Business Innovator and Catalyst
As leaders, our decisions are powerful. They have ripple-like effects, both positive and negative, that in large we cannot always anticipate. I offer no insight as to how to be a better oracle when making decisions but merely offers anecdotal macro trend information on some of the unexpected consequences of the global lockdown decision.
‘Lockdown decision to release rats in Kalk Bay’s suburbia.’ Although this may sound like a false news click bate headline on social media and our civil servants certainly were not making door to door small mammal deliveries in person, the decision can be causally linked to the unexpected rat invasion. The Kalk Bay locals will explain how, in lockdown, their opportunistic vermin friends have migrated from the usually bustling strip of restaurants and coffee shops to the houses in search of sustenance.
Of course, there are several serious business impacts like the crash in oil and airlines, the rise in Zoom and e-commerce. These rate highly on the impact and seriousness scale but are all too mundane to compete with our furry friends in Kalk Bay, hence my focus on the more macabre trends below.
- DYI haircuts − I have always been a fan of alternative hair and now the world seems to be catching on, with an increase of more than 750% (February−April) in the sale of DIY haircut equipment, exceeding the prior three years’ growth seven-fold.
- Bidet shopping − One of the more interesting effects of mindless stockpiling has been an increase of 300% in bidet searches and sales, reaching a peak (along with in-store toilet paper tug of war matches) in mid-March. What is better than exceeding your neighbour’s toilet paper tower? Eliminating the need for it entirely.
Demand for yeast and large rubber bands − Yeast demand has grown by about 1 000% from January to April. Clearly, people have more time to get to all that home baking they have always wanted to do. Thank goodness exercise equipment like rubber resistance bands and dumbbells have both grown over 500% in the same period.
- The popularity of riddles − Perhaps if you were part of the crowd that drove the doubling of Google interest in riddles you could work out why the sales in sidewalk chalk increased over 1 000% or why the drop in the demand for feather dusters and crutches seems to correlate. If not and these facts tickle your fancy, go and have a look at a website called Glimpse where you can spend at least an hour of your lockdown doodling on facts that you can share over a beer at your next braai.