COVID-19, The Disruption Accelerator

The Coronavirus has increasingly changed the way people all over the world live, work, and play. Over the past couple of months, people have been practicing social distancing and self-isolation, and it has had a major impact on the ways we shop, collaborate, and socialize. Below are some observations I’ve made in regard to our “new normal” lifestyles, some of which I believe will have everlasting effects.  

Having Multiple Revenue Streams Has Become a “Must-Have”

Unfortunately, we’ve already started to see businesses struggling to stay afloat as workers and consumers are staying at home. The pandemic has been a huge disruptor for businesses, and those with a very narrow focus have been at a significant disadvantage. Companies are being forced to explore different lines of business, whether it be offering entirely new products or services, or expanding into new industries. We have seen firsthand how a global event can cause businesses to lose their main source of revenue, and it has become clear that they must diversify and adapt to the ever-changing climate in order to succeed. Having multiple revenue streams has become a necessity, and it is something I believe businesses will strive to achieve even after the lockdown is over.

The Time has Come to Either Upgrade or Tap Out

Tech resistant industries and educational institutions have been forced to upgrade their systems in order to maintain normal operation. Bandwidth has become the lifeblood of commerce, and businesses that don’t have the necessary network in place to work remotely have been at a huge disadvantage.

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Digital Alternatives are Becoming the New Normal

Now more than ever, digital alternatives are becoming the standard. COVID-19 has been an accelerant to a completely touch-free transactional society. Physical retail had already been on the decline, but during this time, it has become completely obsolete and will likely never come back fully. Grocery shopping and take-out dining have moved to mobile transactions, and electronic payments have become the norm. Moving forward, I think that touch-free, electronic transactions will become required. Current conditions may also push the government to look more seriously at things like cryptocurrency. The increased reliance on digital solutions will only continue to grow as businesses and consumers adapt to the new normal.

Companies That Are Crushing it Right Now

Companies such as Amazon, Publix, Zoom, Netflix, video game creators, and food delivery services are absolutely thriving right now. What are they doing? What do they have in common? Why are they successful in a time when many other businesses are failing?

I’ve talked a lot about innovation and disruption, and how it is necessary for business success. Amazon and Netflix are two of the biggest disruptors of our time, and their existing business models and reliance on technology have allowed them to excel during this pandemic. Traditional companies that are crushing it right now, such as Publix, have also been disruptive by successfully adapting to consumers’ needs. From one-way aisles to altered store hours, Publix has implemented policies that help their shoppers maintain social distancing protocols.

I think it all comes down to disruptive businesses versus the non-adapters. Those who have been able to pivot their focus and adapt to the changing climate are succeeding in this time of uncertainty. They are re-evaluating how they’re positioning themselves in the market, and they are making safety a priority for both their employees and customers. These are the companies that will not only survive the pandemic but will also get ahead of their competitors in the months and years to come.

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About the author / Jody Haneke

Jody Haneke is President and Founder of Haneke Design, a full stack, custom software development agency in Tampa, Florida. Mr. Haneke was part of the emerging field of user experience design from the day he graduated Ringling College of Art and Design with a degree in Graphic Design in 1995. Haneke Design has become the go-to resource for companies such as NYSE, Paramount Pictures, Target, and the One World Observatory to launch digital products that amaze and delight end-users.

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