How In 4 Short Weeks Coronavirus Caused A Tipping Point For Interactive Services
With everything going on, which for many of you, is a lot of nothing, there is something transcendental happening and a turning point for technology during this Covid-19 crisis.
This is what I tell a lot of people. It’s a period of transition. Everybody and every industry is transitioning normally, but the recent Coronavirus Pandemic has pushed certain things to a point of no return, where the world is not the same. Some of my friends have gone shear nuts running their own video programs on Facebook to Zoom calls on anything about everything. This is not the same world we were in, which was a one-way road to hell impeachment Pre-February 2020. It’s not 911, but it is definitely the 411 for everybody in tech to re-evaluate what you are doing in your job and in your life.
For me personally, the last 5 weeks are probably the busiest and most experimental period of my career. I have worked 12 hours a day, non-stop. In between the work I am doing, I am constantly on the phone. When somebody calls me on the phone, I walk. Yesterday I walked 8 miles or 15,000 steps according to my Fitbit. But why all this walk and talk, and why all this work. It was supposed to be a downtime for a lot of workers, especially ones in my situation. But it has been crazy, I mean crazy busy for me.
So let’s cover my situation. One of my sources of income was events. The dating events business my partners and I built up over 20 years is on hold. Hundreds of thousands of dollars lost, a hundred part-time people out of work for now. It will be back.
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Around March 15th, 2020 I started to run zoom calls and webinars. It came out of the need by an SBA Loan expert (Lauren Cohen) who wanted me to run a zoom call about the SBA Loan Program and she knew I had a list to run these calls about EIDL and PPP loans through my StartupPOP list. And we were helping people figure out a serious maze by the US government. I followed on with a call about winning government contracts, then one on health concerns during the Coronavirus, then working out at home then working in your home office with tech setups. Finally I ran 3 webinars that were wine tastings. All of this on Zoom. Within a few weeks suddenly every other event organization is now running Zoom calls, Jimmy Fallon runs Zoom, Saturday Night Live is run on Zoom. Notice a pattern happening.
Now let’s talk about what I am thinking. After being involved in so many Zoom calls and Zoom Webinars, I have come to the conclusion that it feels more natural to be on a Zoom Call/Webinar interacting with people than staring at a TV at 6pm on a friday evening. TV now sucks, really sucks!
Something is different to me.
Something has happened where it will be more and more difficult for the watching/interacting public to turn back. The tipping point is occurring.
What is this tipping point here?
Well, we are becoming self-aware that we don’t want to be staring at a TV and have no response or interaction. Interaction is suddenly important. It was always important, but so was looking up names in the phone book pre-Internet was important, when we did not know about the Internet or Google. Once the cat is out of the bag, we don’t go back. We don’t want it to be a one way street anymore, and the NBC’s, HBO’s and others are about to find out the hard way, that we really don’t care for one way communication.
And the next question is, why is TV just a one way street?
It’s because of monopoly. Think about this. The Comcasts, AT&T, Verizon and other TV cable providers are not ready to hand over the tech to the next startup players. I have heard of interactive TV 20 years ago. The tech exists, but it was never deployed or never accepted, whichever came first. So what happened to all this cool interactive tech? Nothing happened because of monopoly power. Yes, finally Comcast/Xfinity seemed to be looking nicer, but that is not enough anymore. The tech is not the right tech at this point in time.
That my friends is a turning point, an opportunity. Something is about to knock this whole TV/Internet thing out of the park in ways that we can not even imagine. Real interactive TV is coming. And I think the catalyst is Zoom.
What is so silly about this is, and this often happens, Zoom is no special tech company in my opinion (up till now). I have been a Zoom user for years and they were stuck in the business meeting zone. They have something like 100 similar competitors. Many are Goliaths like Google, Microsoft, Citrix and Cisco. And now Zoom is reaching into my kid’s classrooms, to dating, to networking, to so many aspects of our lives, it is like another Google suddenly.
So why Zoom? You can say the same about Microsoft and Google in the beginning of their journey’s as a business. Quality, hard work are always important, but timing and luck are really, really important. Zoom just happens to be at a point where they can be that company that offers something different at a mass scale and they have pierced the branding zone. I knew that when Jimmy Fallon explained to 10 million viewers what Zoom was on his first at home show.
And let’s think about this, a webinar/Zoom call can be so much more. I know it can. I know it can be used by any company, any service to interview live (not recorded) and talk and record video in instant ways that Podcasts doesn’t compare with. There is no feeling of intimacy and connection from non-interactive online marketing. Email, Texting, Push, Pre-recorded videos, even podcasts all suck. An interactive Zoom call where customers get to interact with business owners and experts about products or services from the local restaurant to a national supplement company are what is coming… It is like TV but interactive.
That’s my article. I am willing to do a webinar with you, anybody, any subject, specifically if you run a business like a supplement company, a restaurant, any business that needs to chat with it’s customers. It could be Frosted Flakes! It does not matter. Let’s do it. That is what I have said to my guests that did these Zoom calls with me. Let’s just do it and find out.
So, what I am really saying here is the day of the interactive Zoom call/webinar has started, and I was there, and it was different. Yet not much changed at all! This is a new, yet old channel for online marketing. But once again, things will never be the same again!
Let me know if you want to run a webinar with me, a Zoom Call, and I will find you an audience or work with your existing audience! It’s no big deal. I even created a website to manage those calls called Just Ask Dan, that’s https://justaskdan.com. I may run more webinars coming up. I may never run them again. But if you want to try it with me let me know at email@example.com.