What will you build?
Marc Andreessen recently wrote another seminal piece- “Its Time to Build”. If you haven’t read it already, head over to the A16Z blog. PMarca lays out (with his usual flourish) the challenges and opportunities during COVID-19.
While researching for a side project, I came across a few interesting public data points on changes caused by COVID. So, I compiled them into a poor-man’s-Mary Meeker-style presentation. Sharing it here in case people find it useful. All sources of information are in the links at the bottom of the post.
Feel free to use these with attribution. Medium doesn’t enable embedding documents yet (puhweese Medium Staff :-) ). So, if you need the deck, DM me. Happy to share it with you. Details at the end of this post.
COVID-19 is changing people, families and society
Norms, beliefs, expectations are changing
COVID-19 is changing businesses & economies
We don’t know how deep or how long the “great cessation” will last.
“The likeliest scenario — specifically, for a situation where unemployment mushrooms to 15 percent — a record in modern American history — is the economy starts growing again by no earlier than September, and U.S. GDP for the year contracts by 6 percent”- Economists, The Conference Board
But volatility is also creating opportunities
Growth from “flight to safety”
Sometimes those opportunities are unexpected
Growth from physical isolation
Several internet trends are accelerating
Telemedicine Up 6X, Web Conferencing Up 4.5X, Video Platforms Up 3X
Millions of people and SMBs are out of a job
How can we help gainfully re-employ human potential lost due to COVID?
People will seek to replicate offline experiences online
Online learning, fitness, education are all experiencing rapid growth
People will experience mental isolation
Physical isolation will change our way of being till a COVID Vaccine is invented (~12–18 months?)
“Isolate yourself from other people. Be afraid of hugging someone.” Just think how emotionally and personally repugnant that concept is. We crave human connection, and now we’re being told that could be dangerous. You can’t kiss. You can’t hug. You can’t hold hands”- NY Governor Cuomo, April 1 2020
In summary, now is the time to build things that will help people
💰 Find a livelihood or
💻 Replicate their offline experiences online or
😃 Improve their wellness
If you are working on these or related ideas, I’d love to hear from you. DM at FN.LN@Sloan.mit.edu