On a walk this morning I listened to Dax Shepard’s podcast “Armchair Expert” featuring Sanjay Gupta. I was so inspired to hear Gupta talk about human ingenuity and how he considered it the “x-factor” that will help minimize the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
People and companies are adapting to demands and they are using creativity to fuel these innovations. They are pivoting their business models to serve rapidly changing needs.
Here are a few examples of human ingenuity, small and big:
- Repurposed production lines. Ford, GM, and Tesla have temporarily shut down American automotive capacity to make ventilators and have repurposed production lines to to help increase supply. LVMH has repurposed French fragrance production lines to make sanitizer to give to health authorities and hospitals, free of charge. Disc Makers has pivoted from making CDs, DVDs, USBs, and other physical media for musicians to making face shields.
- Access to testing. Dallas’ Parkland Hospital is offering drive-thru testing to qualified patients. Austin-based company Earlywell offers validated at-home testing kits for general wellness, women’s and men’s health, and soon covid-19.
- Small farmers pivot to home delivery. Local restaurants are struggling and repositioning to takeout and delivery and grocery store aisles are depleted, these small farmers are delivering fresh, organic, local produce to doors.
- Access to technology for education. As many classrooms pivot to e-learning, educators are challenged to engage students. Zoom is having a major moment as organizations move to tele-commuting, and now Zoom CEO Eric Yuan is offering all K-12 schools videoconferencing tools for free.
- Crowdsourced supercomputing and ideation. Folding@home uses the collective power of volunteer’s computers to perform complex calculations to help slow the spread of covid-19. Dallas physician launches Health Hacking Crisis Network to crowdsource actionable ideas.
- Big brands push softer messages. Car makers Hyundai and Toyota have pulled back on sales events and created TV spots highlighting the importance of family and being there for each other during these uncertain times.
- Good neighbors. Some of the most heartwarming pivots are small sightings of neighbors lending a hand. Like a neighbor turning a local little library into a tiny food bank, or an ice cream man delivering groceries to the elderly.
I am filled with hope as I see stories like these of people and businesses coming together to have each other’s backs. They are inspiring examples of how creativity and collaboration are needed now more than ever.
Have you felt inspired and hopeful after seeing a story of ingenuity during these uncertain times? Please share your story here!