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Reply To: I had a discussion with a business owner yesterday . He was very pessimistic about the next two years. He challenged me because of my optimism for the future. I believe opportunities will come out of this as has every depression. It will take a great deal of coloration and reimagining.I was concerned that I have a Pollyanna approach to covid and the future of the business world. I would welcome any panel thoughts 

Kia ora,

You pose an interesting question. I think it really depends. At an individual business level many have continued to do fine (food) while it’s hit others badly (hospo, tourism, airlines). There’s also no denying that any disruption to the status quo tends to make people put their thinking caps on – and some come up with great new and fresh ideas. You just have to look at what people are posting on Manaaki.io to see the creativity oozing.

I think a bigger question is what’s the macro effect. Some are pointing to this being a “Schumpeterian” event (see this explanation) of “creative destruction”. Others point out that creative destruction is more about the new disrupting an incumbent old, where what we have here is “destruction first”. Here’s an interesting read on this in the WSJ:
https://www.wsj.com/articles/yes-its-destruction-but-not-creative-destruction-11586546795

The big difference between what we have now vs. The Great Depression is the role of technology and the associated efficiencies and productivity gains. Fingers crossed this will cause things to bounce back quicker – that’s providing there’s no long-term demand-side slump. There may even be an upside in that many businesses will have been dragged through a tech learning curve in 2020 that they may not have otherwise and will likely see some productivity improvement because of it… e.g. people scrambling to get their eCommerce solutions; remote working etc.

A bit of a ramble there… At the end of the day I do think having a glass half-full outlook – a “growth mindset” – will likely see you through this better than descending into a spiral of negativity.

All the best,
-Peter