May 26, 2020 Jordhy Ledesma

Life After CoVid-19

Keep socially distancing and washing your hands. We’ll come stronger out of this.

I touched death and I’m very lucky to be alive. What I’m now looking forward to is appreciating nature. You realize material things don’t matter. When I get outside I want to breathe the air, look at birds and enjoy the natural beauty of the world.

A coronavirus survivor’s story: ‘I touched death’, originally published by the BBC

Maybe life is more than numbers and code. Maybe living is less about routines and achievements and more about feelings like empathy and compassion. This pandemic poses three of the greatest challenges of our lives: Can we be human as we chase economic recovery? Can we retool our financial machines to grow closer to society, realizing their pain is more important than our gains? And, finally, can we lead with our hearts while coming out stronger out of this tragedy?

The CoVid-19 pandemic will bring western countries closer to the East in terms of way of life. Masks, social distancing, contactless transactions along with big changes in travel, a massive scale back in the hospitality industry and higher preference for online shopping are some of the expected changes. But how far exactly will Covid-19 move the West towards the East?

Can we retool our financial machines to grow closer to society, realizing their pain is more important than our gains?

There’s now a bigger case for eCommerce, a bigger push for contact-less payments, a bigger need for videoconferencing apps. While this pandemic is pushing us into the verge of isolation we are also discovering ways to work more efficiently and avenues to be productive while at home. Not all the changes will be bad.

If you are in the travel industry I have some good news to share with you: you are in for a good summer (trust me). People are susceptible to discounts and, as the number of cases decreases, cabin fever will drive many travelers to your properties.

Please note two very important annotations from Mary Meeker, released in a special coronavirus deck with her new firm Bond Capital. 

Historically, there has been substantial entanglement between unemployment numbers and stock market trends

Covid Global Response Times were actually fast for this type of public emergency

A v-shaped recovery is unlikely to happen. Additional stimulus needs to be passed, businesses need to retool around this complicated health situation, and people need to keep distancing (which is not happening at high rates). Obviously, America is very divided along political lines but the facts remain: 15% unemployment, inflation is coming, 100K deaths, tepid consumer demand and many permanently closed businesses.

A Playbook to Survive the economic aftermath of Covid-19

  • Please consult all the programs that your startup may qualify by visiting Mainstreet.com. These credits and incentives are in addition to all the announced government programs.
  • Shift operations to those of a remote office – as you might have to spend considerable amounts adapting the office (revenge of the cubicles, perhaps)
  • If you are in B2B, please discount packages for affected customers
  • Consider providing steep discounts or additional assistance for front-line workers and heavily impacted industries – this is critical
  • Maintain daily interaction with your employees – even a phone call can make a big difference
  • Start preparing contingency plans for a second outbreak in October
  • Plan for the worst, which in this case means a slow return to normal lasting over one year
  • If you need to cut back on employees, consider rehiring some as contractors. At the very least, keep their contact info handy.
  • On the flip side, it might be a good time for fund raising – less competition, etc
  • Consider no-code solutions to quickly automate business processes not already online (you can try Bubble).

Covid-19/Reopening Resources

SciLine – Quotes from Scientific Experts on COVID-19

Zenefits – Checklists for Reopening Business After COVID-19

Engine – COVID-19 Resources for Startups 

NOLO – Preparing Your Business to Reopen After Coronavirus Outbreak

Fred Wilson – Location and Work

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