Dear Friends, Clients and Associates,
I hope you and your loved ones are all well in this time of uncertainty with respect to COVID-19. I recognize that we are all being bombarded with news & information, but I feel compelled to provide a few reflections on what I’m seeing from my vantage point given the gravity of this crisis.
Firstly, please listen to and respect Government resources and local Health Authorities; see the BC Centre for Disease Control page
Secondly, refer to the Government of Canada’s Coronavirus resource page; see Outbreak update
Thirdly, the Federal Government is working on various programs that may help economic impacts; see Resources for Canadian businesses
Fourthly, the BDC is offering new Support for entrepreneurs impacted by the coronavirus COVID-19
For those who can, if you have not done so already, I strongly suggest you begin extreme social distancing; my thoughts on this have changed significantly in the past 48 hours and I encourage you to come to your own conclusions. Please consider this 5 min. video from CBC News [COVID-19: Modelling suggests we’re in it for the long haul] and/or this opinion piece from Medium [The Sober Math Everyone Must Understand about the Pandemic].
Given the circumstances, until further notice, all client meetings will be virtual (as is normal for many of you) and scheduled events will be postponed; we will update specific relationships accordingly.
Personally, and professionally, I see this crisis as having three parts. 1) the impact of the virus, which we all hope will be minimal 2) the global response, which is growing in size & scale and 3) the consequences of each, near-term and longer-term.
In my readings I found a short statement from Professor Graham Medley from the London School of Hygiene (Google him if you want) to be very poignant ~ “This virus is going to be with us for a long time, we’re going to have an epidemic and then it will become endemic and join in with all the other coronaviruses that we all have all the time, but don’t notice,” he said. In my opinion, another truth is that this is a Black Swan event; it’s a significant surprise, with major global effects, which will probably be explained or rationalized afterwards. As such, COVID-19 will pose challenges for some time to come, with potentially massive impact to our economy; however, in some respects, the world may be significantly altered with many positive outcomes not yet envisioned. There are few instances when Governments “and” Corporations respond in similar fashion, here and now, but we’ve barely started to grapple with the ripple effects that are coming.
The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different.
The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic.
From a “tech” or Startup perspective I think we need to recognize that some businesses are going to be impacted by this crisis more than others. For a huge portion of our economy it’s not going to be business as usual for the foreseeable future [there is strong evidence that things will get worse before they get better]. Now is the time to check-in with your people, your customers, suppliers, partners, investors, industry associates, and extended family (see if you can help or if/when needed don’t hesitate to ask for help, now is NOT the time for stoicism). Social distancing does not mean communication isolation.
Consider taking time to do some modelling with respect to primary, secondary or tertiary impacts and priorities [for your business and/or family] which only a few weeks ago may not have even been on your radar. That said, try hard to not let the stress of matters impact your decision making, in times like these (unprecedented in so many ways) staying calm and utilizing the power of the rational brain is what’s required. I recognize that for many of you shorter-term or perhaps even longer-term “pivots” may be necessary; here’s a deck I made a while back on Pivots, FYI.
In the spirit of “Necessity is the Mother of Invention” I also encourage you to take some personal time to reflect on the impossible. Meditate on new or old ideas, tinker, hack, test, combine, extract, purge, breathe, etc. Do you have old/new skills or hobbies that are underutilized? Think synergistically! In modern life/business we get very few instances like this (often under trying circumstances, think 911, etc.) where our minds are allowed, or forced, to wander and wonder. Make the best of a difficult situation!
Lastly, don’t hesitate to contact me by email if there is anything that I/we can help with. Stay safe and healthy everyone!
On behalf of Innovation Island,
Executive Director and EiR
INNOVATION ISLAND TECHNOLOGY ASSOCIATION
#13 327 Prideaux Street | Nanaimo BC | V9R 2N4
C 250.702.7461 O 250.753.8324 W innovationisland.ca