Coronavirus and other crises that force people to reinvent themselves

If you think this is just like any other alarmist and opportunistic posts regarding how the world is going to end with this current crisis, it is not…

As an eternally optimistic, I’m here to tell you how you can confront the giant elephant in that tiny 2 m² room, instead of trying to run away from it and eventually get crushed and die from an excruciating death.

Yes, I know there are plenty of posts discussing how remote work suddenly is being massively adopted, not only as a privilege but as a necessity regarding the current outbreak. There are also lots of tools that could help people to continue their daily lives without having to stop working or enjoying life. Google and Microsoft, for example, are giving away their enterprise conferencing tools during this crisis.

That is all true and fortunately, we have the internet and a lot of tech companies that can help us keep going, but what about businesses that actually depend on meetings, events and offline contact to stay in business?

Is it cancelled yet?

If you’re like me and you had a bunch of national and international events scheduled for the upcoming weeks, you’re out of luck. Every cancellation hurts less and less as you get used to it every single day…

There are even websites like to inform you in a less painful way that your event got cancelled and making you less lonely in this scenario.

If you get mad as a participant or partner, imagine if you’re a host of these events… Our friends from Pixels Camp, for example, are devastated right now, as they see months of work going down the drain and their community getting sad although knowing that they couldn’t have done it differently…

Now is the time to reinvent yourself!

You have two choices now: you either cry yourself until you may have no business left to run or you reinvent how you do business.

If there is a time to be innovative, now is the time!

It is commonly known that the biggest innovations come from the period of crisis, not of stability. Did you know that the internet was invented in the Cold War as a way to share encrypted government data between researchers and scientists? But it is also known that innovation drives out of serendipity, something that is usually associated with human contact.

A way to tackle this is to make your online experience as seamless as it would be in an offline manner. Tools that can make this happen are the ones that are going to thrive now and even more later, once people start to realize that times have changed and that physical distance is no longer the barrier.

How have we tackled this at TAIKAI?

As you know, we organize online and offline tech competitions (aka hackathons) for companies, universities, and other organizations to get the best talent to work around their innovation challenges and provide the best solutions that hardly could come out of a corporate context.

The main difficulty we encounter is that almost every company or organization wants to do this offline, as they believe it will provide a better experience for both the host and the participants.

More and more, we realize that it is not the case and that online provides better end results than the offline experiences. Not only in terms of quality and diversity but also for sustainability and cost-efficiency reasons for organizations. Besides, instead of just reaching your local community, with full online competitions anyone in the world with internet access can join in and contribute with their own vision.

This is the power of the Internet. It was born to transform all human interaction. Even the way we interact with each other. And now it is no longer an option, it is a necessity for both parties.

Still not convinced?

Can you imagine the power of having all of these innovative projects that usually emerge from offline tech competitions and that eventually get lost in the middle of all the rush and confusion of a typical 24h hackathon, all available in an online repository for future consultation?

And what if I told you that this could also unlock the possibility of having a real diverse and geographically remote team working on a real company’s problem? A team composed of Japanese, French and Canadian participants that together collaborate to build a solution? This may seem like the beginning of an old joke, but it can actually be the reality of the future.

To show that we truly believe this, we’ve decided to launch our own fully online competition: a Game Jam devoted to developing the best games that can raise awareness for the UN Sustainable Development Goals, by making it possible for participants from around the world to communicate and work on this challenge, without having to know each other.

On this topic, we’re also considering launching a challenge about COVID-19. It is the perfect timing to stop accumulating problems and start building solutions.

At the moment we’re actively looking for ideas, participants and partners, to show the world that there is always an alternative, despite the crisis you believe you’re in.

If you have ideas for this, feel free to reach us!

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