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Innovate or evaporate

tech, general4 min read

Innovate or die

— Credits to Pavelas Laptevas

“Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.”

- G. Michael Hopf, Those Who Remain

When you are stuck in the middle of a global pandemic, seeing the brighter side of things may come off as preachy. Especially while one is witnessing a large scale loss of human life, one is bound to get a little nihilistic.

But at the same time, facing a challenge as mighty as this motivates us to fight back. It refuels our purpose and prompts us to take the next big step, a step that can change the course of life entirely.

In the year 1892, Thomas Edison & Co. launched general electric. During this time, the nation was also heading towards the infamous panic of 1893. It was a long drawn period of panic that lasted for 16 months, causing a huge 40% drop in all business activities across the nation. Regardless of having all the odds against it, the company still persevered through these challenging times.

The company went on to become one of the twelve original companies on the Dow Jones Industrial Average list. In the year 2019, the company's total revenue summed up to be $95.2 billion.

While humanity works relentlessly towards building a collective future, ambitious and innovative minds are witnessed rising to the occasion to refashion the old ways of living in order to prepare us for a new and better tomorrow.

As the world continues to recover from various upheavals, technology too, is unceasingly moving forward in order to bridge the gap. Times of crisis have often brought great opportunities for tech startups to create solutions that can change the face of the world.

How The World Of Technology Changed The World

From 1937–1938, the corporate world was on the verge of collapsing due to one of the most unforgivable recessions in the history of mankind. The GDP experienced a huge blow and reached an all-time low of nearly 19%. The crisis was ruthless and caused irreparable damages to the economy.

In the face of towering impossibility, Stanford graduates William Hewlett and David Packard chose to forge ahead. They didn't let their workings come to a halt and devised a plan for their new electronics company, Hewlett Packard. The company did feel the blow of the recession.

Nevertheless, it continued to persevere and officially incorporated their business on 1st January 1939. Later on, the company went to become a billion-dollar asset. In 2019, its total revenue summed up to be $58.8 billion.

Now whenever someone thinks of purchasing a good computer, HP is the first name that comes to mind. This goes to show how far the company has come despite the odds and difficulties.

This is not an isolated example. Here are a few other cases:

Slack

Slack Logo Slack has become an integral part of every workplace. Especially in the wake of a global pandemic, when everyone is forced to work from the comfort of their homes, slack became every business's go-to app for communication. But did you know an app that has become a lifesaver during such a humanitarian crisis was founded during a crisis too?

Slack is a proprietary business communication platform that was founded during The Great Recession in 2009. Many would think twice before making such a bold move but Stewart Butterfield saw the economic crisis as an opportunity to build one of the most visited business communication platforms.

Microsoft

Microsoft Logo Microsoft was another tech company that survived a major collapse. The year 1973 went on to be one of the worst years of recession. The major stock market crisis was coupled with a major oil crisis, causing one of the worst blows to the GDP in nearly 20 years.

Regardless of such a large scale setback, Bill Gates and Paul Allen continued to work on their software business. Just a few days after the recession, the business was launched.

Within a decade of its existence, the company experienced exponential growth. The company launched its first-ever IPO in the year 1986 that paved the way for a total of twelve thousand millionaires and three billionaires.

Netflix

Netflix Logo Our beloved media services provider, Netflix, nearly succumbed to the economic crisis in the year 2000.

The loss was impalpable and the company had to be put on sale for $50 million. Netflix managed to endure the storm of hardships, eventually transforming into the awesome streaming platform that we know now. It is now one of the most frequently used sites for streaming on-demand consumer videos.

What Do All Of these Companies Have In Common?

These examples are living proof that a good idea is a good idea no matter what the situation is. The only thing that matters is an entrepreneur's grit and resolve to make things happen.

Great entrepreneurs know how to thrive in times of crisis and uncertainty. Creative expression and finding the right medium to express it comes naturally to them.

In the midst of political and social turbulence, great entrepreneurs still move forward with unwavering clarity. COVID-19 is indeed a looming crisis with no certainty about when a vaccine or treatment will be developed. There's no way one can know what financial impact the current isolation policies will have on our future.

But one thing is certain, by the time this global crisis is over, humanity would be in a different space altogether. In order to adapt to these changes, new creative solutions would become a necessity.

Key Takeaways

  1. The companies that ditched the traditional ways and took risks managed to reach the top in the end.

  2. A clear company mission is of utmost importance as it allows the founders to make indispensable decisions in regards to the company's future.

  3. Times of crisis does present numerous challenges but with innovation and hard work, one can overcome anything!

While hardships do test our patience and tenacity, they also serve as an opportunity that can lead us to never-seen-before discoveries. It's the strength and hard work that makes all the difference at the end of the day.


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