The big tech companies have benefited from the pandemic, but can they continue to get even bigger or will their revenues fall back to Earth? CDF director Jeff Cole explores the question.
October 7, 2020 — Most of us were unprepared in the middle of March to move our work, learning, buying, and almost everything else online within a day or two. But one sector had been preparing their entire existence for this kind of disruption: the tech companies.
The pandemic was their victory lap.
These companies—Amazon, Apple (since 2007), eBay, Netflix (after 2011), PayPal, Zoom, Google, Facebook, and others—were all founded on the belief that more and more of life would take place online. Their leadership, business models, technologies, and logistics were designed and ready for the transition to online living.
The companies vulnerable to disruption—brick and mortar stores, banks, movie theaters, and traditional work environments—were all in the tech companies’ collective sights long before any threat of a pandemic.
One of the most traditional companies, Disney, whose business needed fans to leave their homes for movie theaters, theme parks, and cruise ships, saw its one bright light during COVID come from Disney+—the stay-at-home, online streaming service it started in November of last year.
But when the pandemic came and everything that could not be done online closed, the tech companies seamlessly filled the vacuum. In the process, they found new customers, earned more business out of existing customers, and built great loyalty. There is strong evidence that the tech companies will solidify the gains made during COVID even when their competitors go back to business. (more)