Crises change demand patterns. Simply put by Jörg Binnenbrücker, Founding Partner of Capnamic Ventures which currently invests from its 115 million Euro tech fund: “Currently, no one buys denim jeans. Sweatpants? Maybe.” Nice-to-have products are being punished by customers. We need to radically challenge our value proposition and focus on selling solutions that customers need to have. If we are not honest to ourselves, someone else will be. We have to leave the (home) office and be with our customers now more than ever, even if it is virtually.
Corona specifically accelerates the unfolding of the digital mega trend. We are witnessing a faster disruption of old-economy business models than anticipated. At DuMont media group, a Mittelstand heavyweight of 400 years of age and 600+ million Euro in revenues, for instance, the past years’ investments into digital business models across business information and marketing technology are paying off, especially in the crisis. At the same time, there are no easy answers, but difficult truths, as CEO Dr. Christoph Bauer argued. In the media industry, revenue streams often come at much lower strength in formerly-analogue, now-digital businesses — just see the drastically decreasing cost-per-thousand prices in advertising.
In the crisis, businesses may further acquire new capabilities that seem trivial at first sight but will prove powerful in the long run. A prime example from Dr. Alex von Frankenberg, Founding Managing Director of High-Tech Gründerfonds, Europe’s most active early-stage venture capital fund, was this: “If you now manage to sell successfully via Zoom or Teams instead of in lengthy face-to-face meetings, you are tapping into huge opportunities for the future. Going forward, you save so much travel time. You can scale up your sales engine through mere technology adaptation.”