Bad Could Be Good / by Nate Westheimer

Excuse me for being late to the game on this one, but I've been out of the office and away from the tech industry for the last month. As I left, the startup world was just coming to grips with the new economic realities before them. But now I'm coming back to the full on start of the wreckage of an industry.

Never before have I been contacted by so many of my friends in their 30s and 40s -- seasoned sales, HR, and community professionals -- who are out of work and looking for a new job.

All of these folks have been laid off within the last few weeks; all of them worked at startups which have laid off multiple workers and instituted a hiring freeze; all of them in reaction to the latest economic trends.

So, what do we do?

We can't have dozens of amazingly smart and capable people wandering the streets. How could this industry and economy turn around with our best and brightest sitting on the side lines?

The answer, then, is for them to organize and create MORE STARTUPS!

Indeed, now is the time for folks to gather 'round and build something together and build themselves and this economy out of this rut!

I've noticed that those who have lost their jobs go out and try to solve this problem on their own -- email after email to friends, asking for help -- when instead there are dozens like them who are highly skilled and also out of work.

Organize people! Get together! Build something valuable, together! This economy is bad - yes, very bad! - but if folks take advantage of the situation, bad could be good!

At the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, last week, Kevin Rose reminded folks that Digg was born out of the nuclear winter of Web 1.0. He reminded folks that the nuclear winter forced him to build Digg for next to nothing.

You can't build Digg -- we don't need another social news site. But you can build something. Your condition and this economy beg you to build something.