Digital Winners during the Pandemic

February 10, 2021

Read The Full Prompt

Digital technologies were already upending many industries and companies before the pandemic. Covid-19 has accelerated those trends. Think about the impact of Door Dash on restaurants, or Shopify’s and Amazon’s impact on the ability of retail stores to develop a new channel.

For this assignment please identify companies/organizations that you think are winning during the Covid-19 pandemic. Please focus on just one organization, and not an entire category of organizations, entrants, or firms. Tell us why they are a winner in this environment. If it is useful for illustrating or explaining their winning approach, you may also refer to losing organizations, entrants, or firms, but these should not be the central feature of the post.

Please place most of the emphasis on how the organization creates value in the short run from its products, services, actions, and strategies. You also should summarize how it captures value. Finally, you may allude to how it is positioned to create and capture value as the pandemic declines. Why do these products, services, actions, and strategies lead you to call them a winner or loser?

Create an approximately 750-word post. Make your contribution by 6pm on February 10.

Please also respond to and comment on three other posts by 8am on Feb 11. Feel free to use graphics, data, videos, and links to other sites to corroborate your points.

Selected posts will be discussed in class and also featured on the HBS Digital Initiative website.

Please prepare a 2-3 min summary of your blog post before class.

Submitted (32)

Harvard Business School – Remains Open
Pranav Gupta
Posted on February 10, 2021 at 5:53 pm
How Harvard Business School stayed open during a global pandemic
How Lululemon legitimized leggings as the new business casual
Giulia Zaratti
Last modified on February 10, 2021 at 3:53 pm
How innovation, omni-guest experiences and market expansion made Lululemon a winner during the pandemic.
Color: a unicorn born amidst the COVID-19 pandemic
Vartan Pahalyants
Last modified on February 10, 2021 at 9:00 pm
Color: a genetics testing company took advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to transforms itself into a digital public health unicorn with a colorful future.
Your Instacart shopper has started shopping!
Julia Kalanik
Posted on February 10, 2021 at 1:28 pm
As lockdowns continue and health risks are still a concern as vaccine rollout is slower than anticipated, Instacart continues to be on the rise as consumers turn to online grocery delivery during COVID-19.
DocuSign: Keep your business deals going
Almas Kaptagayev
Last modified on February 10, 2021 at 1:13 am
The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most severe economic shocks and disruptions in history. There clearly will be longer-lasting implications for almost all sectors and types of economies such as restaurants, airlines, hotels, brick-and-mortar retail. However, there are several [...]
Drizly: Drinking the Pandemic to the Top
Francisco Cortes
Last modified on February 10, 2021 at 2:53 am
As we have been for the most part locked up over the past year some of our vices have been exacerbated through the idleness resulting from confinement. One such behavioral change is our consumption of alcohol. According to the Global [...]
The micro-entrepreneur: the untold story of digital transformation
Bruno Novarini
Last modified on February 9, 2021 at 8:26 pm
When talking about digital transformation and the impact of the covid-19 pandemic, we like to think about how large companies transformed themselves, but equally important is the untold story of digital transformation happening with micro-entrepreneurs during the pandemic. I’d like [...]
Udemy: Heading Towards the Perfect Storm
Max Pakapol
Posted on February 10, 2021 at 2:43 pm
With COVID-19 pandemic looming ahead, Udemy, the world's largest online learning platform, may have found itself heading towards “the perfect storm”.
Stripe: Increasing the GDP of the Internet
Posted on February 10, 2021 at 2:30 am
When commerce was forced to shift online overnight businesses of all sizes needed help making the change. Stripe filled the void.
Redfin: The Dream Quarantine Makeover
Shekeyla Caldwell Sandore
Posted on February 10, 2021 at 5:59 pm
Dive into how the tech enabled real estate brokerage site prepared itself for the surprising Covid housing boom.
Teladoc: The doctor is… well not in but on
Julia Loughlin
Posted on February 10, 2021 at 6:00 pm
Covid-19 has caused disruption for industries across the board. Hospitality, education and airlines have been rocked by stay at home orders and fear of leaving one’s home. Perhaps the industry most disrupted for the better in the long term will [...]
How Zoom Won the Pandemic
Omar Aboulezz
Posted on February 7, 2021 at 5:51 pm
Zoom is an unambiguous winner in the COVID-19 era. This blog post dives into why Zoom succeeded while its competitors stumbled, how zoom creates and captures value, and what the future may hold for this software company.
Nurx: Healthcare Finally Revolutionized!
Karl Njeim
Last modified on February 9, 2021 at 9:21 pm
Nurx, like many other telehealth companies, witnessed exceptional growth in demand given their convenient do-it-at-home services that perfectly fit the current context. Nurx's success is here to stay given the disruptive and customer-centric nature of their services
Seemingly made for COVID, Nintendo rides the crest of the pandemic wave
Last modified on February 10, 2021 at 11:43 am
During COVID, Nintendo emerges as the big winner in the video game industry by doubling down on familiar brands and casual experiences.
A Digital Vaccine Passport will pave our way to the Roaring Twenties
Tim Meulemeester
Posted on February 9, 2021 at 1:52 pm
Clear is leveraging industry knowledge and an existing platform to free up our society.
HBO Max: From Underdog to Power Player
Posted on February 9, 2021 at 2:14 pm
How HBO Max used its connections to Warner Brothers to change streaming during the pandemic.
ViacomCBS: Here to Stream, Here to Stay
Cristina Gallotto
Last modified on February 8, 2021 at 11:01 pm
The Covid-19 pandemic only accelerated longstanding industry trends of chord-cutting, as viewers devour content while quarantining at home. ViacomCBS is aptly poised to create and capture enormous value in a post-pandemic world.
Albertsons Companies Takes a Bite Out of COVID-19
John V.
Last modified on February 10, 2021 at 5:32 pm
Grocery leader Albertsons Companies invests in technology to drive customer loyalty through convenience.
Oisix’s huge success – will it continue?
Kanako Sakai
Posted on February 9, 2021 at 8:33 am
Oisix, a Japanese food and grocery delivery service, has experienced a huge growth during the pandemic, by responding rapidly to customers' needs. It potentially could change the way people do grocery and cook even after the pandemic.
Headspace: staying grounded during the Pandemic
Tomas Bresler
Posted on February 11, 2021 at 2:12 am
The sudden outbreak of covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown resulted in the need for an ubiquitous and accessible solution for mental health. Headspace was definitely one of the big winners of the Pandemic.
Work Hard, Play Hard: Nvidia Top Scorer in Gaming and Data Centers During Pandemic
Last modified on February 10, 2021 at 2:35 pm
A clear winning company during the Covid-19 pandemic has been graphic-chip producer Nvidia Corp. The company reported fiscal 3Q (ending October) sales of $4.73 Bn, which represent a whopping 57% increase vs the previous year, and it expects to beat [...]
Committing to the Core: How McDonald’s Innovated to Survive (and Thrive) During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Daniel Campos
Last modified on February 10, 2021 at 6:25 pm
During the COVID-19 pandemic, McDonald's emerged as the winner in fast casual through digital innovations along their core competencies for their core consumers.
Steam: Upping the game in 2020
Vikram Singh
Last modified on February 10, 2021 at 8:10 pm
The video game industry has flourished through 2020 and Steam has been a platform where a lot of that growth has happened.
BYJU’S: Creating Classrooms for Tomorrow
Posted on February 9, 2021 at 10:15 pm
Byju's, a $10B Indian EdTech startup has emerged as a clear winner during the COVID-19 pandemic. While most of the online education platforms saw large growth in FY20, Byju's has captured major chunk of the market share through its innovative [...]