A question I have is whether the pandemic will mean a slow-down or pause in tech-innovation?
Innovation in part is based on serendipity, on the pseudo-random meeting and interaction of people, ideas, skills, capital etc. Those meetings take place in cities for instance, as they are serendipity hubs.
Yet this year I noticed how online interaction tends to stick just to the topic and agenda at hand, and there’s much less place for riffing off eachother’s ideas and suggestions for instance.
Apart from innovation driven by necessity (e.g. vaccin development), would a slow-down be visible in tech start-up founding, start-up funding (maybe not yet, as funding emerges some time after founding so it might be a delayed effect)?
Would there be a discernable impact on a city level?
Are there compensating effects? I’ve noticed that the pandemic in our company and for me personnaly led to more introspection, and meant more focus on developing things, also because there was less activity around us. A reduction of movement, a reduction of social dynamics, but the stillness enabling more action as a consequence.
How would one go about trying to see such effects, and in which data?
@ton My worry is that, due to the same lack of unscripted interaction you mention, people will become more radical. For example: people used to have more opportunity to try out their conspiracy-theories on their co-workers, who then had a opportunity to talk them out of those.But not only for conspiracies, I think this will push everybody into a slightly more radical version of their pre-socially-distant selves. Kinda like the YouTube recommendation-funnel is also already doing.
@kingannoy yes, good point. I’ve noticed that on FB in spring, which led me to finally delete my account completely. Seeing what you describe happening in parts of my circle of friends.
@ton nope. Not even going to slow down; if anything, it will speed up.Contrary to popular belief, people did not stop interacting in 2020. If anything, there was more, especially of the random unplanned sort, as people who never used to leave their comfort zone started interacting online.Also, the pace of tech hasn’t slowed. The builders are still building – this year, they’re at an even faster pace.