Anyone driving around at night in The Netherlands lately will have noticed that it is considerably darker than it used to be. Why? Because the Dutch government implemented one of their many plans to save money and help us out of the economic recession. Apparently turning off the lights on the motorways at certain hours in areas where there is less traffic will save us € 35m annually. € 35m, a very large sum of money that was being used simply to keep the asphalt lit. The first thing that came up in my mind when I heard this news was: "Why only now?".
Why did we need a recession, 4 years of a recession before someone decided that we are wasting money with a solarium for empty tarmac? In some northern provinces, and many countries around the world, it is perfectly normal to have unlit highways.
This is a classic example of how a crisis can lead to innovation. Rahm Emanuel said "Never let a good recession go to waste", and he was right. We apparently needed to brainstorm for ways to improve the economy for 4 years before someone thought of this idea.
Maybe that's a lesson for all of us... Instead of just thinking how we can get more clients, bigger projects and in the end more money, maybe we should imagine what we would do in a crisis. What if your product suddenly is offered for free by Google? What will you do then? Innovate, and you will more forward!
"If you're not moving forward, you're standing still."