The economic situation is apparently so grim that some experts fear we may be in for a stretch as bad as the mid seventies. When Microsoft and Apple were founded.
As those examples suggest, a recession may not be such a bad time to start a startup. I’m not claiming it’s a particularly good time either. The truth is more boring: the state of the economy doesn’t matter much either way.
If we’ve learned one thing from funding so many startups, it’s that they succeed or fail based on the qualities of the founders. The economy has some effect, certainly, but as a predictor of success it’s rounding error compared to the founders.
Which means that what matters is who you are, not when you do it. If you’re the right sort of person, you’ll win even in a bad economy. And if you’re not, a good economy won’t save you. Someone who thinks “I better not start a startup now, because the economy is so bad” is making the same mistake as the people who thought during the Bubble “all I have to do is start a startup, and I’ll be rich.”