Monday, March 23, 2020

Questions Questions

The past couple of months have been pretty tough. I hope y'all are working through this, and that you and yours are staying safe, and doing your civic duty the best you can.

I've been chatting a lot about the changes we're seeing - more long term, not short, mainly in the business world. One area most interesting to me (leaving aside the gloom and doom which is very real), is that people are currently doing new things in new ways, because the old ways aren't available to us.

I've had someone tell me they ordered online groceries, who would not order online if you gave her a $1,000 free food coupon. She loved it and she said she can't wait to use it again.

I had to call an ISP today, and with the help center shut down, the call was routed to someone's home. He provided excellent tech support, and I wondered, if you owned this business would you want to pay overhead for a center after it's all done? ZOOM, DOCU and ADBE stocks are all up because of home work, but do they have to come down if business strategy changes?

Dining out is huge and has been growing massively in the service economy for years, and people are proxying with home delivery services. Dining in is not quite as huge, but home food delivery services like Hello Fresh allow you to cook fresh food at home.  From what I hear these services are in high demand.

Online doctor visits, deregulating occupational licensing across provincial and state lines are happening as we speak. I know many people over the age of 60 who would never think of something like an online doctor consult, and now they appear to be.

There are some fascinating things happening, right before our eyes, in my opinion. Some of them will be cost effective, they could move society forward in a good way. There is, or will be, some optimism in some businesses.

Now, onto our beloved sport, horse racing.

When I look at a path forward, unlike above, I am not finding any good vibes with the questions I have.

Will some of the smaller tracks who have closed even come back with meets?

Will slot money, with super-cash strapped governments, return just like it always has, filling the coffers for purses?

Will people like Stephanie ever work in racing again?

With the stock market tanked, and maybe not seeing a recovery for some time, does the foal crop get crushed so bad it can't recover for many years?

I realize these are tough times for everyone, and perhaps horse racing should take a back seat. But this is a horse racing blog, and those questions all worry me. Do we bounce back, or like so many other businesses or sectors, is business as usual over forever?

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