Forced Ingenuity

By Adam Frinsco of The Advocates

Today’s The Distillery is a list I’ve been working on for the last few weeks. Although this whole COVID-19 experience has been far from pleasant, I am overwhelmed by a sense of pride and excitement every time I see an email from a company who is adapting to their environment and seeking to help local businesses and communities.

COVID-19 has essentially allowed the entire world to beta test new business concepts that would have otherwise been entirely too risky in “normal” market conditions. When we come out of this recession (?), I’m excited to see how our forced ingenuity meshes with our past business practices for the better.

Examples of Forced Ingenuity in my Inbox

  • 3/13 – Most restaurants adjust operations to take-out only.
  • 3/15 – Snap Kitchen announces free delivery on orders over $50.
  • 3/16 – REI announces they’ve shut down their physical stores, but will continue to pay their employees and will provide free shipping on all orders.
  • 3/19 – DoorDash announces free Dash Pass to all consumers essentially making delivery of food “free.”
  • 3/20 – Ford will move to a pick-up service. They will pick up your car, drive it to the dealership, fix it, then drop it back at your house.
  • 3/21 – Lyft begins pivoting drivers to help deliver medical supplies. They will also help deliver meals to children who normally would have received them free at school.
  • 3/21 – Whole Foods adjusts store hours to allow shoppers over 60 years old to enter and shop an hour prior to the general public.
  • 3/22 – A local Heights nursery, Buchanan’s, moves business online and will deliver plants and landscaping materials to its customers.
  • 3/22 – My doctor’s office, Village Medical, has gone all virtual, and will only allow patients to visit in-person if they meet certain criteria during the initial virtual visit.

The list goes on and on, and I’m sure we’ll continue to see adjustments as businesses modify their strategies to serve their customers and stay alive.

Stay safe out there, and if you’re in Houston, enjoy the weather today!