Lousy time for a technology startup? Ask Bill Gates

There's been plenty of speculation that we won't be seeing a lot of startup activity this year. But consider the environment some of today's IT and corporate giants dealt with when they were starting up.

There's been plenty of speculation that we won't be seeing a lot of startup activity this year. But consider the environment some of today's IT and corporate giants dealt with when they were starting up.

An article in Fortune identifies five prominent companies that all got their starts during tough economic times, including IBM, United Technologies, GE, Proctor & Gamble, and GM.

IBM came into being as the Tabulating Machine Company at the tail end of the so-called Long Depression of 1873-1896. United Technologies came into existence in 1929, at the dawn of the Great Depression.

"Think a recession is a bad time to start a company? Imagine if the founders of these major corporations had thought the same...," the article states.

But wait, the article forgot one fairly prominent IT company. Microsoft was started by Bill Gates and Paul Allen on April 4, 1975. Right in the midst of the worse recession to hit since World War II, when unemployment was nearing nine percent.

So go ahead, get that new technology venture going. The rough-and-tumble economy didn't stop Herman Hollerith (founder of IBM) or Bill Gates.

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