COVID-19 has the world in a pandemic. We’re isolated from each other, our elders, our friends, and our collegaues. Meanwhile companies are laying off employees and the Canadian government is putting billions into the economy each week to ensure the health and safety of our citizens.
But with all the stress, panic, and fear circling the globe, a type of beauty can be found in the world of entrepreneurship.
Our lifestyles have changed. Many of us are working remotely, using video conferencing software, and rocking the whole PJ-coffee look. In a way, it feels like our society has been placed on fast-forward into a world where we have achieved an absolute level of digital connection.
In this new reality, we value physical interaction more, we prioritize going for walks, and we cherish the time we spend outside.
But the type of beauty I’m referring to is in innovation and entrepreneurship.
We often thought of the future as everything belonging to Amazon and being shipped to our doors. That the big companies would dominate everything, everywhere. But during the COVID-19 outbreak, we’re seeing small local vendors like Breton Brewing and Big Spruce adjust and sell their locally made products online (with faster delivery times than Amazon).
But this is only one shade of positive change. We’re also forcing generations, both new and old, to adopt new technologies in order to continue living how they did before the outbreak.
Everything we do has a learning curve. If you play a video game long enough, you’ll get better at it. If you start woodworking, the quality of your work will improve over time. Now apply the idea of learning curves to the current forceful adoption of new technology.
Baby Boomers are figuring out how to buy groceries online. Senior executives are learning video conferencing. Heck, even my dad is taking some pride in his desk setup, audio equipment, lighting, and 2 monitors.
But let’s look at an example of how COVID-19 has permanently changed the adoption and usage of online food-ordering apps such as Click2Order.
As of this writing, restaurants are closed. The only way to eat food from your favourite restaurant is to call it in or order it online. Because it’s easier to arrange delivery online, people are opting to use mobile app ordering.
Through the forced adoption of online food-ordering apps, people are embracing another learning curve. The more they use this software, the more it will become familiar to them.
The most remarkable change is how COVID-19 is helping startups ‘cross the chasm’ — the most difficult challenge of a startup’s life (according to Geoffrey Moore).
COVID-19 has esssentially removed the chasm for companies like Click2Order, giving them access to the early majority market. On top of that, it’s permanent access. Once the world settles down and returns to the way it was, people will have already embraced new ways of doing things.
I suspect we will see less business travel after COVID-19. I suspect video conferencing companies will grow. I suspect online grocery ordering will grow.
The arguement of whether or not you can teach an old dog new tricks is now closed — you can (and we’ve done it).