Last week people were still comparing the novel coronavirus to the flu. This week it's officially a global pandemic.
Italy's been on lockdown for several days. The US just declared a national emergency. A congressional physician has predicted between 70 to 150 million Americans will eventually contract the virus. Upwards of 10% could require hospitalization, and hospitals are so overwhelmed doctors are literally deciding who lives and who dies. It's not a joke.
But there's hope. Social distancing works. That means staying home and, quite frankly, avoiding other people. The earlier, the better. Today if possible.
Indie hackers are doing their part. Often that involves canceling events, which can easily cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. It's a tough decision, but it's also the only responsible decision.
MicroConf is one of the longest-running conferences for indie hackers. I've been looking forward to it since last year's event and bought my ticket in January. Yesterday it was postponed indefinitely:
In the case of Founder Summit, which was put together by recent IH podcast guest Tyler Tringas, the difficult decision came just days before the event:
Our very own @rosiesherry has had to make some difficult decisions as well. On Wednesday she canceled an event that took many months to put together:
"Cancelling any event is super painful," Rosie told me. "However, there are many events out there that need a real kick up the backside. I predict the ones that will survive are those that add real value and place an emphasis on the community."
Rosie shared a useful guide for event organizers which includes tips on how to convert in-person events to virtual events. And yesterday, the founder-focused conference Business of Software announced they were doing just that. Their conference is still on for late March, but now it'll be held online rather than at its original location in Cambridge.
Yes: these are rough times. And for many — especially those of us in the west — the worst is yet to come. But indie hackers are leaders. Almost by definition. And the funny thing about the future is that it can change depending on what you do in the present.
Make no mistake: the indie hackers above are all changing the future. So as the situation unfolds, let's rally behind them, make responsible decisions, and find our own ways to lead.