities from an obvious but recession-prone application to a less obvious, but more profitable one

24) Product Attribute Opportunities

Changing, adding or removing products or service features that create new opportunities

25) Product Fault Opportunities

Addressing and removing tolerable faults in products or services

26) Industry Disruption Opportunities

Introducing disruptive technology, products or services that over through or obscolese the current business models or industry models

27) Information Asymmetry Opportunities

Opportunities that result from an imbalance of information or unequal assess to significant market information

28) System Failure Opportunities

Opportunities that result from unforeseen or unanticipated cascading failures in a system or market

29) Competitor’s Negative Publicity Opportunities

Opportunities resulting from the negative media coverage of a direct or indirect competitor

30) Hype or let-down Opportunities

Opportunities resulting from the recognition that a product’s capabilities have been over-hyped

31) Constraint Removal Opportunities

Opportunities from the ability to remove traditional barriers or constraints from around the use of a product or service

32) Complementor Opportunities

Opportunities that result from the actions or inactions of someone who influences the buying decisions of your target customers

33) Paradox Opportunities

Opportunities that result from your ability to untangle and offer a solution to a vexing industry paradox, anomaly or contradiction

34) Ambiguity Opportunities

Opportunities that result from your unique ability to clarify an ambiguous situation

35) Uncertainty Opportunities

Opportunities that result from your ability to provide clarity or novel options in a situation which everyone considers uncertain

36) Complexity Opportunities

Opportunities where your provide an understandable framework that explains complex interacting forces

37) Equivocality Opportunities

Opportunities from being deliberately evasive or misleading (what’s acceptable in society..from harmless white lies vs deliberately damaging)

38) Dichotomous (or two-sided) Thinking Opportunities

Opportunities that result from providing novel options or choices beyond the immediate extremes, yes/no; black/white, right/wrong thinking etc

39) Business Model Challenge Opportunities– Asset Light

Opportunities resulting from shifting your business model away from intrinsic business assets

40) Business Model Challenge Opportunities—Strategic Decisions

Opportunities from examining all the strategic decisions involving your business model that made sense six months ago or a year back, that don’t today

41) Recession Wild Cards- -Second run on banks (I didn’t know there was a first one)

Opportunities that could result from unexpected recession-related crisis events or wild cards (High impact but low probability)

42) Recession Wild Cards–Hyperinflation scenario opportunities

Opportunities that result from a sudden reversal from a deflationary –recession environment to an inflationary or stagflation (low growth but rising prices)

43) Recession Wild Cards–W-shaped or V-shaped recession

Opportunities resulting from a flat bottom recession with multiple false recovery starts (like the 1930’s)

44) Recession Wild Cards–Extended L-recession

Opportunities resulting from a little to no-growth recovery, lingering along the market bottom

45) Combination Opportunities or Hyper-Opportunity Windows

Combining two or more opportunity scenarios or windows from above in a way that a competitor finds difficult to copy or match to create an hyper opportunity window

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