In my last blog post, I shared with you my 2010 resolution to point out more of the positive things that I see.  What better way to do that than to share some optimistic thoughts I have about the future.  Maybe the contrarian in me just can't accept conventional wisdom that everything is awful.  Everywhere I look, I see reasons to be optimistic about the future.  Here are a few places where I see some positives going into 2010:

  • U.S. Economy — Amidst the financial crisis and high unemployment is a relatively affluent and inventive nation — we are a people who does not stay down for long. We embrace ideas and we're tolerant of each other for the most part. We fix problems and we make life better in the end. Sure, we have some trouble as a nation right now. And we're spending money like we have it for reasons that still escape me. But people get creative when they're pressed. We've faced a rough patch in the economy, and now people are dusting themselves off and reinventing themselves to be more competitive. We'll start to see the benefits of this in 2010.
  • Austin — Look around, Austinites. This city has not even remotely faced the same economic problems of other cities in the United States. There are a lot of reasons for this — some economic, some political. So we've been pretty fortunate in this turn. What's the impact for entrepreneurs? More people than ever want to live here. As such, there has been a much needed influx of talent from the West Coast (California & the Pacific Northwest). Add that to the fact that Austin is flush with talented developers, and you have a city that is ripe for further technology entrepreneurship. It's all looking great for Austin in 2010.
  • Entrepreneurship - The revolution brought about by eal-time and social media technologies are creating a ton of opportunities for tech startups.  Advances in clean energy and bioscience are fueled today by big government investments and increased M&A activity respectively.  Other types of startups can rest assured that building a business today in lean times is great — rising tides raise all boats, so if you can compete in 2010 you'll be even better positioned for beyond as the economy picks up again.
  • Old Media — Yes, the newspaper business is in serious trouble.  But it isn't over for big media companies who still have a significant local presence.  Many large local media companies have had a brutal 2009 — cutting staff and getting more efficient as they figure out how to modernize their business in 2010.  But this is exactly what is needed.  It's a first step amongst many that will convert local newspapers that survive into tech-savvy 21st century publications that fully embrace the fact that distribution is now a digital, and not a physical problem.

Let's see how all of this plays out!