The Most Transformative C-Level Exec: COVID-19

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I heard someone recently say we have seen more digital transformation in the last month than we had in the last decade. Matthew Price, CEO of Cloudflare summarized it nicely for Jim Cramer of CNBC “while the real heroes of this pandemic are our medical professionals, the reliable sidekick has been the Internet and the cloud…it’s amazing that the Internet public utility has seen its usage double seemingly without a hitch.”

We have exponentially grown teleschool, telemedicine, teleconferencing in the last month. We are pushing our last mile delivery, drive through, work from home, and customer facing automation infrastructure to their limits. I am used to posting an average of 400 innovation blogs a year on New Florence. I could do that in a month given all the acrobatics I am seeing companies perform.  I summarized some last week and the week prior. Here is this week’s installment.

Lots of high-tech and low-tech healthcare ingenuity and agility

Abbott has launched a molecular test to detect the virus in as little as five minutes. More importantly the testing unit is mobile – weighs less than 7 lbs and is the size of a toaster so can be deployed in a wide range of healthcare facilities.

3M is doubling it annual global production target to 2 billion N95 respirators. Honeywell is similarly re-purposing aerospace and safety glasses production lines to make more N95s. N95s are designed to prevent 95 percent of very small airborne particles from getting through.

GM, Ford, Tesla and Dyson are better known for making cars and home appliances, but are using their design and manufacturing skills and component suppliers to jump into making ventilators . They are partnering with healthtech companies (like Ford with GE Healthcare) to meet the accelerating demand.

While plenty of pharma companies are working on vaccines, would you believe a tobacco company has joined them? British American Tobacco, says its US biotech subsidiary Kentucky BioProcessing was using “proprietary, fast-growing tobacco plant technology” in pre-clinical testing on animals.

Many others are jumping in with innovative, often make shift options

Battelle’s Critical Care Decontamination System (CCDS) is designed to decontaminate thousands of N95 respirators using concentrated, vapor phase hydrogen peroxide. They have been given permission by the FDA to dramatically expand capacity to do so.

Italian Engineers have re-purposed snorkeling masks

MIT researchers have built specs for a basic ventilator which can be built for as little as $ 100.

JOANN fabric stores are offering free mask making kits to their sewing and craft customer communities.   Each kit they hand out can make 12 masks. They have set a goal of 100 million masks. (let’s be clear – these would be basic cloth masks, not N95 replacements).

In the meantime, life goes on …

Costco has been a model of retail/grocery resilience given all the shortages and social distancing rules as I wrote here.

WebWed which performs virtual weddings has gone from a few couples calling per week to phones constantly ringing from all over the world.

Several churches have been offering drive-through and on-line Sunday services

Holy Trinity Parish in Nova Scotia, Canada used to stream funerals for families which could not travel, now is looking to expand the service broadly. So are many others.

Yes, we are seeing a re-definition of terms like digital transformations, agile scrums, fail faster, smart products and many others before our very eyes.

(Cross-posted @ Deal Architect)

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