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Innovation in a time of crisis

25 March 2020 7:15 PM
Tags:
business unusual
coronavirus in south afrca

A collection of stories about how to do business in very unusual times

This segment usually looks at how business can disrupt our normal routines, this time it is business trying to deal with the disruption caused by a pandemic.

Rather than resign themselves to shutting down their business and waiting for the virus to run its course, these businesses and individuals have opted to do something about it.

The most serious challenges have been to medical facilities, as the number of cases needing hospitalisation increases the supply of everything from beds, protective gowns, surgical masks and for most extreme cases ventilators.

Initially, it looked like there was not going to be a solution, but the maker community which includes people from almost all industries took on the challenge and started 3D printing parts that were needed. It was followed by the sharing of plans for others to do the same and most recently for large corporations to reconfigure their production lines to supplement the normal sources. Carmakers like Ford, Honda and Tesla have offered to help. Global Clothing labels like H&M have switched to producing masks and protective gear.

Faceguards are large plastic shields used by those working with infected and potentially infect people at screening facilities, DIY versions have appeared to allow local communities to make their own, there is even a version made from a two-litre cooldrink bottle.

Thingverse is a community of makers that collaborate to build items that sometimes become popular products, one that is gaining popularity is a small tool that makes opening doors and pressing buttons hands-free. The small gadget can be added to your keys or hung off your belt.

While not created for virus tracking, Google Maps location tracking may be a good thing to turn on now, should you develop symptoms the app will allow you to look back at where you were and when to make tracking any contacts you had easier. Zenly goes one step further, the app is normally a while to see which friends are nearby but during the lockdowns has created a leaderboard to show who has spent the most time at home. It is also a really useful app for when you are at a large event or have staff on the road or even for emergency responders to better co-ordinate while on scene.

When the call to wash your hands was first made some on social media joked about having another use for the favourite vodka prompting the vodka producer to warn that hand sanitiser needs a 60% alcohol level and spirits are typically created to be half that, but when the supply crunch hit and supplies of pure alcohol were running low, the distilleries came to the party to divert supplies, the same offer was made in South Africa, but needs Sars to first allow the excise to be scrapped to make it worthwhile.

Those that loved going to the Gym will not be able to for the next three weeks, so you can now bring the gym to you. You may lack the machines but you will have access to the trainers and the routines. Peebee is a local app that may see you find an even better trainer and support them during the lockdown.

It is not only physical exercise, if you have also wanted to take a course then now is the best time to try some mental exercise too. Crowdcast offers all sorts of talks about anything you can imagine and those providing it can charge for access.

Musicians have been hard hit by the lockdown and many are looking at options to create online parties, it will not replace their lost income but might get some more fans willing to stream their music and attend a live gig when they can. One track created from an Instagram post by Cardi B has not only done well on social media, but it also became a top 10 hit.

Streaming services have made more than enough content to watch and some ISP’s have been kind enough to double customers bandwidth for the next month in order to ensure everyone gets to watch their favourite shows. YouTube in an effort to not put too much strain on the internet will default videos to standard definition.

Being locked up at home must be especially challenging for singles, but two enterprising Instagrammers have created an online version of Love is Blind where people get to go on dates when they can’t see each other. The online version sees those that sign up to get matched and have a phone call to see if it might turn into romance.

Sports fans have been particularly hard hit. Not only have they not been able to attend matches, but they also have not been able to watch as the sports themselves are shutdown. I never imagined it would be a virus that put esports into the mainstream but that appears to be happening. Motor racing has been the first to make the leap with both F1 and Nascar offering broadcasts of virtual races. The Nascar meet that was due to be held last weekend was held on the same track in the game with many of the drivers taking part and was watched by almost a million TV viewers a new record.

Lastly bi.nu which allows marketers to make websites available to customers without using data has created a data-free version of the coronavirus website.

For all the amazing efforts of makers around the world, the one thing we can all do for the next 21 days is to make ourselves scarce. Stay home, stay safe.

When the call to wash your hands was first made some on social media joked about having another use for the favourite vodka prompting the vodka producer to warn that hand sanitiser needs a 60% alcohol level and spirits are typically created to be half that, but when the supply crunch hit and supplies of pure alcohol were running low, the distilleries came to the party to divert supplies, the same offer was made in South Africa, but needs Sars to first allow the excise to be scrapped to make it worthwhile.

Those that loved going to the Gym will not be able to for the next three weeks, so you can now bring the gym to you. You may lack the machines but you will have access to the trainers and the routines. Peebee is a local app that may see you find an even better trainer and support them during the lockdown.

It is not only physical exercise, if you have also wanted to take a course then now is the best time to try some mental exercise too. Crowdcast offers all sorts of talks about anything you can imagine and those providing it can charge for access.

Musicians have been hard hit by the lockdown and many are looking at options to create online parties, it will not replace their lost income but might get some more fans willing to stream their music and attend a live gig when they can. One track created from an Instagram post by Cardi B has not only done well on social media, but it also became a top 10 hit.

Streaming services have made more than enough content to watch and some ISP’s have been kind enough to double customers bandwidth for the next month in order to ensure everyone gets to watch their favourite shows. YouTube in an effort to not put too much strain on the internet will default videos to standard definition and has added more resources for homeschooling.

Being locked up at home must be especially challenging for singles, but two enterprising Instagrammers have created an online version of Love is Blind where people get to go on dates when they can’t see each other. The online version sees those that sign up to get matched and have a phone call to see if it might turn into romance.

Sports fans have been particularly hard hit. Not only have they not been able to attend matches, but they also have not been able to watch as the sports themselves are shutdown. I never imagined it would be a virus that put esports into the mainstream but that appears to be happening. Motor racing has been the first to make the leap with both F1 and Nascar offering broadcasts of virtual races. The Nascar meet that was due to be held last weekend was held on the same track in the game with many of the drivers taking part and was watched by almost a million TV viewers a new record.

Lastly bi.nu which allows marketers to make websites available to customers without using data has created a data-free version of the coronavirus website.

For all the amazing efforts of makers around the world, the one thing we can all do for the next 21 days is to make ourselves scarce. Stay home, stay safe.

Now read: What your business can do to deal with a potentially unusual 2020 flu season Then read: Pandemic - of all potential threats, the smallest may prove the most lethal


25 March 2020 7:15 PM
Tags:
business unusual
coronavirus in south afrca

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