Post Image
  The human race, our history, the story of our existence opens us up to a trend; 1889 through to 1890 saw the flu pandemic hit its heights in 5 weeks. It claimed over a million lives. 24 years later, 1914 through to 1918 came the war to end all wars, World War 1. That battle was so fierce that it directly resulted in the loss of 16 million lives.  But the worst of human experiences always have birthed the best inventions.
Read more about Business
It’s to the First World War that we owe the invention of drones (an in-built technology that enabled the development of a remote-controlled flying bomb). We owe to that same crisis the invention of industrial fertilizers, tea bags (it started off as a soldier’s mechanism for packaging tea in small bags that could be dropped right into a pot of boiling water for convenience), it also created the use of sanitary pads and even plastic surgery to correct war injuries. The same year the war ended, came the influenza pandemic which led to millions of deaths worldwide. Two years later it was 1920, the great depression in which millions of people watched their incomes sink to nothing. But that low-income era saw the invention of the chocolate bar out of necessity. Until that year, no one had ever eaten a chocolate chip cookie. But that year, Ruth Graves Wakefield accidentally created the recipe while baking for guests in her tollhouse. For lack of disposable income, she ran out of supplies including the baker’s chocolate while making cookies and had to settle for cutting chocolate into bars and pieces. She assumed the chocolate would melt, but instead, it hardened into tiny chips. Her recipe eventually became the Nestle Toll House Cookie). This formed, to date, the platform for the massive growth of an FCMG multinational to be later known as Nestle. It was also during the Great Depression that the world’s most respected magazine was formed. Even though it seemed ironic, the magazine by the name Fortune did everything wrong and still ended up in the right place. It released its inaugural issue in 1930, less than a year after the stock market crashed, and charged more money than other magazines at the time ($1). Not to mention the fact that it called itself Fortune and promoted stories of the wealthy in a depression. And yet, its circulation reached nearly half a million around that year. Nine years later after the Great Depression era, it was 1939, the beginning of World War 2, where a blood tasty leader by the name of Adolf Hitler led his Nazi army and the axis to hunt and slaughter a race. It ended in 1945. But with the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, two cities in Japan wiping a good portion of the population, the world was shown the power and application of atomic technology. Then came the Cold War, signified by the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, which brought us an inch close to the utter destruction of the world. We have been faced with the deadly flu, the H1N1 Swine flu infecting over 1.4 billion people across the globe, claiming thousands of lives within a year. Despite these many setbacks and seemingly impossible challenges, we have made it through. We have not just survived; we have come out stronger and better. When we are faced with challenges, we move from a place of total dependence on resources to resourcefulness. Perhaps answers lie in the old quote “necessity is the mother of inventions.” Most of the technological advancement has been carved out in the eye of the storm.
Sign up to the Connect Nigeria daily newsletter
It is out of necessity to generate sales for businesses to stay afloat during a crisis that gave rise to the development of new marketing and branding tactics. For example, it’s out of the oil shocks of 1973 and 1979 that hundreds of millions of dollars were invested in high-speed integrated circuits. By the early 1980s, it became clear that these tiny chips could be used for miniaturizing dozens of small appliances: the personal computer, the Walkman, and the portable phone. This is how electronics became the biggest boom of the last quarter of the 20th Century. This paved the way for the maximum explosion of the internet too. The biological weapons used in the First World War became the basis for the use of biogas in health care. The Internet initially known as the Arpanet was a product of the cold war. Just as metal goes through fire for refinement, the world is not merely prone to crisis, it is also shaped by it. At the end of every dark devastating tunnel shines a bright light. The world has always been known to prosper further and better, right after a crisis. The same applies to us as nations and individuals, however, while in the dark light, things may look bleak. While it rains it pours, that’s the bad thing about bad times. But the good things about bad times are that it’s never that bad just like the bad thing about good times is that it’s never that good. While things seem bad, let’s not lose hope or out of fear and pain throw the baby with the bathwater. When in crisis, always remember, that this too shall pass. It will pass. It may not seem like it, but it will, trust in that! When change comes, you either embrace it or get consumed by it. Let it be one of our makers, without being our undertaker. Let’s not act like victims and get drowned in hand downs. An African proverb reminds us that “whoever you give the power to feed you, you also give the power to starve you”. In these times where we are faced with the lockdown and pandemic, it’s important to look beyond it. The Covid-19 suddenly didn’t drive us home to stay indoors. It drove us to somewhere deeper, online. And it will never return us back. Our lives have just changed! Generally, what has been the worst of times for the economy as a whole, turns out to be one of the best times for resourceful and opportunistic entrepreneurs. After the pandemic and its corresponding recession will come a take over of bigger brands by underdogs. This will be driven by a consumer preference for a cheaper, faster, and easier alternative to their decline purchasing power from global recessions. And then will come the massive deployment of 5G. 5G aren’t about phones, as chips, AI, Nanotechnology implants, Biotechnology, centralized data and higher sophistication in intelligence and governance, will replace phones. This will make things more efficient and secure. But remember that the trade-off of excessive security is always the loss of privacy and safety. That battle isn’t about efficiency. It’s about the data, its multi-uses, and who controls it and the threats. This is already sitting in the middle of China versus USA feud, the coldest war yet. History shows us that life is a game where the deck gets reshuffled in crisis. As the crisis develops, habits are re-examined and patterns of behaviour are broken, perhaps to a greater degree than when things are humming along at a steady state. And that’s what creates business opportunities. Beyond panic, news, and updates, what’s your plan to leverage on this crisis? Featured Image Source: Financial Times
Got a suggestion? Contact us:

You might also like:
This article was first published on 12th June 2021


Uwaoma Eizu is the founder and lead strategist of the Hexavian group. He is a graduate of Mathematics with two Master's Degrees, a PMP and other management certifications.

Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *