An Entrepreneur’s Guide to a Post-Pandemic Economy

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

The Covid-19 virus is highly contagious and spreads through asymptomatic carriers. This creates quite a few challenges. The main problem is the absence of large scale testing capabilities. We struggle to verify and confine contagious people and there are few incentives for people to stay home unless required by law.

Without proper testing, the contagion is capable of overrunning our medical infrastructure. In response, governments are closing businesses and restricting human contact. These closures are economically painful but necessary to stop the spread of the virus. 

A direct consequence of the governments quarantine measures is a systemic loss of jobs and business bankruptcies. 

It’s a scenario that is shaping up to be more comparable to the Great Depression than the Great Recession. The outcomes of the pandemic and government mandated economic shutdowns include  high unemployment and a lack of trust that tomorrow will be better than today. The engine of the economy is stopped until quarantines are removed. Even with the rate of infections dropping we don’t yet have an understanding of when that may be. 

The question is how severe the economic damage is and how long a recovery will last.

As with the Great Depression, the solution will take the form of a modern version of “The New Deal”.  Governments will implement extensive programs to prop up the economy and get people back to work. 

The New Deal was addressed in 3 segments:

  • Relief – making life less challenging through immediate support for the economy and individuals – The CARES Act is Part 1 of our modern version
  • Recovery – programs to get people back to work and restart the economies growth engine
  • Reform – regulatory adjustments to prevent the extent of future economic hardships

How Entrepreneurs Can Support A Modern Economic Recovery

A major skill of successful entrepreneurs is the ability to see around corners. It’s a metaphor for being able to assess current situations and identify future societal needs. As an entrepreneur, you can expect economic stimulus initiatives and prepare to support the coming New Deal. This opportunity is a not zero sum game. Instead, by aligning business opportunities with public needs, both society and the entrepreneur can benefit. 

So how can an entrepreneur convert the elements of a New Deal into potential  solutions? By reframing them into relevant and actionable buckets

  • Relief – making life less challenging through immediate support for the economy and individuals – The CARES Act is Part 1 of our modern version
  • Relief – What can be done to immediately support the fight against the Covid-19 virus
  • Recovery – Combating economic fallout resulting from the virus and government countermeasures
  • Reform – Future regulatory and governance measures implemented to prevent pandemics

Here’s a breakdown of these opportunity spaces.

Relief from the Pandemic

The root cause of contagion is an inability to test everyone, creating ineffective quarantine strategies. A failure to effectively quarantine results in runaway contagion.

The US strategy relies on a test then a quarantine model. Treatment and mandatory quarantine result after individuals test positive. What this means is that the US testing schema uses a lagging indicator to manage the outbreak. Testing only captures information based on individuals that are already very sick. This, in turn, causes solutions to be late and the probability of infection spread to be high.

Because of the highly infectious nature of the virus and our limited ability to test at scale, the primary method of containment has been mass quarantine. This quarantine is regardless of whether an individual is sick. This method is important because there are a large number of asymptomatic individuals that are spreading the illness. 

There aren’t enough test kits to confirm asymptomatic illness and have no other methods of verification. 

So how can an entrepreneur support the current effort?

If quarantine is the most effective prevention method then entrepreneurs can support this initiative by addressing its pain points. Making it more likely that individuals will quarantine themselves when needed. 

The majority of the world population  is quarantined, a notion that most people are unaccustomed to. The quintessential and optimized American way of life over the past 50 years is no longer functioning. Many people cannot understand the realities of quarantine because it restricts too many of their modern comforts and needs. 

Entrepreneurs should focus on providing at home services that address these needs and prevent the need to enter public spaces. 

The goal is to reframe all external activities as home activities. Food, workouts, social engagements and anything that can address potential “cabin fever”. We can expect to see a surge in at home gym equipment, grocery delivery and the creation of games and interactions that are possible through social distancing. These represent ideal opportunities for entrepreneurs to build solutions. 

Additionally, governments are struggling to monitor and enforce stay at home orders. Surveillance and enforcement technologies for policing the streets can be used to supplement governmental resources. 

Entrepreneurs can and should focus on developing more sophisticated and accurate diagnostic tools to supplement the government's effort. Technologies such as drones, automated IoT temperature checking stations, and DIY testing kits for self reporting are needed. 

Developing at home test kits would support wide scale testing while also supporting quarantine procedures. On the software side, entrepreneurs can provide tools to support at home diagnostic efforts such as Chatbots. Chatbots represent an opportunity to provide telemedicine without taxing pre-existing medical human resources.

Entrepreneurs can also support the massive furloughed and laid off communities by providing remote working opportunities. Retraining workers through customized MOOC courses to support at home income generation. Are there opportunities in your line of work that you could build a training video for? 

Combating the Pandemic’s Economic Impact

The quarantine measures are going to destroy industries, businesses, jobs and income. There is going to be a severe level of economic hardship that is a direct result of these measures. The reality is that although quarantine is an effective preventative measure, we have to open the economy back up sooner rather than later. 

Getting businesses back open and people back to work is going to be a critical element of the recovery phase of the New Deal. Entrepreneurs can help address these issues by building new businesses to hire the at risk populations. The challenge is in building systems to track, monitor and contain outbreaks in the absence of vaccines and treatments. The economy will not be able to fully open and what is permitted will be restricted. 

Entrepreneurs should focus on providing tools, processes and treatments to support businesses reopening. By implementing regular processes to ensure workers are healthy and stay healthy it is more likely that they will be able to reopen more quickly. 

Beyond that, designing tools to support the impacted communities in developing new skills for digital jobs and alternative income streams. Tools like Gumroad for building and selling information products, Youtube for building video tutorials that generate ad revenue and so on. How can you best support the unemployed and underemployed in developing secondary income streams? 

Business Reform After the Pandemic

When asked about business opportunities following the pandemic, Chamath Palihapitiya recently said, “Search for efficiencies, we’ve abandoned resiliency.” He meant that the pandemic has shown key weaknesses in developed nations ability to support themselves during a crisis. The question you should ask yourself is what efficiencies will society be willing to sacrifice for future resilience? 

This includes exploring opportunities in the industries that are hit the hardest such as hospitality, travel and real estate. There will also be opportunities in industries we expect to survive and thrive including grocery delivery, at home fitness equipment, cleaning tools and personal IoT health monitoring devices. 

We can expect new industries to be created as a result of the hardships. Technologies to support rapid implementations of quarantines, scalable at home education, localized food supply chains and wide scale adoption of personal protective equipment. 

It's evident that countries that have faced a pandemic in the recent past were better equipped to handle this outbreak. The most recent examples being SARS and H1HN1 in Asia. We can look to these countries to get an understanding of the type of countermeasures that will be put in place to prevent the severity of future outbreaks. 

Policy changes will include examples such as companies adjusting their sick day benefits to incentivize working from home when ill. Airport security screenings will include temperature checks with thermal scanners and rapid onsite coronavirus testing. We can also expect similar measures to be implemented at public sporting events. 

Some elements of UV cleansing will be incorporated in supply chains to develop a level of anti-fragility. Delivery providers like FedEx, UPS, Amazon and the USPS will enact these types of cleaning solutions to cut down on potential outbreaks. Some measures will be required by law while others will be self imposed. 

We can also expect a massive push for IoT devices for monitoring, diagnosing and gathering diagnostic information at scale. A rise in telemedicine and all the supporting infrastructure. We’ve seen that sleep tracking is a good early warning indicator for the onset of illness. After the outbreak we can expect to see other early warning indicators. As a result, more individuals will begin using active health monitoring systems on a regular basis.

Once we have an understanding of what early indicators are available, it's likely that devices will be developed to actively track these indicators. It’s also likely that 3D printing technology will become more widespread. The use of 3D printing to supplement gaps in supply has been a critical element of addressing the current pandemic. As a result, expect these printers to become a staple in hospital systems and other localized systems.

There will be an increase in restrictive and proactive regulations to prevent the scope of future outbreaks. 

The bottom line: there is plenty of opportunity to drive a positive impact on society. An entrepreneur that keeps their eyes and ears open during this crisis will be able to improve society on multiple fronts.

[tcb-script type=”application/ld+json”]{ “@context”: “”, “mainEntityOfPage”: “”, “@type”: “Article”, “headline”: “An Entrepreneur's Guide to a Post-Pandemic Economy”, “datePublished”: “2020-04-11”, “dateModified”: “2020-04-11”, “description”: “As with the Great Depression, the solution will take the form of a modern version of “The New Deal”. Governments will implement extensive programs to prop up the economy and get people back to work. The New Deal was addressed in 3 segments…”, “keywords”: [“post pandemic economy”,”covid-19″,”coronavirus”,”entrepreneur”,”entrepreneurship”,”economy”,”small business”], “image”: { “@type”: “ImageObject”, “height”: “560”, “width”: “315”, “url”: “×443.jpg” }, “author”: “Angelo Sorbello”, “publisher”: { “@type”: “Organization”, “name”: “Astrogrowth”, “sameAs”:[ “”, “”, “”, “”, “” ], “logo”: { “@type”: “ImageObject”, “url”: “” } }}[/tcb-script]

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply