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The Internet re-imagined

Small airplans pulling a sign readying STAY AT HOME!

Last week I enjoyed a webinar with partner company Pantheon by the same title covering strategies during the 2020 Covid-19 crisis. Pantheon is a provider of enterprise-grade developer-operations friendly managed WordPress hosting. Following are my notes.

Speakers were:

  • Monty Mullig, President of IfThen
  • Josh Koenig, Co-Founder & Head of Product of Pantheon
  • Abe Brewster, CTO of Patch.com

The scope and duration of the Covid-19 crisis has been and continues to become greater than any crisis in modern history. The social dislocation is unprecedented.

Shock events have occurred before and can be learned from, examples: 2008 financial crises, 1973 oil crisis.

Businesses struggling are stuck in their old ways; primarily affecting those who perform in-person interactions. Times like these favor the nimble. Temporarily, we’ve seen big pivots such as manufacturing PPP gear. Turning a battleship is difficult, traumatic, and simply isn’t possible for some businesses.

Crisis precipitates change and catalyzes permanent change. Habituation forms. We become accustomed to the new ways of doing things.

Economic shocks bring tech breakthroughs from the sidelines, especially in open-source. During the 2008 financial crisis companies increased exploration of Linux based solutions.

eCommerce has had compounding growth for over a decade and since this crisis has accelerated dramatically. Handling increased scale has posed a challenge to many. Research indicates an incredible 2.5x acceleration to the existing rate of change.

Strategies for companies or departments managing the change include: (1) budget reallocation, tech picking up revenues that otherwise would have gone elsewhere, (2) following cash flows, and (3) figuring out what virtualization means for your industry and business.

Other trends include: (1) dramatically reduced churn rates, (2) focus on local, especially food, and (3) events expanding to larger audiences through lower costs and the alleviation of travel barriers (money, time, abilities). For example, graduation ceremonies now involve extended family and friend networks, more than would otherwise fit at the traditional rationed events.

On a personal level virtual works better for some while others rely upon those office and in-person experiences. The crisis has affected different people and professions very differently.