Life After Coronavirus: Our Future After the Great Disruption

What will our new normal be after we emerge from the Great Disruption caused by the coronavirus?

With any major event, there will be aspects of our lives that will change. Some of these changes will be permanent, while others will be short-term. There also will be aspects of our lives that will return to what we remember. The question on everyone's mind is: how will our future look?

In this analysis, Michael Hackmer will provide some insights in what we may be able to expect in the months and years ahead. And how people, especially entrepreneurs and business leaders, can best adapt to the new trends.

Questions? Ideas? Comments? Please e-mail me [michael] [at] [hackmer] [dot] [com].


  • What Are We Facing?

  • Our Government Failed Us

  • Business and Individuals Take A Public Role

  • The New Normal: Health, Localization and Self-Sufficency

  • Seasonal Coronavirus: Outbreak and Containment Waves

  • Our Future and Next Steps

By thinking of what is happening more as a “disruption” and looking at the trends that can emerge – we can better plan business goals.

One of things I am seeing is how much good a company like Adobe can do so quickly for federal, state and local government agencies when the govt moves with urgency and is focused on / unified around achieving a goal.

Here are some bullets from the PPT:

  • What we are facing is new but also not new. The pandemic is new, but from a business point-of-view the pandemic is a disruption more than a disease. And we know how disruptions work. So we should feel confident about moving forward. We can see where we’re headed. We can plan with confidence.
  • The pandemic is putting a new gloss on health / hygiene and self-sufficiency.
  • In the midst of this pandemic, we have convinced ourselves that the d-word that matters is disease. And there is no doubt that disease will play a role. But it’s not disease per se. Rather, it’s disruption. It’s disruption that is unlocking the future. It’s disruption, not disease, that is accelerating the shift of direction in the marketplace. We can make better sense of what’s happening and what it means when we think and plan in terms of disruption, not disease.
  • We over-estimate the long-run impact of changes in immediate situations. In the moment, a disruption feels momentous and consequential and revolutionary. And then it’s over. Life moves on and everything we expected would change gets forgotten like a New Year’s resolution.
  • We need to look through the prism of politics and the COVID-19 pandemic. In so doing, we see a shift from “person” to “public,” which is to say, an emerging trend of priorities from self to society. People are demanding that brands deliver not just a ”better self,” but a “better society,” too. And the political and public health context of the moment is going to clear the way for this to emerge even more quickly.
  • The emerging imperative for business — the imperative that the COVID-19 pandemic is clearing the way for — is that brands must do more to help society.
  • The Conference Board published a survey this year that was conducted in 64 countries. They found that people want brands to step into the public roles that governments have long occupied, but no longer occupy well.
  • What is it that brands can do to deliver the kind of better society that many consumers want without running afoul of what other consumers don’t want?
  • Ideally, what brands need is a way to bridge the gap. A way to do something that contributes to a better society that is okay to everybody. And frankly, that’s not as hard as it seems. There are brands that have famously made it look hard — like Nike and Colin Kaepernick or Dick’s Sporting Goods and the sale of assault rifles. Those brands took a stand on very big issues, and they were willing to bear the consequences.
  • There is a massive, real-time experiment going on all over the world today as companies step into the public expectations that consumers have of them. For every brand, now is the time to stretch your thinking and challenge your capabilities. What can you do that is different yet needed, that might be something to scale and monetize later — because many of these items now in short supply will be necessities in the future.

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