There are few things that the world needs right now more than really smart people solving really big problems. Considering the size and scope of what we're facing right now, we could use plenty of both. Especially when it comes to health care and providing the equipment needed to help those who need it.
Fortunately for all of us, there are quite a few individuals and companies stepping up in different ways, from donating needed medical supplies to partnering with other manufacturers to build devices like ventilators.
I've already written about how Apple was donating millions of masks to health care workers (10 million as of now), and how Tesla CEO Elon Musk purchased 1,000 ventilators from China and had them shipped to Los Angeles. Then there's the effort from billionaires like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg to bring more testing to Seattle and San Francisco, respectively. And, I wrote about Ford's strategy of working with other companies like GE to help increase the pace of building ventilators.
Of course, building complicated life-sustaining devices like ventilators takes time.
That's why it's impressive that Dyson, the company famous for its high-end vacuums and hand dryers, has introduced a brand-new bed-mounted ventilator that runs on a battery and can be used in field hospitals like those being constructed in major cities like New York. The company says it has an order for 10,000 units from the U.K. government.
According to a letter from the company's founder to its employees, James Dyson says the company's goal was "to design and build an entirely new ventilator, The CoVent. This new device can be manufactured quickly, efficiently, and at volume. It is designed to address the specific clinical needs of Covid-19 patients, and it is suited to a variety of clinical settings."
Working with The Technology Partnership, the company says it is working on how to quickly produce the ventilators once they are approved by the U.K. government. Dyson also says it will donate an additional 5,000 units to different countries. Those ventilators will come in handy in places that are quickly running out of beds. It's not an exaggeration to say that this is a life and death effort, as hospitals have become crowded with Covid-19 patients.
Yes, Dyson is in the business of making things. It also happens to have a history of inventing new ways to build common devices that we use every day. More important, however, is the company's willingness to move quickly towards solving a massive problem.
Right now, life seems like it's at a standstill as communities literally shut down. People are either working from home or out of work entirely. All of that waiting can make it seem like we're living in slow motion. Except, we don't have time to waste.
In fact, that's a valuable lesson for every entrepreneur and small-business owner right now -- that we can solve big problems and do hard things when we move quickly in the right direction. Even if your company isn't building ventilators or donating masks, there's a good chance that there's something you can do right now for your team, your company, or your customers.
Whatever it is, consider this the example: Dyson has done in 10 days what most companies (and the government) said would take weeks, if not months. That's good news, since we don't have that kind of time.