What do General Motors, Burger King, CNN, Uber and Airbnb all have in common?
The were all founded during economic downturns.
GM launched in 1908, when the US economy was in turmoil after “the Panic of 1907” financial crisis. Meanwhile, Burger King flipped its first patty in 1953, when the US was again in recession, and CNN started its news broadcasts in 1980, when US inflation hit almost 15%.
For both Uber and Airbnb, they set up business during the global financial crisis of 2007-09.
These examples show that many of the best, and longest-lasting, companies are set up during downturns, according to Dane Strangler, a fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Centre, in Washington DC. He says that the difficult economic backdrop makes them both tougher and more nimble for years to come.
“There’s this trial by fire idea,” he says. “If you get