As an investment banker for 36 years now, I’ve observed a significant number of world events during my career. I’ve always found myself wondering each time whether it’s signaled some new “world-order.”
Usually, they didn’t, e.g., the 1987 stock market crash and various Recessions. But sometimes they did, such as the Berlin wall coming down, the rise of the internet in the 1990s and 9/11.
Here are my views on Coronavirus:
- The desire for personal security is our most powerful motivation.
- COVID-19 is the ultimate boogeyman; it’s personally threatening and invisible.
- Therefore, this pandemic is a game-changer with far-ranging consequences.
- Society (and business) will be forced to evolve.
- This change will usher in new business and investment opportunities.
- After some pain, much good will come of it.
I’d like to offer a few business themes for your consideration, as we become more cautious about travel, physical touch, reliability and larger-group interaction.
- A resurgence of U.S. manufacturing (all areas) – for supply chain reliability
- Localization (all areas) – where “community” suggests control/safety
- Distance learning (at all levels)
- Teleconferencing, telecommuting – for business, events and personal interactions
- Health care – home health services, smaller practitioners
- Robotics – personal services, manufacturing
- Biometrics – facial and iris recognition
- Packaging – More paper-based (safer wrt pathogens), less plastic (requires constantly cleansing)
- Home renovations – more time spent in the home
- Home delivery – groceries, anything routine
- Retailing – even more eCommerce
COVID-19 can, therefore, reinforce trends and technologies which are already underway, while accelerating positive change:
- Safety – Less travel, fewer auto accidents
- Environment – Significantly reduced energy consumption
- Lifestyles – Less commuting, more time for loved ones and other interests
We’d love to hear what you think.