Will Entrepreneurs Find Lasting Success In COVID-Inspired Innovation?

Not all businesses born in the Great Recession were able to maintain their momentum.
Posted at 11:22 AM, Nov 12, 2020

COVID-19 has left the economy in shambles. Similar to previous economic downturns, it has also created an opening for entrepreneurs. 

“I think there will be various Adam Neumanns that try to take advantage of this,” said Reeves Wiedeman, author of "Billion Dollar Loser: The Epic Rise and Fall of WeWork". 

Neumann is the co-founder of WeWork — the multibillion-dollar shared workspace company that infamously failed to go public. In Wiedeman’s new book, he points out how WeWork — once valued at $47 billion — took off in the ruins of the Great Recession, like other well-known companies including Airbnb and Warby Parker.

You don’t have to look far to find entrepreneurial ventures these days, from robots armed with UV lights to kill the coronavirus in Amazon warehouses and Whole Foods stores to walk-in sanitizing booths for shoppers.

“Any time you have a dip, a recession like this that we seem to be in the middle of, you’re going to have people that see that as an opportunity,” Wiedeman said.

The pandemic has forever changed the way we work. As businesses adjust — and try to survive — plenty of entrepreneurs are ready to cash in. 

“There are ways to build companies out of and whole industries out of these disruptions that happen,” Wiedeman said.