Is it safer “on the edge” in economically turbulent times like these?

In his recent blog post Innovate or Wither – Personal Strategy for Times of Change, my colleague Lee Wilson asserts that in times of rapid change and market disruption, “…the cutting edge is the safest place to be.”

Although he was talking specifically about educational publishing and technology, I think the underlying truth can be applied widely. Lee writes,

If there is rapid change the inclination of most people is to circle the wagons around the familiar. But, when the market is moving, breaking camp and moving forward is actually a lower risk approach. If you are taking risks in your job and trying to invent the future you are actually in a safer position than those who cling to the status quo.

Several weeks back I posted a video clip from the Dow Jones’ Media & Money conference where several media and marketing executives argued that now is a great time to start a new business. It may sound counter-intuitive but this was echoed by venture fund partner I know who feels the risk profile of digital media services and content compares more favorably to brand-name investments than it has in years.

Everyone running for cover means there is more opportunity on the edge these days. And while your 401K may have dwindled to a dot-401 remember it’s all a matter of your perception and confidence, and those are things you can control.