The Winners and Losers in The Tech Industry In 2020

02 Nov 2021

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While most of our focus surrounding the coronavirus pandemic has been on the negatives, we have failed to acknowledge the growth and improvement it has brought along, especially in the field of technology. As a result, the pandemic has impacted the tech industry in ways that could have lasting consequences on the way people and their jobs performed. However, the year 2020-21 has put forth a list of the industry winners and losers, and here's a quick breakdown of the same.

Winner's Club

Booming e-commerce websites

As more and more found it unsafe to step out of their houses to visit the malls and physical stores, 2020 was the year that e-commerce stores witnessed a sudden and steep increase in sales and growth.

Especially the e-commerce mogul Amazon witnessed one of the biggest growths in sales, one that pushed them to go on a hiring spree. The numbers increased so much so that Amazon hired over 400,000 employees worldwide in ten months.

However, the growth wasn't just Amazon; even big retailers like Walmart and Target stepped on the bandwagon of success.

Online video streaming platforms

While analysts and market researchers were skeptical that the establishment of newer streaming platforms wouldn't make it big in the market, platforms like Disney Plus managed to catch up to half of Netflix's total subscribers in just a year, showing immense potential.

With more and more people confined to their homes, it isn't surprising that OTT platforms (even the newer ones) have gained massive outreach and growth.

However, movie theatres and film houses have been the worst hit with the pandemic on the trade-off. As a result, most movies that were supposed to be released on the big screen between 2020-21 were either pushed or released on the various OTT platforms.

Video conferencing applications

Zoom was a household name that gained prominence at the beginning of the pandemic with stay-at-home orders and the rise in remote working. An app that wasn't even a thing initially suddenly became a sensation at the pandemic's beginning in March 2020. The growth of the company rose by 485% compared to the preceding year.

Aside from Zoom, even other video conferencing applications like FaceTime, Google Meet, and Facebook Live further bolstered their services.

However, virtual meet-ups have significantly reduced in-person contact. Even on call, people witnessed more muted microphones and turned off cameras.

Vacation stays

While people did refrain from traveling in the first half of the pandemic, things started getting back to the "new normal" soon. And that included traveling too. Airbnb found its footing back after a rough spring.

However, as travel restrictions were lifted, Airbnb picked back on their bookings, thanks to their flexibility. But, everything wasn't rainbows and butterflies for Airbnb as the company has to lay off a quarter of its employees with no promise of a job back after the pandemic.

Food delivery companies

The beginning of the pandemic, especially the first half of 2020, witnessed most restaurants either shut down for dine-in or completely shut down for good. This saw a rise in the growth of the food delivery companies like Doordash and UberEats.

The Losers

Contract workers

While the world witnessed a rise in the growth of e-commerce and retail organizations, the pandemic exposed the difference between the impacts on white-collar and shadow workforces. The corporates saw growth while contractual workers didn't have any job certainty or security.

Not just that, the stark difference also became visible when corporate workers enjoyed the time off work. At the same time, over 20,000 Amazon warehouse workers had to work daily and contracted Covid-19 in the process.

In the meantime, Uber and Lyft drivers lacked financial security and job security throughout the pandemic.

Facebook has a challenging year

Despite people engaging more on Facebook, the year between 2020 and 21 wasn't the easiest for Mark Zuckerberg. He was presented before Congress multiple times to testify on security breaches, antitrust concerns on Facebook, and how the company handled its content during the 2020 political elections.

Facebook was also hit with several antitrust litigations, putting a lot of strain on the company's growth during the pandemic.

Downfall of travel booking websites

Popular travel booking websites like TripAdvisor and Expedia remained barren for the better half of 2020 due to the imposed travel restrictions across the world. This imposed difficulties in business for most travel sites, cutting down their revenue by a significant sum in a year.

Quibi's Short-lived fame

If there's one name that scoured out from Silicon Valley, generating billions in venture capital, it was Quibi. However, the fame of this bite-sized content maker was short-lived, even after being promoted by celebrities.

The founder and CEO, Jeffrey Katzenberg, blamed the pandemic for the downfall of the short-form entertainment platform.

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