Keep Calm and Innovate

Keep Calm and Innovate

by Mark Selby, 9 April 2020

“It’s going to be hard, there is no doubt. But at the same time it is going to be okay… There’s not going to be chaos, there’s not going to be anarchy. Order and function will be maintained. Life is going to go on, different, but life is going to go on. So take a deep breath on all of that.”

So said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo last month, in the face of overwhelming rises in the coronavirus infection rate across his state. Indeed, as we enter the most difficult phase of the crisis, perhaps there is something in the maxim: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

Our response and conduct during this period should be measured and rational. Keeping one’s distance from others during the ongoing pandemic should be no more challenging than other ingrained social habits – say, when someone anonymously breaks wind in public, obliging innocent bystanders to keep their distance and grin through the awkwardness.

Social distancing should become an instinct, an act of decency and consideration, even a token of respect.

There will be casualties – the Great British Queuing Culture has already suffered, causing great confusion and conflict among many – but extreme times call for extreme adjustments.

That’s not to say that life cannot and should not go on as normal (or new normal). This is about acceptance, not denial, and how we can use it constructively to move forward under even the most challenging of social conditions.

We should accept the current status quo and make the most of it, both on a private and professional level. Perhaps one way through this crisis would be to accept that the majority, if not all people are likely to catch coronavirus at some point – so why not hasten the process? In lieu of a foolproof vaccine, society could benefit hugely from a legion of recovered and now-immune non-spreaders who could help provide a public service without risk.

We train soldiers to go to war – why not select a group of people willing to fall ill and isolate for two weeks, only to emerge like butterflies ready to perform their public duty?

Musings and moral implications aside, we believe that simply waiting for the crisis to be over is not a productive strategy for businesses, investors or society at large. We remain open for business via phone and digital channels, speaking with businesses and investors at both the Seed and Scale-Up stages.

In our view, it is important to understand how businesses can mitigate and innovate through the pandemic and the recession that will surely follow, and to understand investors’ evolving strategies as they adjust to these conditions.

Get in touch to see how Innovation Warehouse can support your business