When coronavirus first came out, I was in China. I got to witness it first hand. I can tell you that it was bad.
As an entrepreneur, I think it's extremely tempting to build something just for the pandemic. It's short-visioned (don't know if that's a word, maybe I invented it), and it's dangerous.
Smart people find opportunities in bad situations. I am all for that. Good companies were mostly launched in economic recessions. But this is only half of the equation.
people tend to build a business that's only for the pandemic, but the pandemic is not the norm and it won't last. Instead, you should build something that doesn't need to run on pandemics. Build things that last.
Pandemic and all the bad situations can give you a jump start or a boost if you use it well. A good example will be Zoom. It got so big when coronavirus hit the US. Nevertheless, It is mistaken for people to think it's an idea for corona only. Zoom is built for any time of the year. Their vision is to make a good video app.
There is a huge difference between an idea for pandemic and an idea got boosted by a pandemic.
V-Check was an app that I founded when America was badly hit by Covid-19 back in March 2020. It was a failed one. The idea was to monitor Covid-19 risk for businesses by real-time analyzing worker's temperature, travel history, and people who they had contact with. It was a pure idea based on Covid-19. I saw this idea flew in China. Most importantly, my father's company succeeded. His company provided this monitoring technology for all the businesses in his city. It was a minor success for his company. I thought I could do it as well, and I was terribly wrong. One of the biggest differences between me and my dad is he is using the pandemic as a boost for his company's PR image, and I was investing an idea that runs on this pandemic. I ended up with a failed venture on V-Check, and I ended up with nothing.
Basically, I got connect by my co-founder and we were trying to sell it to Sanwa, the biggest water product manufacturer in Thailand. We failed because of so many reasons, mostly because I didn't understand the Thai culture and market. The point is even if I had sold it to the whole Thailand, it was not a sustainable idea. As I am writing this very line, the pandemic situation in China is totally under control, with no growing cases. This particular feature that's powered by my father's team, Covid-19 monitoring, is facing a steep downturn.
I found a lot of people trying to make quick money or achieve quick success from this pandemic, but you really have to think about it if it's a sustainable idea that worth your time working on. It applies to both community-building and entrepreneurship
If your idea runs on coronavirus, I would really suggest you think about how sustainable it is. Not that I discourage you from doing it, I believe the best way to find out is to learn it the hard way as I did. But you probably want to think about it and try to avoid the mistake.
"Coronavirus ideas" are going to be gone in no time as the pandemic will be gone in no time.🙊