This is a special topic to be cover by our team, especially, if we consider that Xymbot has been founded in the middle of the covid-19 pandemic. During our first days, we have received several comments like “a global pandemic might not seem the best time to start up a new business” or “undoubtedly, it’s a time to despair not to be built”, but we have decided to continue with our vision, so here we are!
Nevertheless, as a research and innovation-centered company, we keep curious about according to the market, how crazy or not will be to start up a new business in a pandemic time and most important how could look like the future of the entrepreneurship in the post-pandemic times.
According to the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, numbers were up on 2020 and interest is strong for entrepreneurship. The same article associated this gradual increment to the incredible valuations for big tech companies like Amazon or Tesla during the last year as a possible factor to inspire entrepreneurs to dream of starting their own unicorn companies or another reason could be because people have a lot of time on their hands during the lockdowns and are coming up with new ideas. Anyway, for one of the previous reasons or considering others, the true is that the pandemic is making many people think about a career transition and this leads them to the idea of starting up their own business, David Birt, director of entrepreneurship at UNSW said.
Last year, Forbes has published an article where they define as an opportunity for new business initiative due to often business interruptions are the precursor to disruption and opportunity and layoffs are mounting. Really good people will second-guess what they are doing or will have the decision made for them. Some will view this as a great time to switch careers, while others will think about starting their own business. In general, startups launched during a downturn tend to be far more durable and resilient than those started in a better economic time. Look around for problems not being solved well and try to come up with a solution that could be a great company. The same article traditional and new business models such as e-commerce, remote applications, delivery services, entertainment, cybersecurity, among other digital-based solutions as a long-term business for stablished and new player coming to the marketplace.
Startups will change the world order in the age of Coronavirus according to an article published by The Economic Time. In their opinion, the world as we knew it before the Coronavirus has already transformed since the virus outbreak. With social distancing and work from home being the new normal, stakeholders in the startup’s ecosystem are pivoting to channelize innovation. From basic apps to complex diagnostic algorithms, startups are developing innovative tech solutions across industries to give back to the society. Furthermore, the pandemic has potentially altered the definition of a hyper-connected world. The global transportation system and urban centers will never be the same again. The crisis has been an eye-opener for the transportation ecosystem to adapt quickly to travel restrictions, social distancing and other measures to contain the spread of the virus at the local, national and international levels. With massive disruptions impacting commuters worldwide, it is the perfect time for innovation-driven businesses to think creatively about enabling an agile and seamless digital transformation solutions.
Another aspect highlighted by the pandemic was that businesses with robust IT infrastructure were quick to make the transition. Thus, it underlines that for sustainable future growth for businesses looking to work within this new model, they must invest in sophisticated IT infrastructure and appropriate personnel training. Businesses that fall in line with the post-pandemic normal, especially tech-based solutions and those that support flexibility and adaptability, may potentially garner more interest and funding. This is another area where startups may have a head-start since most of these companies are tech-based or are already reliant and comfortable with using technology for their day-to-day operations. Additionally, companies are looking at reducing their real estate footprint to make remote working a practical possibility in the long run. This gives way to smaller office spaces and coworking spaces, something which is already a part of the culture of startups to reduce cost and share ideas in a kind of innovation hubs create by multiple stakeholders.
But this is not only about innovation, this is also about new mindset. At the beginning of this article, we highlighted as one of the key reason to create an startup was to imitate the unicorn business, especially coming from Silicon Valley, but one interesting reflection that we have founded in a Harvard Business Review article where recommends that startups in post-pandemic times should think like a camel, not like a unicorn. Camels are built for survival in some of the toughest climates on earth. They are resilient and can survive for many weeks without food or water, still running fast when needed. On the other hand, the mythical unicorns in the business world are focused on rapid growth through deep funding and an accessible talent pool.
A crisis is a time for demonstrating camel behaviour. The vast majority of startups have an ambitious vision, with big plans and large numbers. This is fine and shouldn’t be changed, but during a crisis, everyone is cash-sensitive, and you should be too. Be cash flow-sensitive, have a lean organization, create a realistic and conservative operational budget, and make sure you don’t deviate from it. Possible investors will want to see that you manage your cash cautiously and wisely, don’t make any long-term financial commitments, and know-how to cut expenses when needed.
Finally, governments and big companies also have to look forwards to create and support a sustainable future were innovation-driven startups will have a key role in the economic recovery and the creation of new business models on the post-pandemic times. In any case, one theme that connects all of the above-mentioned sectors and runs throughout each of them in different ways, is sustainability. The public’s attention has been focused on this topic now more than ever, due to a plethora of reasons, including debates on the positive effect on the environment since we all slowed down, to thinking more deeply about where our food comes from. In any case, this theme is set to touch many sectors as we move forward into 2021 and beyond, bringing new opportunities for Global startups no matter their industry.
In future posts, we will be continue writing about technology and business trends for enterprises. Furthermore, we recommend consulting the following literature to continue your digital transformation journey:
- Designed for Digital: How to Architect Your Business for Sustained Success, MIT review
- The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives, by Simon & Schuster
- Artificial Intelligence: The Insights You Need, by Harvard Business Review
- The Year in Tech, 2021: The Insights You Need, by Harvard Business Review
- The Deep Learning Revolution, by MIT Press
- Competing in the Age of AI, by Harvard Review Press
The objective of this blog is to provide a personal vision of how digital transformation trends will be impacting in our daily activities, businesses and lifestyle.
Industry 4.0 and Smart-mobility expert, his research interest includes Industry 4.0, Smart-Maintenance, Process Optimization, Machine Learning, AI engineering and Cloud-based solutions.
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