Is Recession the Opportunity of a Lifetime?

It’s so much fun to disagree with Seth Godin.  I spend so much time on his blog admiring his insights that it’s very rare for me to disagree.  But here’s what he said about recession:

So, there’s plenty of bad economic
news floating around. From the price of oil to Wall Street to bailouts
to the death of traditional advertising.

Which is great news for anyone hoping to grow or to make an impact.

Change (and the fortunes that go with it) is almost always made
during the down part of the cycle. It might not be fun, but it’s
exciting. (Where do you think Google came from?) The opportunity is to
find substantial opportunities (in any field) that deliver real value
and have a future. Those jobs/investments/companies/ideas are
undervalued right now, but not for long.

I definitely agree that there are plenty of opportunities, but here’s my little quibble:  the best opportunities are not during expansions or contractions, but during turning points.  If you figured out that home prices would not grow to the sky two years ago (as my smart nephew did), you pocketed big money and sat immune to current problems.  But think about the next upturn.  All of the country’s sales people will be discouraged.  Their ranks will have been cut back, so the ones still on the job will be simply taking orders.  They will be so discouraged that they won’t be calling on new prospects.  And then the economic turnaround will come.  A small handful of sales people will call a prospect for the eighth or ninth time and find–they’ve got an order.  The customer’s previous vendor hadn’t called recently, so why not give the business to the hungry young kid?  And the hungry young kids of the country will clean up.  When the turning point comes, the opportunities will be abundant for those who have been out hustling.

So I imagine Seth will say to me, "You and I don’t disagree at all.  It’s the foundation laid in the recession that will lead to the great opportunities of at the turning point."  The only problem is, I’d really like to find something to disagree with him about.