First, we will present the bad news... We will open with a quote from an article in The New York Times:
One person’s spending is another person’s income. That, in a single sentence, is what the $87 trillion global economy is. That relationship, between spending and income, consumption and production, is at the core of how a capitalist economy works. It is the basis of a perpetual motion machine. We buy the things we want and need, and in exchange give money to the people who produced those things, who in turn use that money to buy the things they want and need, and so on, forever.
Right now, this model faces big problems.
When you essentially “full stop” sectors of the economy -- like tourism, travel, restaurants, etc. -- that means multiple millions of people are seeing less money.
One person’s spending is another person’s income.
Some have even argued, as a result of all this, that the world economy is too interconnected. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has noted that the interconnected nature of the global economy can be a “challenge.”
So, economically, a lot of business factors are tied together. When one stops -- if you are working with a vendor, provider, or partner, for example, and they pause all production because of the pandemic -- then your side of the economic equation sees less return. The interconnected nature is what can create fast recessions. It’s a harsh reality.
OK, one more bad thing, then we will move to the good (promise).
At the same time that the global economy is very connected, the lives of individuals are feeling more and more lonely. That’s not good at all, because humans crave connection -- and a lack of connection, in the form of loneliness, leads to health consequences and even earlier death. We have, unfortunately, seen this in the rise of depression and suicide over the past few decades.
So we are very connected economically, to the point that the connection can cause a fast downturn … but individually we are more lonely these days. Hmmm, OK.
How do we reconcile this? We are starting to! (The good news)
We are already seeing this in many contexts. There are celebrity-laden dance parties on Instagram Live. Everyone is pitching home workout options. There’s a huge rise in user-generated content. We are finding ways to battle loneliness! We are singing on balconies together!
So that is one piece of good news: We are finding ways to remain connected. The connection is the essence of being human. We are social beings. So we’re doing better on that front. Good.
What about the economy?
That will be a little bit harder and might take some time. We know global layoffs have started and will keep coming for a little bit. We know companies will try to stay afloat. We know that the connected nature of the economy might be hard: if you buy parts from someone and they shut down, now you have a problem too.
We know this will not be easy, and we are not sure exactly how long it will take. But we will get through it.
What does this all have to do with outsourced software development and consulting?
Well, not every article we write is about the services we provide. Sometimes we just want to discuss broader trends that are going on in the industries we work with.
That said, in a time when the connected nature of the economy can be a challenge … outsourcing software development is a good option. This is not a time for stasis.
The business still needs to get done and projects need to get done. You promised that to your clients. The crisis will pass, we will face new challenges and for sure no one wants to have some old tails or to continue to work with a partner that gives up at the first dare. This brings us to the point that we all have to be flexible and scalable to get projects done. And it keeps your development work moving along at a time where your competitors might be moving slower. Win-win for you.