The Back Cover-July 16, 2020
Believe it or not, but many innovative companies were formed in challenging economic times. This week I am focusing on where innovation is taking place in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. I found this fascinating and I think you will too.
A pandemic-inspired start-up is turning boring videoconferences into ‘Twitch for olds’ (CNBC)
- Mmhmm is new beta software that makes it easy to add visual effects and other production to videocalls.
- It has raised 4.5 million in seed funding from investors including Sequoia Capital and is led by tech industry veteran Phil Libin.
- It’s is one of the first examples of a new Silicon Valley start-up launching a consumer product inspired by the pandemic.
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Crisis Has Jump-Started America’s Innovation Engine. What Took So Long? (Wall Street Journal)
Chances are there is a company within short driving distance from where you are that has recently gotten into the personal protection equipment business. I know, because my inbox is flooded with pitches from their PR agencies.
Eclipse International, a New Jersey bedding maker, and Aunt Flow, an Ohio-based tampon producer, are among them. They’re making face masks using materials, factories or supply chains used for mattresses or maxi pads.
British vacuum-cleaner giant Dyson Inc. designed the CoVent ventilator in 10 days and is one of several industrial heavyweights committing to make thousands of them. Pittsburgh’s Thar Process Inc., a carbon dioxide extraction and purification company, is bottling a new hand sanitizer that a staff chemist ginned up practically overnight.
Corporations world-wide have moved fast in the fight against new coronavirus. It’s laudable. And, to be honest, it’s a bit perplexing.
If these companies can suddenly pivot on a dime in a crisis, why are so many of them flat-footed in ordinary times?
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