Lyceum Labs
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Lyceum Labs

Quarantined | A Two Part Play

A Tale of Missing Logic (and Opportunity!)

As Summer kicks into high gear, at least in terms of the outside temperature, many have continued to view the Coronavirus as a threat that needs to be avoided. Many, unfortunately, have not and we have seen an unsettling spike in cases during June thanks to a lack of universal rules from our states and national government.

If you are someone who can ‘read’ as former California Governor and Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger noted in a recent tweet, you are donning a hip new mask as you social distance when it’s necessary to get out of your house. It is interesting to watch as we see previously respected institutions and CEO’s make moronic decisions about re-opening during a still raging pandemic against a still vaccine-free virus.

As a partner in a law firm that focuses on creating responsible businesses, it is very unsettling to see institutions that claim to be driven by science like Georgia Tech refuse to require its students wear a mask as they return to class. Or, take the case of AMC movie theaters who plan to reopen with no requirements that its patrons wear masks.* It is a slap in the face of these organization’s students and customers to not have such a requirement. And, these are just two high profile cases. Main street is littered with irresponsible businesses that put us all at risk.

*After the original publication of this article, AMC (thankfully, and smartly) reversed course.

Wearing a mask is NOT for the wearer’s safety. Wearing a mask is for the safety of everyone around the wearer. The most scary thing about Coronavirus is that you can be infected and be none the wiser. Some cases are temperature and symptom free. You can be walking around spreading your very-mild case of Coronavirus to others who may not be so lucky. Another misconception is that only those with other medical issues can die from infection. While it’s entirely selfish to think its ‘ok’ to spread to those people, that’s not the case. Previously healthy, young, and vibrant adults and teenagers can die from this virus.

Coronavirus is an equal opportunity killer.

And, while you may be listening to your trusted news source — not all news sources are created equally. Take FOX News for example. While the so-called news source was calling this virus a hoax and contradicting the CDC giving many of its viewers a false sense of security about getting out and putting themselves directly in harms way, it was sending its employees an entirely different message. The message being sent from our politicians, our news outlets, and our business community is negligent and deadly.

If you are out there and on the fence about what to do, follow the guidelines of the CDC on masks, just as FOX News is telling its employees to do. Social distance when possible, and mask on when not. Stay home if at all possible.

If we can all agree to these three simple rules, we can successfully reopen our economy. No one is advocating a closed economy, just an open, safe, and empathetic one.

If you are out there and have contracted Coronavirus or have had someone die or severely injured because of Coronavirus, we would like to hear about it. If you are an employee at an irresponsible business or a student at an irresponsible school, we would like to hear about it.

If you are a business affected by Coronavirus, check out my post on what Mississippi is doing for small businesses. If you want to chat about possible other options, let us know.

So what’s this about opportunity?

Now that you’re quarantined at home with free time (and some extra cash) because you are not blowing it all on eating out, what are you doing with that opportunity?

Now is as good of time as any to start giving that $1M idea a test drive. Do some Googling. Check it out. Kick the tires. Send some emails to friends and see if it has legs. Will they really spend money on it? Who else is doing it? Why are they not doing it? What are the big roadblocks to this idea being successful?

Note: Don’t forget that the best ideas are ahead of their time, so don’t be discouraged if your idea is ‘dumb’ or no one gets it.

Now is the time to add this test drive to your Netflix-binge routine. Move your idea a little forward every single day. Who knows, maybe it turns into something. Maybe it doesn’t and you just learned how to evaluate ideas.

The world is changing. Coronavirus has and will continue to upend the way our economy works. Zoom calls, Slack messages, distributed workplaces, work from home, (more) online shopping, at-home workouts, the list goes on. Oh, and let’s not forget what a long-needed social justice will do to the way we live our lives. Shopping, schooling, medicine, news, everything is ripe for innovation and more equality.

At our newly rebranded law firm, we are about ‘creating responsible businesses’. Our history has been doing this with a stick. Slapping businesses when they run roughshod over consumers and employees. Now we are adding the carrot! We want to help you take your idea to the next level.

We are doing this with several new offerings.

First is through Lomax Advisory, a law firm that uses a flexible payment schedule to wrap your idea in all the necessary legal to go from zero to one.

Second is through the partnership between the Lomax Firm and Pearlbend Ventures and our online community for creators and founders: Lyceum Labs. Founders of idea stage businesses can find material and discuss progress with other builders and founders, and hopefully potential investors.

Finally, for the founders and builders in the Oxford, Mississippi area, I am launching PBM (Pearlbend Mentors). PBM will offer three mentorships at any given time. We will strive to keep active mentorships diverse by gender and race. While there are no promises of results or success, we hope that we can give you a sounding board when you need it and some good advice from someone who has been there before.

So what?! You are quarantined. Don’t be a moron. Wear a mask. Work on the next big thing! And, if you get started, let us know if we can help!

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Notes from a startup community where founders can find genuine advice from product to legal to personal that they can turn to action.

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Christopher Lomax

Christopher Lomax

Startup Attorney + Future Economist at The Lomax Firm

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