The New Office

Strange New World

Posted August 20, 2020
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Lisa and I have been in lockdown since March 11th.

We have been outside perhaps four or five times in five months.

We live in Midtown Manhattan, which was ground zero when the virus first hit, and has not recovered.  We live in a forest of empty office towers and empty hotels and empty stores. 

Donald Trump would have a hard time finding someone to shoot.  There is just no one here.  It is like living on the set of a zombie movie - a bad one, where they forgot to hire the actors. 

What makes this so very strange is that we are just fine.

We are able to function just fine, which is good, but also a bit frightening. 

We are able to do this because of the Internet.

In a few months, our whole life, our whole world, has migrated to online.

The signs were always there.  We used to order from Amazon, like everyone else. We used to watch Netflix, like everyone else.

The first big change was that we pivoted our business from in person to Zoom.

We had a very in-person business, We used to fly all over the world. We used to live on planes and in hotels.  We spent more time at Claridges in London than we did here, and knew the staff there better than our own neighbors, who we never saw.

Just prior to the virus, we actually flew to Amsterdam for a 2-hour business meeting. That was how we lived. It seemed normal.

Maybe this is more normal.

Now, we never leave the apartment

We don't have to

We order all our food from Fresh Direct. 

They deliver just about everything. And that which they don't have, we can get from the pharmacy down the street, which also delivers, as does the Japanese restaurant, and the wine store.  Also Saks Fifth Avenue delivers, and if you don'lt like to or it does not fit, they take it back and send something else.

The biggest change, of course, is work.

We bought the apartment next door and have turned it into a Zoom Studio.

Every morning at 8AM, we commute the 20 feet from this one to that one, fire up the iMac and we are connected with our clients all over the world.

We used to run in-person Video Bootcamps all over the world. We used to have to fly to their location, get a hotel room for a week or two or three.  Rent a car. Eat in local restaurants, and so on.

As it turned out, the Zoom Bootcamps worked much better than the in person ones.

They are far more personal. We can spend more time with each person and give them personalized attention.

The results are better also.

This was a revelation.

We are never going back

This week, the DNC had their Virtual Convention

This too turned out to be far better than the old in-person ones.

60 year olds in funny hats with balloons falling on their heads may be fun for the 60 year olds who go, but for a generation that has grown up on Facebook and TikTok. they are old old old. 

The DNC has zoomed into the digital age.

They also are never going back.

Sometimes it takes a global crisis to drive change.

The First World War gave us automobiles and telephones.

The Second World War gave us air travel and nuclear energy

The Virus has taken us all online. 

In every cloud.  


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