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innovation DAILY

Here we highlight selected innovation related articles from around the world on a daily basis.  These articles related to innovation and funding for innovative companies, and best practices for innovation based economic development.

Confident businessman sitting on armchair near window in modern spacious workspace Free Stock Photo

In countries hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, customer-facing service businesses don’t just face a tough two to three months; they face a tough two to three years. Because people will still be nervous about catching the disease until a vaccine is widely available, demand is likely to be depressed, while costs — due to measures needed to keep employees and customers safe — will be higher.


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Group of People In Dress Suits Free Stock Photo

Recently, Marc Andreessen, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, one of the largest venture capital funds, called on the whole world to start building. To build in the broadest sense: from new cities and industries, to new educational programs that will enable millions to study at Harvard, or the learning institutions of their choice.


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What We Lose When We Hide Our Smiles Behind a Mask Time

I miss smiling. I don’t miss it in the inspirational poster “the whole world smiles with me” way. I don’t miss it, as another poster says, because I can no longer “intimidate those who wish to destroy me.” I don’t miss it because “happiness looks gorgeous on me,” although I did put in three very formative years of hard time in the orthodontia trenches–20 months of braces and six retainers–so it looks at least marginally better than it used to.

Image: Illustration by Nathalie Lees for TIME

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The coronavirus pandemic has placed extraordinary demands on leaders in business and beyond. The humanitarian toll taken by COVID-19 creates fear among employees and other stakeholders. The massive scale of the outbreak and its sheer unpredictability make it challenging for executives to respond. Indeed, the outbreak has the hallmarks of a “landscape scale” crisis: an unexpected event or sequence of events of enormous scale and overwhelming speed, resulting in a high degree of uncertainty that gives rise to disorientation, a feeling of lost control, and strong emotional disturbance.1


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One thing is clear: The COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc on small businesses. According to one estimate, more than 100,000 small businesses have closed for good because of the coronavirus-induced economic shutdown.

Even in the midst of a pandemic, the U.S. economy is more dynamic than we often think. While many small businesses are struggling to meet payroll and other costs, many others are surviving and even thriving. Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing small business owners to do what they do best: Adapt and innovate.


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The era of stable lifetime jobs for business professionals within a single company are gone. Companies are rightsized quickly now as markets change rapidly, and business professionals are quick to jump to new opportunities for growth and survival, with no ties to special benefits or pension plans. Thus smart business professionals are rapidly becoming the new entrepreneurs.


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"Before corona the plan was to go and do a big fundraise at the end of the year," says Avi Meir, the co-founder and CEO of TravelPerk, from a lockdowned Barcelona.

However, those plans are now on hold. Seeking funding now "would look like a bargain for investors", he says. "I'm not interested in that. Why go and sell something at a lower price."

Image: Avi Meir, CEO and co-founder of TravelPerk. TRAVELPERK

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video conference

Before the pandemic, there were no playbooks for how to convert a co-located team to 100% virtual in a matter of days and we’re finding in our research that the conversion process — and the results — has differed substantially from team to team, even within the same organization. This variability puts tremendous strain on individual employees who are now navigating not just one whole new way of working, but often several.


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Stepping Stones - Pixabay

What’s next? That is the question everyone is asking. The future is not what we thought it would be only a few short months ago.

In a previous article, we discussed seven broad ideas that we thought would shape the global economy as it struggled to define the next normal. In this one, we set out seven actions that have come up repeatedly in our discussions with business leaders around the world. In each case, we discuss which attitudes or practices businesses should stop, which they should start, and which they should accelerate.


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Happy Memorial Day from Rich Bendis and the Innovation America Team!