Innovation driven by COVID-19
Necessity is the mother of invention
I have written at length about the issues caused by Covid across different sectors and companies. Rather than wait and bemoan the issues, in the true spirit of entrepreneurship, many companies have taken advantage of the situation. Necessity is the mother of invention as the old adage goes. Aviation got a big boost because of the advent of the Second World War.
Working from home
The most notable beneficiary of the pandemic is the drive for people to work from home.The acceleration of working from home is one of these new phenomena. The use of online communication systems such as Teams and Zoom. These are new ways of holding meetings, but they are here to stay.
In some areas, the pandemic has led to the acceleration of new technologies such as the use of drones to deliver essential goods or services. These are necessity driven innovation. Companies have to do things differently that they did not plan for. Restaurants now deliver meals to people at home including fresh recipes to be cooked at home.
The vaccines from start to finish had to be produced in large quantities and at record time. Organisations working together to survive due to the unprecedented nature of the problems we are facing.
No business like online business
Even in the education sector, online teaching has led to more access to materials that were not available a couple of years ago. You can now support your customers online rather than burning time, effort and money to get to see them and in the process save the environment.
Two examples that I picked up from the Economist a few weeks ago, Zipline is a drone company that delivers essential products by drones. Another is Karma Kitchen that allows restaurants to share kitchen facilities and deliver food to people at home.
One of the great benefactors of the pandemic has to be zoom. Let’s look at the numbers. Net profit of $7m in 2018, $21m in 2019 and $671m in 2020. Whao! Those were massive jumps in numbers. There were 10m meetings on zoom in 2019, this grew to 350m by December of 2020. Other companies switched to making the personal protective equipment and sanitizers have also made a killing during the pandemic. For every cloud, there is a silver lining.
Learning is now truly global and access is only limited by your internet capabilities. Our libraries can now be on our iPads. How truly incredible is that with so many new books now released at a fraction of what they otherwise cost in print format.
Many older workers are taking the opportunity to go back to college, only this time, they learn online