Updated: May 20
With this article I want to stir up some hope and boost that inherent capacity we all possess to be creative, flexible and think about new ways how to - in true Jerry Maguire spirit*
"Help me help you!!"
* While you #Stayathome, a great opportunity to watch or re-watch this classic. :-)
Unfortunately, you all know too well by now that Spain is one of the hardest hit countries by the Corona virus. And when it comes to Madrid and Barcelona, these major startup hubs are hurting disproportionately in comparison to the other 15 regions in Spain.
In parallell to the per usual strive-to-survive lifestyle of any startup entrepreneur, the bar is now set even higher for what challenges need to be tackled on a day to day basis. For many there are severe economic consequences in terms of reduced revenue and increased difficulties to secure the needed financing to keep the startup up and running.
"Tell Me and I Forget; Teach Me and I May Remember; Involve Me and I Learn"
- Confucius (or other very wise Chinese philosopher a long time ago.)
Being a firm believer in this famous quote, I thought I would show you what some of Spain's most famous startups are doing and how they are reinventing in this crisis.
Old school phone interviews to become future-proof
Although Artificial Intelligence and Big data crunching are still major components in creating and delivering the products and services at high speed from any startup, it is now getting obvious that some old school ways of collecting information are being dusted off.
Many One-on-one phone or video interviews with many open ended questions (way more time-consuming to process) are now needed to be executed in preparation for success in a post Corona afterlife.
Any journalist can tell you that the best, most reliable data comes from interviewing someone in person - while also grasping the body language - to get the most interesting and juiciest information. To be able to carve out the underlying, golden nuggets of intelligence in terms of insightful comments, you just need a way to allow for unexpected follow-up questions to be asked, and preferably also see the person, although now on video.
Carlos Pierre, CEO of one of Spain's most famous startups Badi, has made sure to steer the Customer Support crew to be more on the look-out for Business Intelligence, adding capacity to the UX Research team.
In an interview about the Corona crisis by Sifted he says that "extra attention is now going into customer care and support as cancellations of bookings increase."
Luckily for them Nadine Piecha, joined Badi as head of UX research in January 2020, before the outbreak began in Spain. Working from home she is now making sure that this Barcelona based startup for room rental service collects new kind of data by asking the right questions to its users, in preparation for when people can go room-hunting again. From her blogpost;
The best we can do now is rely on various different sources and ask many people how they feel, how they react and adjust to the situation and what they foresee for their near and far future.
Unicorns helping Corona heros in the public sector
Many B2C startups have not previously been serving the public sector, and some companies like Spanish unicorn Cabify have even been known to be the direct enemy of public taxi organizations, clearly expressed with countless demonstrations throughout Spain.
As the effects of the Corona virus is changing many people's views of whom the real heros are, this previous focus on private sectors is shifting. Spain's two official unicorns Glovo and Cabify are proving their magical status and finding creative ways to help the people working in public service roles to keep safe while being at the front line. And Badi joins them.
As it became clear that Catalonia was the second-worst affected region in Spain behind Madrid, they set aside 400 spare rooms in Barcelona for medical professionals arriving to the city from around the country to help tackle the spread of the virus.
According to a newsletter from one of their proud investors Seaya Ventures, Spain's star of Delivery services Glovo is "supporting NGOs and Government Agencies worldwide by offering its last-mile platform to fulfill logistics requirements."
Furthermore it says that "they have put together a specific team to push all the different initiatives they are partnering with." About the supported initiatives it reads:
"Food for senior citizens through the Esplai foundation; fulfilled free deliveries of health products for Qida, specialized in home-care; delivered 3D masks to hospitals in Madrid and Barcelona through Covid Makers."
"Glovo has also delivered food to health workers through spontaneous initiatives like Food for Good financed by DKV and Health Warriors, as well as the food banks FESBAL and NGO Social Fooding. Finally, all deliveries of Pharmaceutical products are free throughout the 80 Spanish cities where Glovo operates."
From the same newsletter there is tangible news that the transportation platform Cabify, which happens to be another successful portfolio company of Seaya, has reached an agreement with the regional government in Madrid to partly cover the cost of safely getting the Healthcare workers to and from the places where they are providing domestic care.
Mariano Silveyra, VP Public Affairs of Cabify comments:
“Our aim is to highlight the work of the real heroes, the healthcare professionals of our country, who fill us with great pride and are carrying out an outstanding job.”
This project has been first activated in Madrid where there are 44 medical centers in the city area, particularly hard-hit by the COVID-19.
"Additionally, Cabify has donated 25,000 units of their iconic carton packs of water to the IFEMA Hospital, also in Madrid, as a few weeks ago the company decided to remove them from their cars as well as temporarily suspend cash payments in Spain to promote social distancing.", it says in the newsletter.
Did you find this interesting? Do you agree? Or disagree? I so love an interesting conversation and would love to hear your thoughts. Please do leave a comment!!
Crafted by Caroline Lagergren.
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