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Time for Thought in the business of marketing new ideas and technologies.

Time - the one resource that isn't renewable. You can't make time, save time or stretch it - it ticks away second by second. Is it any wonder we live in an increasing hectic world and expend so much effort in speeding things up - trying to save time, decreasing time to market, no time to waste, time is of the essence. Companies want to be first to market. Drivers want to beat the traffic. We want new communications technologies to provide us with instant information, instant feedback and instant food.

In business as well as our personal lives faster is frequently seen as a good thing - but is it always?

More money is wasted, more opportunities lost, and more business ideas fail because decisions are made in haste, ideas are rushed through, corners are cut. Instant information does not make instant decisions more accurate. Instant feedback doesn't mean there will be instant improvement. Instant food doesn't guarantee a balanced diet.

But isn't technology supposed to make our world faster, better and cheaper?

The problem isn't a matter of speed. The problems occur when we rely on technology to do the thinking for us and forget that most of the technology we have automates an existing process. We still need to think about the process - what goes in, how it's managed, and what comes out. The more thought we put in at the beginning, the smoother, and ultimately more efficient the process. Technology works best when it does something simple, over and over again. Computers repeatedly loop through calculations, robots efficiently perform repetitive functions and communications networks route billions of tiny packets per second. We add the thought and context to provide meaning.

An ancient Chinese proverb applies even in these days of new technologies - more haste, less speed

Use time wisely, invest some time in thinking ahead. Getting it right will save time in the long run.

If you need an external perspective, contact Timefort

"Speed is the form of ecstasy the technical revolution has bestowed on man," so comments the Czech novelist Milan Kundera.

For another view of time and speed, read "Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything", by James Gleick Publisher Pantheon Books ISBN: 0349112924

A person is alive 8,760 hours a year, sleeping for around 2,920 and at work or commuting for at least 2,300 hours. That leaves around 3,540 hours for walking the dog, washing, cleaning, paying the bills, watching TV and having funů

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