The Great Shift to Video

It has been astonishing (and largely encouraging) to see nearly every activity that can be shifted to video begin to go there. Over the past few days, in our house, we've seen the following:

  • Piano lesson over FaceTime

  • Band practice over Zoom

  • Many business calls over Zoom

  • Scavenger hunt over FaceTime

  • Academic and fun classes on Outschool (also Zoom)

  • Virtual cocktail hour over Zoom

  • Coloring contest (3 marker challenge) over FaceTime

Further, all kind of activity is moving to chat: iMessage, Signal, Slack, etc. The USV team Slack, which has been largely dormant for recent history, is fun and vibrant right now.

Everyone is at home, and a lot of people are connected to video. So it's actually easy to reach people, and everyone is looking for social connection.

This feels like a watershed moment for remote / online / video. A lot of folks who haven't tried it are trying it. For many use cases, this will become a new habit and an appropriate way to do more things going forward.

Of course, not everything will or should shift to online/video. But for many activities, it's a totally fine way to do things, and can have other potential benefits, especially compared with long-distance travel for work (time away from home, carbon footprint, etc).

This is a terribly hard time, and it's hard to even contemplate the economic consequences that will come from it. But it is also encouraging to see people learn new behaviors that could be really beneficial in the long run.

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