The Big Sweep
There is definitely something about living in NYC and walking the streets to get a feel for where things are going.
We were downtown at Orchard and Canal. One of my favorite neighborhoods in town. There is a grit and edge down there that reminds me of the city when we first moved here. It feels good. Many places have closed, but many have survived as well. That is true for the entire city.
When I grew up, we lived in the DC area. The heat and humidity during the summer were debilitating. It just sucked the life out of you. Every so often, the dark clouds would arrive, and there would be a downpour—a rainstorm where you could barely see in front of you. When the storm ended, the sun would come out and cut down the humidity to a different level. It cleans the streets.
The global pandemic has been like a dark cloud. As the sun comes out, we see a big sweep of the survivors and the ones that couldn’t hold on. My guess is we will begin to see that not only on the streets of cities but in every industry.
The damage is apparent in a city, but it is not as obvious in different industries. The shift of companies that won’t make it, investment firms who won’t be able to raise their next fund, founders who can’t raise their next round, consumer products who can’t get there, and businesses that were barely holding on that never evolved for a new set of customers. It feels very different than two years ago when many of these companies weren’t doing that great but somehow they could hold on. That time is over.
The sweep is coming. It might be a slow crescendo, similar to the pandemic’s past year that nobody expected to last as long as it did, but I predict a massive change to everything.