The Pandemic Business Boom

Last March, the coronavirus pandemic hit, and the serial entrepreneur Mike Landau found himself spending nearly every minute of every day inside his Long Island home with his wife and five daughters. He had new responsibilities, he told me: worrying about everyone’s health, supervising Zoom school, cleaning up Barbies, trying to keep their home from looking like a “defunct Amazon warehouse.” But he also had some business ideas, and time to incubate them.

The pandemic led to a massive spike in e-commerce, with millions of Americans opting to work, eat, exercise, and entertain themselves at home, and wanting the gear to do so. Firms like UPS and XPO experienced package volumes normally seen during the holiday-season rush, and those have still not fallen to their pre-pandemic levels. With all those boxes to manage, last-mile and long-haul delivery services needed secure places to park their vehicles. Landau sketched out an idea to locate empty or distressed lots in metro areas, set up safe perimeters, and lease parking spaces. The company ParkMyFleet came together at his kitchen table and launched in a matter of months. Landau hired an all-remote team and added city-to-city vehicle transport, as well as on-site repair and car-washing services.

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