Amar Bhide has an excellent op-ed on the resiliency of venturesome consumption even in times of financial crisis over at the Wall Street Journal today. Click through to read the entire thing, but here’s a bit of silver lining:
The good news is that the cutbacks are likely to be more severe in the less productive kind of consumption. History suggests that Americans don’t shirk from venturesome consumption in hard times. The personal computer took off in the dark days of the early 1980s. I paid more than a fourth of my annual income to buy an IBM XT then — as did millions of others. Similarly, in spite of the Great Depression, the rapid increase in the use of new technologies made the 1930s a period of exceptional productivity growth. Today, sales of Apple’s iPhone continue to expand at double-digit rates. Low-income groups (in the $25,000 to $49,999 income segment) are showing the most rapid growth, with resourceful buyers using the latest models as their primary device for accessing the Internet.
Amar’s concept of the venturesome consumer is fully developed in his recent PUP title, The Venturesome Economy: How Innovation Sustains Prosperity in a More Connected World.