I suspect we all want to forget this year ever happened. However, I do want to savor a few precious pills of wisdom.
Covid–19: good data is hard to capture and to validate. It’s even harder to parse and convert into good decisions. Good decisions originate from a willingness to seek the truth. We needed fast and accurate data on infections and hospitalization. But ‘spreadsheeting’ COVID-19 data didn’t inspire any confidence. Solve: it starts with investing in tech and talent for health and government.
CivicTech: only a select set of prominent figures focused on CivicTech until the pandemic hit. Now, most have probably forgotten about contact tracing failures or the Uber ambulance success for domestic abuse. That’s until we get a government issue COVID-19 passport to allow us to move around. Solve: government should not build CivicTech but rather stimulate citizens & private enterprises to do so. One example is the groundbreaking collaboration between Google and Apple on a privacy-first contact-tracing approach. Yes, the one that some governments did not want to use because..ahum..it did not break privacy.
LegalTech: The fallen icons – like Ross and Atrium LTS- should have our sympathy but also need our scrutiny. The reality is that there is a decade of data to suggest that many businesses serving lawyers aren’t profitable. While some do manage to break even, they usually aren’t rocket ships with major returns. Still, investments poured in and investor’s appetite remained stable. Solve: focus on legal problems of companies and citizens and not the ‘lawyer’s’ problem. Especially if those legal problems impact the balance sheet.
Nature: we are fragile in mind and body. Not being able to hug our loved ones for almost a year leaves an immeasurable imprint on everyone. Solve: We’re not only supporting FemTech but also partnering with companies on mental health solutions. We have identified some pretty sound models that are scalable, profitable, and thus sustainable businesses.
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Stimulus: to stimulate the economy, funds will be flooding society coming in from private and public sectors. Blockchain, Bitcoin, and the means to raise cash with coins (ICO) will return. Especially ICO’s revealed wondrous ideas for legal tech companies. Yes, there will be fraud and greed, but now we’ll also have better checks and balances when we engineer our laws into our tech. A process better-known as RegTech.
Productivity: We discovered that traveling should only be for essential work or leisure. Without all the travel we will be more productive. Courts have been able to clear backlogs due to virtual hearings. The mindset and IT infrastructure are still catching up but -like the vaccine- the digital transformation is now at warp speed. However, beware that special interest and business models will try and slow this down
Creativity: chaos breeds diversity and creativity. We’ve witness diversity efforts being front and center in the streets and sports arenas. Diversity means we’ll have to look for alternatives to fix the ills in our society. This will bring about more creativity and invite a healthier balance of what it means to be human.
Now, we have a -once in a millennium- opportunity to reboot society. If you like to prosper, you will have to value nature and nurture our coherence. You, Coinbase, and Google…I hope you are listening.