EverydayNo More Brunch! (A Thought Exercise)

No More Brunch! (A Thought Exercise)

A Post-Pandemic Thought Exercise:

Let’s imagine a world, not too distant in the future when the quarantine lifts but life as we know it has fundamentally changed. A ‘work from home’ startup is the next Silicon Valley unicorn, influencers begin hocking virtual experiences and home workouts. Hugs and handshakes have gone the way of the pistachio dance and while strangers glare and often verbally shame others for being too close to others regardless of context. In short, a new cultural stigma arises.

Keep going. People stop commuting and buying gas, they take fewer vacations. They shop less in almost every category. And the initial count of 20 Million unemployed doubles with corporate layoffs in retail, farming, transportation, and hospitality industries. No more brunch.

In place of wanderlust, influencers now peddle austerity and community involvement..

Keep going. Imagine in this world nearly 75% of restaurants have closed. The ones that do survive have increased fixed costs and fewer tables due to social distancing. The experience is less efficient and, in turn, more expensive. No more brunch.

Questions:

What are the long term consequences of this scenario?

How will this affect the economy, your business, and your life?

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Now let’s change the way we are framing this.

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Scenario 2:

Imagine a similar world in the not so distant future where quarantine is lifted and life as we know it has fundamentally changed. Employers collectively decide to implement WFH orders leading to the fall of unnecessary commuting, air travel, and a drastic reduction in carbon emissions. An emerging new business ecosystem arises around the WFH Industry. In place of wanderlust, influencers now peddle austerity and community involvement. Hugs and handshakes are still a thing, but consent becomes a more deliberate and less confounding concept to grasp.

Let’s keep going. New restaurants pop up with increased quality standards, higher wages, and paid healthcare for their staff. New supply chains focussed on delivering same-day, farm-to-table produce is established reconnecting local suppliers to increasing populations of home chefs. We see a reduction in monoculture farming in favor of perennial polyculture farming for more productive yields and to reduce reliance on expensive chemicals. The supply chain becomes deconsolidated leading to an increase in smaller businesses to address the change.

Keep going. With travel reduced cultural escapism is eclipsed by stronger community and family initiatives. Businesses start prioritizing Cost-Per-Use metrics rather than Frequency of Purchase. The average lifespan increases for the working class, especially amongst minority communities. And, in place of the jobs we lost, industries emerge around our new norms. The adjustment is slow but strong. We cut brunch out and cook from home.

Questions:

What are the long term consequences of this scenario?

How will this affect the economy, your business, and your life?

Which of these scenarios would you choose?

Follow Up:

The intent of this post was not to devalue endless-mimosa culture. My underlying concern was discovering a topic that would be poignant enough to capture our general zeitgeist while not being burdening the idea with semantics. I wanted to bring to light the concept and consequences of framing. And how we can empower ourselves to utilize unanticipated shocks, no matter how tragic, to affect meaningful change. If you have the time to listen to the podcast that inspired the title, it is enjoyable (here).

Best,

Jake

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