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Part 1: Vitamins Don't Have a Triggering Event

How I learned to stop procrastinating and start realizing that now is the best time to launch or pivot a new product offering or startup (yes, despite the pandemic)

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ash maurya
Ash Maurya
Author and creator of Lean Canvas

Were you in the middle of a launching a new product or startup when the pandemic hit? Like a lot of entrepreneurs, you probably hit the brakes on your project or put your new ideas on the back-burner in order to conserve resources and ride out the uncertainty.

Many of us were optimistic that the storm would quickly pass. But weeks have turned into months and the reality is finally starting to set in:

We have shifted into a new normal and some things are never going to go back to the way they were.

So what do you do with your product/startup plans?

What if I told you that there has never been a better time to start up or pivot your product?

While bracing for survival is often the first (and right) instinct during a crisis, once certain basic measures are in place, this is also a time to totally re-evaluate opportunities with a completely new perspective.

Crises have historically resulted in a massive redistribution of the value chain from incumbents to new challenger companies and products.

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Here is a small sampling of such challenger companies and products created during past crises listed in chronological order from the great depression to the present:

  • Post the Great Depression 1930s: Disney, Hewlett-Packard, Lego.
  • Post World War II 1940s: Sony.
  • Oil Embargo recession 1970s: Microsoft, Apple.
  • Energy crisis 1980s: Electronic Arts, Adobe, Whole Foods.
  • Post Dotcom bust 2000s: Apple launches iPod and the iPhone, Mailchimp.
  • the Great Recession of 2009: Uber, Slack, Airbnb.
  • COVID-19 2020s: TBD

Innovation comes from struggle

This isn’t a new concept but the bigger question is how do you position your company to be on the right side of this value redistribution?