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.