Coronavirus preparations and iConsumer

By: Robert Grosshandler | February 26, 2020

Since so many of our members are here to learn about the trials and tribulations of being involved in a publicly-traded startup, I thought I’d share our thoughts on how the potential pandemic might affect iConsumer’s fortunes.

First, most of our members are located in the United States, so only if and when Covid-19 starts seriously affecting North America should we be concerned about the direct effects on iConsumer. Second, we’re a virtual workplace, no central office. Our employees and contractors need to worry about their own work spaces, but as a company we don’t have much exposure to group infection vectors (no water cooler conversations to worry about). Third, while we’re a publicly-traded company, we’re tiny. So overall market issues shouldn’t be much of a factor in our stock price. (One of the few times I’m glad we’re still tiny.) Fourth, almost all of our revenue comes from online shopping. If it comes to that, our members could still shop quarantined. Whether they could afford to shop is a different question.

The major influence on our fortunes, I’m thinking, will be the disease’s affect on consumer behavior. Will people shop online more (because they’re not going to stores)? Will supply chain interruptions reduce the ability of our customers to make the purchases they want to make? If there is an economic slowdown, how will that affect OUR members?

Some investors are rejiggering their investment portfolios to reduce their exposure to equities (stocks) and going into fixed income securities (like bonds, for instance). The folks who invest in early stage companies like iConsumer typically have much longer investment horizons, so I don’t expect them to trade out of iConsumer. But, I’m curious to find out if the folks who are selling their other stocks might want to take a flyer on iConsumer because it’s a long horizon investment.

We’re still looking to raise money. How might this challenge affect that effort? (I don’t think it will affect it in the short term, but a couple of months out could be worrisome.)

To summarize, we’re not doing much different (yet) because of the potential pandemic.

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