“If it feels like we’re all drinking from a data firehose, it’s because we are.” This is how Mary Meeker characterized Silicon Valley last June when she presented her 2019 Internet Trend Report.
Mary Meeker, a Silicon Valley VC and Bond Capital’s best-known partner who is renowned for her annual Internet Trends Report, a touchstone for entrepreneurs and investors, has released a Coronavirus Report. Many forecasters and trendspotters all agree that COVID-19 has been a catalyst for rapid technological change. Meeker suggests the high-speed spread and impact of the virus has similarities to the devastating San Francisco earthquake of 1906.
“Many of these offline-to-online trends have been in place for a while,” the report says. “COVID-19 just accelerated them.”
The Report Said:
- COVID-19 may be the call to arms that we need to fundamentally rethink what amounts to 8% of US GDP and $1.2 trillion of federal spending in 2019 (Medicare / Medicaid / other healthcare services), representing 28% of the federal budget. This crisis will fast-track the mainstreaming of telehealth, better marrying technology with healthcare from rapid point-of-care diagnostics to applying automation and AI to healthcare services.
- A big experiment in remote working. COVID-19 forced companies to operate remotely and they discovered they can be just as efficient. This realization will likely change the way lots of office work is done in the future, shifting to more distributed work. While digital transformation is accelerating, new work-life balances are also being struck.
- Companies with technology integration will recover quicker. Companies that made investments in technology and were well along the offline-to-online transition are faring best. They’ve been able to lean on e-commerce and online experiences to shift sales while resilient digital customer service teams and digitally focused supply chains ensure products get to consumers efficiently and without contact.
- The on-demand business model will grow gaining permanent market share. In many regions, especially Asia, on-demand services are more pervasive and advanced than in America.
- The rise of esports provide clues on how to engage with customers. During the pandemic, esports and gaming have provided a medium for users to engage in competition and virtually connect with friends and other gamers across the globe, and help players learn and improve skills through streaming. Twitch, the Amazon-owned platform for live-streaming video games, hit an all-time high of 4.3 million daily active users in March. Many of these viewers aren’t die-hard gamers. Meeker believes the easy pivot of casual sports fans to live streaming is a lesson for how other types of businesses can evolve, in order to foster brand loyalty.
- Information sharing on a mass level. The difference between today’s plague with previous ones that devastated humanity is the world’s real-time global connectedness. Already, over 3,000 public papers about COVID-19 have been published and widely shared, which is 20 times the amount of published research about infectious diseases that had previously been released. There’s also been a record 5 million clinical trial participants. The future could bring a new level of transparency and willingness to share.
“We entered this time at business highs, but social lows and deeply fragmented as a society,” one business entrepreneur told Meeker. “And yet, COVID-19 does not discriminate, and its response requires complete unity—public, private, neighbors, employees, healthcare workers, strangers… What if we exit as a more united people and world?”
See the full Bond Capital report on Axios.
Photo: Engin Ekurt via Unsplash