Sunday, February 24, 2013

Speed Kills

Most technology is connected to “speed.” The need to make things go faster, to download faster, to transmit faster, to just simply do whatever is required - faster.

Mike Bloomberg became the richest man in New York by selling financial traders just fifteen seconds head start on the data they needed. Fifteen seconds can cost thousands of dollars a month per financial analyst.

In sports, speed is everything. A faster fastball, a faster race car, or a speedy wide receiver is worth millions. Speed is everywhere in the business of sports. Is anyone going to watch the Daytona 500 tonight?

The reason why “speed” is a commodity in such demand is that from having more “speed” you then have more time to go slow. The reward of being so speedy is you now get to go slow!

Look at the Bloomberg business model.  If all stock brokers in the world had the exact same computers with all computers and networks operating at the exact same processing speed, then speed no longer matters. Speed is a non-issue.  But if just one (or a few) traders are faster by even just a few seconds, then the entire game changes. It is no longer a fair fight.

Evelyn Wood is synonymous with quality, dependability and speed reading. When I was in High School, there were classes in speed reading. The concept was easy to grasp; if you could read at two or three times the speed as everyone else, then you would have a strategic advantage in class, and in life.

I have not heard the name Evelyn Wood in years. The need for speed in “reading” has been replaced by the need for speed in “Googling.” The need for speed was not to help you to simply turn the pages faster. The need for speed was to get the content - to increase the reading comprehension - faster.

A major change in education is well underway. You can get an excellent college education from home, at a time and place of your choosing - faster - by taking courses online. And once you have your degree you can then go nice and slow, enjoying years in the career of your choice.

You can go very fast via distance learning technology, to then enjoy the rest of your life going very slow, following your passion in a wonderful and rewarding career that you chose because you find this field of study interesting and fascinating.

If you are going faster and faster to then enjoy going slow - savoring your life as you work in a field that is rewarding and nurturing, congratulations my friend, you have cracked the code! You have mastered technology for a grand and wonderful purpose.

If, however, you are going faster and faster - to then go even FASTER for sake of going faster, you have missed the point. Technology should be a tool to serve you, the master. Not the other way around. Going faster now to then go slow and savoring the rest of your life - good.

Going faster to then simply go faster and faster and even faster still - not so much.

I guess that is where the saying “Speed Kills” comes from, yes?

Danica Sue Patrick (born March 25, 1982) is an American auto racing driver, model and advertising spokeswoman. If she wins the Daytona 500 tonight, she will have gone very fast indeed, in a race car powered by the best technology money can buy. If she wins the race tonight, then for the rest of her life, she can go very slow indeed. Drive very fast tonight for 500 miles, and then you get to drive very slow for a lifetime. That would be using technology as a tool to go very fast indeed, to then "get" to go very slow while enjoying the ride.

Ah yes, Sunday, the day of rest.  Who is working today?  Are you working on “going faster” for the week ahead, or are you working, working, working today so that you can then go nice and slow one day soon?

Hurry up so that you can slow down. That is the way to play the game.

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