February 4, 2020
The opportunity: It’s important to note that any opportunities associated with the virus are not meant to take away from the seriousness of the problem or the people suffering from it. Instead, they’re meant to showcase ways people are getting involved and how major worldwide events can trigger innovative responses.
Sites like Hacker News are sprawling with thoughtful fodder. In the past few weeks, 31 articles with the term "coronavirus" in the title and 16 with "Wuhan" have gotten 20 upvotes or more -- meaning they hit the front page of the acclaimed site. These useful resources include a real-time map (which has gained an incredible 100k+ backlinks in the past week) and a piece on how to react to pandemics.
Compared to other global outbreaks like SARS, Swine, and Zika, people seem to be responding differently this time. Search for terms like "face masks" or even more specific products like "N95 respirator masks" are surging and in unexpected places, like the UK, the United States, and Australia.
Source: Google Trends
Some believe that masks will eventually gain widespread adoption, akin to the health and fashion statement they’ve become in Asia. Others point to this event as the "world’s largest work-from-home experiment" or an opportunity to hedge in areas like drug discovery or germ-killing supplies. We’ll keep monitoring the changes and update you in the coming weeks.
Gay marriages are on the up
The signal: In 2019, we wrote about weddings going micro. In 2020, they’re LGBTQ. Last year alone, 4 countries legalized same-sex marriage (Northern Ireland, Ecuador, Taiwan, and Austria), giving marriage rights to a potential population of over 70m people. There are now 30 countries that allow gays and lesbians the right to marry.
Source: Pew Research Center
For some perspective, 2 years after the US Supreme Court gave gay couples the right to wed, more than 1m LGBTQ couples had married. That means over 500k same-sex marriages took place, equating to billions of dollars in wedding-related revenue.
Source: Pew Research Center and Wikipedia
The opportunity? Weddings aren’t easy to plan. And experts say queer weddings can be even more challenging. For example, some venues still turn away same-sex couples. In response, online communities like the LGBTWeddings subreddit share tailored tips and tricks.
Source: Subreddit Stats
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Don’t press snooze on this opportunity: sleep supplements
The signal: As meditation becomes mainstream, people may be surprised to find that searches for sleep apps double their meditation counterpart. As people invest in getting a better night’s rest, there’s opportunity abound, including physical products like weighted blankets or premium PJs, supplements, popular insomnia drugs having their patents expire, companies paying their employees to sleep better, marketing for sleep specialists, or online sleep education (ex: sleep apnea test has 27k searches per month).
The alternative milk market is getting frothy
The signal: As more people wave goodbye to dairy, alternative milk is slowly taking over; it has already cornered 13% of the market. With the exception of soy milk, all of the alt-milks have been on the up, with some of the newer entrants including hemp milk and pea milk. Other alt-products are getting attention, including cashew cheese, with 18100 searches per month.
Capitalizing on the Airpods market, making more money than Shopify
The signal: Since killing the headphone jack, Apple has graced the world with AirPods, which did an estimated 60m units in 2019. That means AirPods alone are bringing in approx ~$10b in revenue, more than Twitter, Shopify, or Spotify, to name a few popular tech giants. Opportunity lies in Apple opening up SiriOS or the wave of iPhone accessories (including cases, cleaning kits, hooks, and keychains) which have shown “hockey stick” growth alongside their hardware predecessor.
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