When you work in an innovative field like technology, you’re conditioned to make observations, dissect the world around you and understand why it operates under its current framework. Since early March of 2020, the world has come to a complete halt - we may be entering economic recession, businesses have been closing down and we have temporarily abandoned our capitalist systems. If you’re a problem solver, your mind is probably racing trying to come up with a solution.
After speaking with various companies within the Toronto tech hub, we’ve learned that companies are either:
1) Filing for bankruptcy
2) Downsizing and laying off employees
3) Trying to predict the future of our world and adapt to it
With option C, many startups are being introduced to the economy. The instability people in the workforce are facing right now will inevitably have people looking to entrepreneurship rather than returning to a corporate job. In fact, corporations have already made massive staffing cuts and this number is staggeringly high compared to startups. Keep in mind that a corporation is much larger than a startup and requires a lot more cash flow to keep up and running. That growing number has nonetheless worried corporate employees and inventors.
Technologies that are Booming during Quarantine
As companies begin adopting new practices like remote work and online meetings, companies have started implementing technology into their businesses to increase accessibility and technology companies are starting to take note.
According to TrustRadius, since March 9, there was a 613% increase in impressions for remote health, with companies like Maple and ThinkResearch taking the lead. That's followed by the electronic signature (+511%), Web conferencing (+500%), mobile app development (+366%), antivirus (+357%), remote desktop (+281%), video platforms (+265%), webinar (+226%), Web portal (+199%), and live chat (+194%) categories.
This has allowed startups like Zoom to take off. The video conferencing software has quickly grown to $1 billion dollars and filed to go public in March 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic. In response to Zoom, Google has expanded their Hangouts app to support over 200 people! It’s clear that large corporations are noticing the shift and trying to compete within the smaller market during this pandemic.
Other tools that have been thriving include Intermedia AnyMeeting (Web conferencing category), Blackboard Collaborate (Web conferencing), and Webex Events (webinar).
How You Can Take Advantage of the Emerging Technology Market
For entrepreneurs, there is good news! Now is the time to be the meticulous observers that you are. Break down society, understand our world as it exists now and look for patterns in our behaviour. This is key to creating a business which accurately anticipates the future actions of our society and our economy.
Lucky for you, there is lots of information available about the current state of companies during this pandemic. As mentioned in a previous blog post, the shocks of the pandemic will impact behaviour from society which will indefinitely impact operations. For instance, a shift to remote work has spiked but with that, purchases of antivirus programs have increased too. At a first glance, this pattern seems understandable but not something every company would do.
In a survey performed by TrustRadius, companies reported that they were purchasing antivirus programs for their employees since they wanted to commit to remote work. There was an 87% chance that they’d continue to pay for the tools they’ve purchased after the pandemic. This is the same for any project management tools, web conferencing software and remote desktop tools.
As an entrepreneur, I am always trying to understand why our society operates in a certain way. This pandemic is beginning to expand markets that weren’t as popular before, but will also introduce new demands that society didn’t even know they needed which is one of the pillars of entrepreneurship. Time to get to work.