Recessions are usually considered bad things, especially for those who invest in businesses. Many of those investments will end up accelerating into a crash and burn scenario. I realize that it must be pretty painful for all concerned.
The reasons why recessions are good for business in the aggregate, especially venture capital-supported businesses, are that they focus more limited resources on companies providing maximum value to customers. Recessions get rid of companies that provide minimal value, leaving those companies with a higher value proposition to thrive.
Also, recessions tend to cull out the less-capable entrepreneurs and managers from the more capable. In times like these, only the strongest entrepreneurs are able to obtain financing and support for their ventures.
Lastly, those companies that are around at the end of the recession, which are presumably the strongest companies, usually create the greatest amount of value for their investors and managers as the general economy pulls out of the recession.
To the victor go the spoils.
Alan Patricof is a highly regarded digital media/Internet company investor, who founded the New York based venture capital firm of Greycroft Partners.
He was recently interviewed about the differences between companies in New York versus the West Coast and also had some interesting comments and perspective on the effect of the current financial problems on the prospects for venture capital investment:http://www.thedeal.com/blogs/video/behind-the-money/behind-the-money-alan-patricof.php
Here's a great conceptual post from Seth Godin on the different ways that people spend their time. It should be thought-provoking...http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2008/11/reacting-respon.html