For more than a decade, new technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, and blockchain have been taking apart the large-scale industries of the 20th century and reinventing them in ways that are more lightweight, personalized, distributed, and resilient. This “unscaling” trend has been inescapable in every sector, as Silicon Valley venture capitalist Hemant Taneja and I wrote in our book on the subject, Unscaled.
Social distancing and lockdowns amid the COVID-19 crisis have taken a tremendous toll on small businesses and employees, but they’ve also shifted the unscaling trend into a higher gear — which, we can all hope, will create new opportunities as the economy rebounds. We’re already witnessing the rapid reinvention of industries such as healthcare, education, and manufacturing, and a historical shift in the way we work.
As these unscaled realities take hold, mass markets and mass