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Open Letter: COVID-19, the Death of “Business as Usual”

Concerned American,

First, thank you to the front line workers, the nurses, the doctors, the first responders and all the others who have answered the call for help during this time. We thank you, and our prayers are with you during this time.

With this COVID-19 pandemic happening, it is everyone’s first instinct to hunker down and hibernate. While it is important that we social distance (PLEASE, it is how we will beat this), hibernating and doing nothing is only half of the battle.

The world as we once knew it has passed, we here in America will never be the same. I heard someone call this the “9-11 of this Generation” and I couldn’t agree more. I was in 10th grade when the planes hit the towers and the Pentagon (only 11 miles from where I was sitting). While people banded together, businesses changed. We saw a heightened sense of security; the digital movement REALLY took off. This time will be no different.

Thomas Jefferson said every generation needs a revolution. This, like it or not, is our change, our revolution.

We are already seeing multiple businesses switch to delivery, self-pick up, move to a more digital world – with eCommerce emerging within businesses we never thought possible (I literally had three bottles of wine delivered to my house in hours from a local winery, for a virtual wine tasting).

While our daily lives will, with God’s grace, return to “normal” they will be anything but. Businesses who refuse to change and innovate will die out – and blame the virus. The truth is this is our revolution, this will be the birth of a more remote, eco-friendly, cloud-based world.

Some of us have already been here for years, the early adopters if you will. To those groups I say, be vocal, lend a hand. Help those around you with free (yes free) offerings of Lunch and Learns, White Papers, Training and helping of others see the capability of what a digital world can mean for everyone and all businesses, not just the “Big Guy”. I know here at Capitol Presence we will be doing everything in our power to include digital happy hours, coffee meet ups, lunch and learns and other additional digital meet ups that we can use to push the possibilities of cloud computing. We will be doing more with AI and ML as well as looking to compete in AWS DeepRacer in the upcoming events, getting into self-driving cars (even if it is a small remote-control looking car). We plan to take on this new challenge while inviting you along for the ride, documenting our troubles and creating use cases for those who follow. We will also be launching Cloud Academy, an online training platform to help members greater understand the Microsoft and AWS platforms, train for certifications and get you environments up and running effectively at all organization sizes (from enterprise to small business to Federal Agency).

To those who are new to the cloud and have pushed it off for years, now is the time. If you are a small business, you have seen your work force completely changed. Maybe you had to lay people off, maybe you have kept them on through grants and loans and wondering how to put them to work. The time is now to innovate. The Big Businesses have a secret that they don’t want you to know, They don’t know what they’re doing in a digital world, either. Distance learning, online digital events, mass remote working is new to everyone. The field has been leveled for you. Sound hard? Absolutely. Impossible? Hardly. Here is a list of businesses that have started in a recession, General Electric (1890), IBM (1896), General Motors (1908), Disney (1923), Tollhouse Cookies (1933), Burger King (1953), Microsoft (1975), CNN (1980) and Apple (2001). I know what you’re thinking, this is a different time, and you’re correct. Which is why pointing to the Great Recession of 2008 is the closest thing we have to todays landscape that birthed WhatsApp (2009), Venmo (2009), Groupon (2008), Instagram (2010), Uber (2009) and Pinterest (2010). These digital platforms boomed in a time of less travel, less spending and financial uncertainty. Now, many of them can help lead the way, or push the next brand of start-ups and business innovation that will happen over the next months or years.

Stay in your house, hunker down, support our medical workers where possible, donate plasma, donate blood, don’t hoard, support the elderly, social distance; the rules for the next normal world is very clear. It’s time to innovate around these new norms and lean into them. The needs of the country are clearly laid out, embrace them. A new digital revolution is here, it was thrust into our faces in the form of a virus – but it is up to us to take the first step and ensure that the American dream lives on.   

Stay healthy. Push the envelope. Enjoy the revolution.


Roy Edwards

President & COO
Capitol Presence

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