A reader writes:

I am a self employed environmental risk manager who depends on the trading of commercial and industrial real estate, so suffice it to say that my business has been nearly destroyed. My focus over the past three months has been visiting clients of all cloth in an effort to stay in touch and learn how different segments are coping with extreme market conditions. What I have found gives me some hope that this economy will eventually emerge stronger.

Most conversations begin with some lamentations about the cliff that we have gone off, but always move towards discussing what steps they are taking to be more competitive and what new areas can be explored. It seems as though everyone I have met have been engaging in serious brainstorming for new innovations. Staff meetings have taken on a new imperative and no longer represent an hour long discussion with no results.

In every building in every city in the country, there are groups of individuals who are committed to finding news ways of conducting business and new ways to succeed. Below the surface out there, much dynamic thinking is being done and one would have to think that this will eventually pay dividends for businesses small and large.

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