Creativity in Times of Chaos

I’ll be honest, it is hard to keep writing these days as it seems like the world is burning down. It’s hard not to watch the news or keep checking Twitter in the hopes of some good news in containing this virus and all the while just seeing more chaos. I truly hope everyone is taking mental health in these times as seriously as physical health.

My brain naturally looks for big picture observations and patterns. Many of the patterns I’ve talked about have been about the broader trend with remote work, what we can learn, and how we can use this situation to shape us better as humans, society, governments, and businesses going forward.

One of the more interesting things I’ve seen is how businesses, particularly those in the services economy, are adapting to stay in business and keep their workers employed.

These are exceptional times, and I’ve been encouraged by the quick and creative adaptations of many companies. As a consumer, I have noticed many of my favorite brands doing unique offers right now, some doing things they have never done before. A random anecdote is one of my favorite breweries in Santa Rosa called Russian River Brewing offered to ship bottles of some of their famous, and very hard to find beers to fans. They brew several beers recognized in the top 20 beers of the world, and my personal favorite, Pliny the Elder, is very hard to find. They are struggling, so they offered to sell 12 packs and ship to consumers for the first time ever, and they sold the deal out in 4 hours. I jumped on this deal early as it was a total win-win for both parties. This is a simple example of many we are seeing as workers in food services.

Airlines are having to pivot to use their planes for cargo delivery during less travel and minimizing routes. Elon Musk, begrudgingly, shifted resources from making Teslas to making respirators. I even saw on the news today Tito’s vodka is using their knowledge of distilling alcohol to make hand sanitizer. Clothing makers are pivoting to help make masks for hospitals and healthcare workers.

It’s also been fascinating to see local and boutique retailers now get set up online, mostly with Shopify, which is why their stock price is, growing. I’ve seen friends on Facebook or Twitter, all promoting local retailers making unique products and now offering online in order to save their business.

Out of trying situations, people are being creative and in the process, many of their businesses may be better for it. This forced change among businesses, companies, governments, etc., is disrupting the status quo and out of that disruption may come needed change. Whether it is an evaluation of old processes, or technologies, business models, etc., many are having to move fast and adapt to the new way of doing business, at least for a prolonged period of time.

I’m trying to round up more stories of this creativity in chaos. If you know of any send them over to me. But this remains one of the small things helping to give me hope during these trying times. We, humans, are creative, and in many cases, it is inspiring to see so many people willing to help each other during times of crisis.

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Ben Bajarin

Ben Bajarin is a Principal Analyst and the head of primary research at Creative Strategies, Inc - An industry analysis, market intelligence and research firm located in Silicon Valley. His primary focus is consumer technology and market trend research and he is responsible for studying over 30 countries. Full Bio

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