The world is under a siege by the mother nature with the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Humanity as a whole has been brought to a standstill, where voluntary quarantine is essential for this enormous danger to pass. However, this is a golden chance, a once-in-a-lifetime moment for the world to reset itself, its practices, leave behind the bad habits, acquire some new good ones and refine its conduct as a collective movement.
this is a golden chance, a once-in-a-lifetime moment for the world to reset itself
This applies nowhere more than to Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship where understanding human behavior is key to find the problems, solve them and achieve mass adoption on a local and/or global scale.
The virtual world of apps, mobile phones, virtual reality, mixed reality, remote work, binge watching content, social networks is more in need now than it was an auxiliary slow paced adoption mechanism in a normal moving world.
Likewise, there is an even more strict need for new ways to regulate power and conduct, reinvent public policy for the new world, governance mechanisms for speedy two-way (government – citizens) delivery of information and feedback.
The time is now,
As basic human necessities of life, good food, good air/water and good health are paramount to everyone, these are at the forefront of needs to build robust systems serving needs for the masses and not just a select few in the world.
1. Local production, local consumption
For the last two decades the world relied on China and south east Asia to mass produce everything a low cost and also receive the garbage dump from the west under the guise of ethical recycling. This helped China become its current version of the dreaded, powerful authoritarian state and economic power.
Humanity as a whole chose to get cheap products at the cost of other humans and nature.
With the pandemic breakout, it is evident that global supply chains have been disrupted [link], local interests over powered the ethical and business commitments for goods produced [link] and the world was left in a turmoil. Nations started forcing companies to provide for local needs before for global commitments [link].
This begs a question:
Why do we need to produce something in china and deliver 10000 miles away to usa and then consume ?
There is a significant cost in the form of packaging, shipping and delivery. Are there ways where local production can take over in efficient ways and produce goods at same or even competitive price levels ?
2. Remote work
What was optional has become a need of the hour. The lack of efficiency as conveyed in working remotely has transformed into a need to re-invent mechanisms and processes to get productive work done by everyone on the team.
There are significant issues in systems lacking security [link], bandwidth issues for connecting remote workers, the need to over/under communicate on aspects of work life. Is the world ready for fully remote work run companies [link] or is there a hybrid work environment which leverages the best of both worlds [link] ?
3. Debt fuelled world
The biggest pain on the economic front was the debt cycle that is ingrained in the economic cycle of corporate and business activity.
The ultimate winner so far was the lender, every on borrows to get the business moving. The inefficiency of the system was a leverage for the lender.
The economic transactions from the grower/producer to distributor, retailer/seller to consumers is plagued with delayed payments and debt supported continuance of business. Efficient payment processing with technologies like blockchain are being experimented with [link], though to not much avail. What is the new normal as there clearly is an inefficient activity that needs to be streamlined ?
4. Climate at the forefront
We all saw in the news, animals moving freely in cities[add link], sky color returning back to blue, birds back to urban gardens and trees. All this happened with reduced human activity. This begs the question, Can there be a balance where humans self regulate wasteful activities.
This all starts with knowing what is changing, Measurement of human activity both as individuals and professionally in industries and commercial activities is vital first step. The ripe use-case for location tracking in an ethical way is to monitor human movement and introduce mechanisms as a response to over-crowding, over-movement [link].
5. Healthcare at home
No other global event brought to bare the fractures of the current healthcare system in every nation and a society as a whole. Glaring issues such as spread of misinformation [link], delay in gene sequencing [link], lack of adequate medical supplies [link], remote monitoring/testing of disease spread, treatment of individuals at their homes, supply chains for medicine. And many many more.
6. Ethical AI
As Artificial Intelligence and its derivatives are becoming central to our social fabric [link]. It is critical to put safeguards for ethical application of AI for the betterment of the masses. In the pre-covid19 world, AI was benefitting and serving the needs and desires of a select few ultra-rich, hyper connected individuals both in monetary and executive controls [link] . This aspect was weakening the foundation of our society as a whole introducing aspects of slavery and kingship [link]. AI startups and entrepreneurs have this key responsibility for ethical conduct of AI. Can we make a system where all benefit from AI and not a select few ?
This is just a sampling of areas where COVID has brought out the issues that humanity needs solved. There are plenty more that I certainly missed. Please do share your thoughts on other areas of problem that need to be solved.
All in all, one word comes to mind, Carpe Diem ( seize the day ) and no one other than the daring entrepreneurs can do that for this COVID-19 opportunity.
- COVID-19, a pandoras box of opportunities for Entrepreneurs(hip) - April 11, 2020
- How to and Not to build an AI startup - July 4, 2019
- 30 Fundraising Terms Entrepreneurs Need To Know - March 2, 2019