If you rewind to the start of 2020, did you imagine having to talk to people behind masks and face screens, being afraid to be in touch with the world? Or being confined at home while seeing the rising number of people losing their income or even loved ones, over a virus? I certainly didn’t. We all know what COVID-19 has done. No one saw it coming and it affected the very core of our being.
To put it mildly, COVID-19’s been tough on us.
But now that we’ve gotten over the shock, I’m starting to see fundamental mind shifts as we adjust to the ‘new normal’. What are those mind shifts, and how do we find opportunities in these situations? Stay with me and let’s go through them.
1. Getting Connected
Back when nations around the world began imposing physical distancing and lockdowns, we find ourselves at home with nowhere to go and more free time than ever. As we struggle to cope with the uncertain times, the screens on our gadgets become our window to the world. The amount of people who logs on to the wide web has risen exponentially and people are now much more receptive of technology. Even my most tech-challenged uncle got himself a smartphone and jumped on a family Zoom call during Eid. How times have changed.
Although physically the demand for goods and services have gone down, virtually, people are still spending. If people can’t visit your shop, why not bring the shop to them? Many businesses successfully trasformed themselves to stay ahead. In Jakarta, upscale restaurants adjusted their menu and operations to offer drive-through and meal delivery services; targeting more casual customers. Training providers responded with swiftly creating online training syllabus to replace their now-outdated inhouse training programs ; unlocking the potential to reach international clients.
At the very least, this means internet usage is at an all time high and there are now more people online that your business can reach. The question is, how are you going to greet them?
2. Unlocking Exclusive Passes
The rising number of people shifting their activities online have also made way to a new level of accessible information. We can now virtually get front-row access to events that seemed unreachable in the past because of geographical location or exclusivity. London Fashion Week live-streamed their event online, allowing this super-exclusive event to be enjoyed by anyone around the world. Google Cloud Next 2020, the mega-conference from search giant Google is now being live-streamed publicly all the way until September. These are events that’s never been so easily accessible in the past, and the value goes a long way because;
- tinstead of being exclusive, they take a more inclusive approach where everyone is invited
- they attract people & opportunities to the businesses because of the value they give out
- it inspires people to also share their own ideas to the world
The same way that we unlock the potential to reach international customers when bringing our business online, we can also enjoy contents offered overseas. Geographical boundaries & exclusivity are now things of the past and all that’s left are choices. With plenty of contents available all-day long from all over the world, which ones would you spend your time tuning into? Or better yet, what ideas are you going to make happen & share to the world?
3. The Rise of Independent Creators
For many, this situation is just the push they need to finally start new activities of business. After some time, we see internet not just as a place where we consume information, but also where we can create and add value. The internet is not an exclusive place where only a select few can access. It belongs to everyone and anyone can leverage on its power.
Whether it’s out of necessity of mere curiosity, this situation has made way for new breed of independent creators to get into market. Musicians offering free live music performances streamed through their social accounts. Chefs perform live cooking demo from their homes as a way to market their newly created food products. Many of these creators didn’t plan on putting themselves out there before COVID-19 happen. But we know when the situation ask for it, we deliver.
This is certainly one silver linings that can happen during COVID-19; people taking it into their own hands to come up with ideas and make them happen.
It’s clear that challenges breed innovation and we need to constantly evolve to stay ahead of the game. In the past, big ideas have been known to overcome difficult times; AirBnb was born in 2008, beating the odds of the recession happening back then. Around the same time, Uber launched in 2009 and by 2018 they reported to have served 10 billion trips on their platform. Gaming giant Electronic Arts started shop back in 1982, capitalising on people’s need of entertainment despite a recession and they now report $5B annual revenue and a 14% growth from last year.
No matter when or what caused the downturn, innovation lies at heart of businesses who wants to lead the pack.
To celebrate innovation during these times, Ekipa will be hosting the Digital Innovation Week where experts from emerging industries share stories on how they embrace the future of their businesses through innovation.
You can join or find out more about Ekipa’s Digital Innovation Week through the link below