Episode 32: Silver Linings!

Here are just a handful of the things that you’ll learn:

3 Reasons Why I’m Hopeful, Even Optimistic

(1) in modern times , The human race has never before faced a SINGULAR enemy. And we are responding, in unison, in record numbers!

By my estimates, somewhere between 100 – 200 million physicians, scientists, nurses, technologists, engineers are all taking aim at this pandemic.

They are running tens of thousands of experiments in parallel and sharing information with a transparency and at speeds we’ve never seen before.

These advancements may seem deceptively few at the moment (as we are only hearing about the earliest treatments), but thousands of additional impromptu experiments and therapeutic approaches are being initiated globally, across hospitals, doctors’ offices and research labs.

As these experiments bare fruit and yield data, I have little doubt that we will experience a tsunami of solutions that will disrupt and decimate this pandemic.

One snippet from a recent NYTimes article encapsulates this optimism perfectly:

“While political leaders have locked their borders, scientists have been shattering theirs, creating a global collaboration unlike any in history.

Never before, researchers say, have so many experts in so many countries focused simultaneously on a single topic and with such urgency. […]

Normal imperatives like academic credit have been set aside. Online repositories make studies available months ahead of journals. Researchers have identified and shared hundreds of viral genome sequences. More than 200 clinical trials have been launched, bringing together hospitals and laboratories around the globe.”

United by urgency, scientists are casting aside nation-specific territorialism, research secrecy, and academic publishing politics.

At the same time, government approval processes for clinical trials are now expedited at a historic pace. And online archives of pre-published academic research, such as medRxiv and bioRxiv, are being flooded by scientists from every corner of the globe.

New diagnostics, antivirals, vaccines, and therapeutics are rushing towards society at exponential speeds..

(2) It could have been MUCH worse — we’ll be prepared for next time.

Imagine if the COVID-19 virus had the mortality rate of Ebola (25% to 90%), or even SARS (11%+), while maintaining its high infectious rate.

A lot of people treat this virus today as if it’s a death sentence. Yet it’s not for the vast majority of people. For many, it is a severe cold.

When Bill Gates and a multitude of scientists (e.g. Dr. Larry Brilliant) warned us about pandemics over the past decade, the majority of society ignored these warnings. We didn’t prepare… at all.

I think of COVID-19 as a “practice pandemic,” making us brutally aware of the failure points and weak links in our economic system, healthcare complex and communication channels.

Next time — and there will be a next time — we will be ready. A slew of exponential technologies, ranging from AI, networks & sensors, to CRISPR and gene therapy, will be there to detect it immediately, creating solutions and distributing them globally at lightning speeds.

(3) There are compelling opportunities ahead…

We are in the midst of a fear and virus-driven economic meltdown, yet once we make it through to the other side, there are going to be incredible opportunities for entrepreneurs.

These opportunities take two forms:

  • First, countless outstanding employees are losing their jobs (and my heart goes out to them), and the faster we digitize, the sooner one can harness this extraordinary talent, newly available in the near future;
  • Second,  the stock market will soon be ripe with the best buying opportunities we’ve seen in a dozen years!

Bottom line, after the economic crash of 2008, what followed was a period of economic growth.

What also followed was the birth and boom of revolutionary business models and startups (Airbnb, Uber, Groupon, WhatsApp, Venmo, Slack, Square…)

We may well have another “Roaring Twenties” coming our way (once again), one that uplifts all of society.

Netflix added 15.8 million paying customers last quarter, more than double predictions, because if you didn’t have a hot take about Doc Antle you were no good to anybody

Video games sales increased 35% annually in March to 1.6 billion

Domino’s blew away revenue and and earnings forecasts for this past quarter

Other ideas:

  1. Could this bring the cost of college down? College rate of inflation is roughly 8% per year. Where normal inflation is for the last 25 years maybe around 2%Online learning platforms have sprung up.
  2. 2 trillion in stimulas effect. Now 2.5 trillion. That’s going to create a lot of wealth
  3. Manufacturing being brought back to the us.

Personal level:

  1. In a time of social distancing it’s had a strange irony that it actually has brought people closer together. Especially family.
  2. Most of the people I’ve talk to their relationships have gotten stronger.
  3. Opportunity to find new hobbies
  4. Opportunity to exercise because of boredom. You know before we had competition for our time. We could go out to dinner we could hang out with friends and we might forgo hobbies or exercise to do those things.
  5. Reading more!
  6. Relaxing more!
  7. Great time to re-evaluate your priorities. What’s important to you? Life values and Life goals. Maybe the things you were spending your money on and now you can’t spend that money…..maybe it wasn’t that important in the first place.
  8. Review your plan, cash flow, liquidity needs, emergency funds, portfolio
  9. Opportunity for getting some good deals: home improvement help contractors and get a good deal at the same time, landscaping projects.