Yesterday I came across a startup that is planning to reinvent face masks (just in case you didn’t realize that, apparently, they need reinventing).

According to their website, there is a fundamental problem with the trusty old N95 facemask that can be solved via a USD350 electronic device with lots of intricate parts, the necessity for frequent recharging and plenty of nano-this, AI-that and disruptive-the other. If that sounds very much like the Juicero to you, you wouldn’t be mistaken.

It strikes me – what economies need post-Covid-19 is a lot less reinventing the wheel (otherwise known as doing something simply because one can, not because one should) and much more focus on what actually matters – food, shelter, equitable distribution. Less making toys for wealthy and bored millenials, and more doing “stuff that matters.”

It feels, in my worldview, that for a decade or more, we’ve been focusing on the very highest levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and a situation like we’re currently working through makes us refocus on those more foundational elements.

So there’s my hope – that instead of doing stuff that only a tiny proportion of people will ever be able to use, we think more about the important stuff, and work on ways to make it available to all.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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