Looking Back: 5 Game-Changing Business Ideas that Have Succeeded During the Pandemic

Looking Back: 5 Game-Changing Business Ideas that Have Succeeded During the Pandemic

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses, households, and the world, in general, can’t be overstated. The damage goes beyond the tragic losses of life and long-term medical damage to many from the disease—our psyche as a global species has without a doubt been impacted. 

In 2020, we suddenly went into isolation mode, leaving offices and other gathering spaces to reduce the transmission of a virus we hadn’t encountered before. This was a new challenge to pivot the way we do things as a society. As a planet, we had to learn how to carry out business transactions, civic engagement, and other societal functions in an entirely new way. 

Perhaps the biggest challenge of moving things to a mostly virtual space was trying to foster a genuine sense of community while keeping the world running. Obviously, there’s no substitute for real in-person interaction, but some businesses made important strides in the right direction over the course of the pandemic.

Keep reading to learn more about 5 business ideas that changed the game in terms of virtual interaction and preserving culture during the pandemic!


Community Through At-Home Exercise Brands

We all remember too well the quirky DIY home exercise videos that filled our social media feeds at the beginning of the pandemic. Gyms closed, but people still needed to work out, so they found creative ways to do it on their own, usually MacGyver-ing some equipment together. 

Companies like Peloton had a huge opportunity at their fingertips to help people exercise from home with high-quality, real equipment. Plus, Peloton helped people feel connected. It helped them feel like they were in spin classes with each other due to their virtual group sessions and competitive programs. 

Those who could afford the luxury of a Peloton had a vast virtual exercise space to explore right in their own homes. This of course led to massive financial wins for Peloton. By May of 2020, Peloton reported a 60% increase in its sales. 

In a time where mental health and physical health was difficult to keep steady for many, Peloton provided a way for people to focus on staying active while getting the social interactions they needed. 


Tesla’s Interaction with Fans and Consumers

Tesla is a car brand, but it has more of a fan club type of following. Even folks that don’t drive Teslas will engage with the brand via social media. 

This is due in part to Tesla’s ownership. Elon Musk—love him or hate him—is without a doubt one of the most famous and influential people on the planet right now. He’s part of the reason Tesla has such a huge draw and “fan club feel” as a brand. 

When people buy Teslas and even engage with the brand without purchasing a vehicle, they might not be doing it out of advocacy for electric cars, but out of a desire to feel like they belong to a new and thriving cultural segment. 

Of course, during the pandemic, feeling a sense of belonging was really important. Tesla and its sub-culture gave people something to talk about and focus on, keeping their minds off of the grim reality of what was going on in the world. 

This culture has resulted in huge financial gains for Tesla over the years and during the pandemic. Though they only make up 1% of car sales, they dominate the stock market.


Video Game Companies Providing a Means to Interact

Obviously, during the peak of the pandemic and lockdowns, social interaction was at an all-time low. Video games had always been a great way for people to connect and compete with each other digitally, but 3 video games stuck out as pandemic-specific success stories. These were Fall Guys by Mediatonic, Among Us by Innersloth, and House Party by Life on Air. 

These “party-style” games had an easy barrier to entry, meaning people who didn’t game often or who didn’t have expensive PCs or consoles could get in on the fun. They could hang out virtually with their friends, getting to catch up while playing easy-to-understand games. 

House Party was especially popular due to the Zoom-style face-to-face video chat feature. People could play party games that they’d usually play with friends but in an entirely virtual space. Even as we’re getting back to in-person social interaction as we used to know it, platforms like these still provide a great way to interact with our friends who may live in different parts of the world. 


Workplace Solutions: Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Discord, Slack Helping to Keep People in Contact

As workforces moved home and out of the office, they needed to stay connected. Many people lost the ability to stop by their coworker’s desk for a question or to collaborate on something, and they needed a digital equivalent of that. Plus, companies needed ways for people to participate in group meetings without physically gathering. 

The companies we just mentioned stepped up to the plate. They allowed people to talk to each other, meet up, send files, collaborate, and carry out business pitches in a way that was accessible and pretty smooth. 

Though there was definitely a learning curve to these platforms, they paved the way for sensible everyday business operations during the isolation of the pandemic. They kept people employed, and they even prevented some businesses from going under. 


Delivery Services Providing Products, Services, and Jobs

Without a doubt, delivery services might have had some of the most successful business pivots during the course of the pandemic. They allowed people to continue receiving the things they already expected from delivery services and added on a lot of new products/features as well. Plus, they provided a lot of opportunities for people to pick up a job. 

From product retail delivery to food delivery and even medication delivery, so many things moved into this space. 

Food delivery was an especially beneficial pivot—it exploded during the pandemic. It added jobs, helped restaurants stay in business, and allowed people to eat the food they missed so much from restaurants. In fact, the use of food delivery apps like UberEats and GrubHub more than doubled over the course of 2020.



As was shown to be true during the pandemic—being able to pivot is a key for business success. Yes, these pivots were largely motivated by profit and some companies definitely had a “captive audience” that they couldn’t have predicted (like Peloton), but they really did help people. 

Even if you’re not a giant corporation with the resources to provide the whole country with services, your business can still pivot to take care of the needs of your community. 

You know your business and community as no one else does, so keep ways to help others in mind as our world changes. Think of how you’ll be able to adapt to new challenges, plan reasonably ahead, and always consider how your business offerings will contribute to the well-being of those around you. 

For more tips and information on business management and marketing, be sure to check out our other blog posts!