Hacking business navigation in times of crisis/ rapid tech evolvement

Everyone wants to be a winner. At least secretly, you want to stay on top of the ever-changing economy.

Sometimes we get overwhelmed or caught up by obstacles that come across our paths.  And recently, the entrepreneurial bug got a bit harder to cure. This year, money got expensive, and downsizing seems to be the keyword.

So getting comfortable is no longer on the table. Businesses and managers alike are all becoming more and more aware of this.

We’re all very aware that there is no safety net in entrepreneurship. But the fast-paced tempo of innovation got even faster. Automation of human work seems to be heavily catching up to white-collar jobs. With that in mind, I believe that this will facilitate the path to new, more progressive economic events. Everybody thought the world was collapsing in 2008, but looking back, it probably served as a pivot point to new, more advanced business mechanisms.

With new downturns facing us today, I’d say that understanding how to navigate business in times of “crisis” is something that simply has to be hacked – until the next cycle.

Evolvement speeds are changing

It’s safe to say that the current reality is slightly different than the one we knew a while back – the startup and product development speed contributes to the spread of financial uncertainty (worldwide). To have ongoing R&D, you have to have ongoing cash inflows, and to make profits, businesses require more spending power – both of which are harder to find today than 10 years ago.

But, if I learned anything over the years, it’s that capital always finds a way. Embracing change and innovative strategies (like process automation) can only help. Just look at what OpenAI did with ChatGPT – it’s not a “new” product, but it took less time to get it where it is today than most companies whose products we now see as “the norm.”

But how do you rise above circumstances? How do you actually cut through the noise and set up longevity in your business model? They’re both very important questions, especially now when everyone is rethinking how to move forward.

Impact of technological changes on existing business models

As we took several steps towards a fully digital future, it became increasingly important for entrepreneurs, managers, and businesses to understand the impact of technological changes on their current business models. I guess it was inevitable as we’ve integrated tech into everything we do. But there is something else at play as well.

Technology has always fundamentally changed the way companies operate, and those that didn’t adapt got left behind. But it’s a two-way street, things are not just about the end user, or process improvement anymore. A business can be classified as the user as well. Let’s analyze a few facts.

It took Netflix 6 years to become profitable. It took Amazon nine years. On the other hand, Microsoft became profitable from day one. A different path for sure, but there was also another factor at play. The difference was in innovation and cost of entry at different points in time.

What you bring to the market game today and how you communicate it has never been more relevant.

While it’s true that the business of today offers an exciting opportunity for development and innovation, it also constitutes particular risks of having to raise a significant amount of money to actually make a dent and get a seat with the “big leagues.” So how do businesses approach that?

Utilizing data-driven decision-making VS focusing on the people behind innovation

A study by McKinsey & Company found that data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, six times as likely to retain customers, and 19 times as likely to be profitable.

If anything, I’ve learned that numbers don’t lie – I don’t think there is more room left for second-guessing the markets. Netflix is entering gaming, and augmented and virtual reality are becoming more accessible. Microsoft is introducing automation into its apps, and Tesla is succeeding at mass-producing self-driving cars. The overall digital experience has changed directions.

Those trends are currently coming into place to keep companies afloat and ahead of the curve. And the big players are using it just as much as the small and micro companies. But how do you actually create progress? You have to look at the people behind innovation. Where they come from and how bills are being paid is crucial.

To meet goals and keep moving the needle, businesses across the globe are now spending almost $700 million on outsourcing. But it’s only a part of the solution. Heavily investing in high-level automation has surfaced as a new trend. But I don’t think it’ll live up to its name yet – machines still require supervision. And it’s not an easy problem to solve.

While outsourcing involves giving tasks to outside providers to cut costs, automation involves using technology to streamline processes and lessen the need for manual labor – or whatever we consider it these days anyway. But finding the right mix between the two could be the winning formula, saving both money and time (to be honest, we’re all stingy about both).

Walmart, Amazon, Tesla, and many more are all working towards autonomy in automation. But the problem, as I said, isn’t one-faced.

I think the real question is how to maximize efficiency without compromising the quality of service. I’d say it’s important to remember that it’s not always about being first, cheapest, or the fastest – the quality of service or product is key to maintaining loyalty and satisfaction.

Businesses can increase efficiency without compromising quality by taking a proactive approach to streamline workflows, removing redundancies, and fine-tuning systems. In that light, business is not about the shareholders. So, here are a few closing statements to consider:

  • It’s essential for everyone rushing to be the next big thing to remember that technology and automation are tools to assist in achieving business objectives, not a replacement for human expertise and judgment.
  • The tech comes from human needs and experience, not the other way around. Business and money follow.
  • Striking a balance between technology and human touch is key to delivering the best possible user experience while increasing efficiency  – and that increases profitability.
  • Ultimately, I strongly believe that businesses prioritizing quality and efficiency will reap the rewards in the long-term.
About the Author
Ronen Menipaz is an Israeli investor, entrepreneur, tech advisor, and founder of numerous business ventures in the entertainment, adtech, and fintech space, as well as the co-host of the Real Life Superpowers podcast. During his 25 years of entrepreneurial experience, Ronen has been involved with over 100 startups in Israel, 30 of which he founded or co-founded. Two of those startups went public, while five were sold and four more are currently privately profitable companies.
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