Technology can provide all the abundance we can imagine. Yet, ultimately, we only have so much time – a relative blink of the eye – to enjoy it. In the 22nd century, businesses that understand this, that help their customers manage this most finite and precious resource, will flourish. Expect to see new types of companies playing new roles in our lives because of the growing value we will place on our time.
Today the feeling of time deprivation is epidemic, but here is a paradox: in reality this feeling is illusory. Not only is your life expectancy greater, but it takes much less time to provide the basics. You don’t grow your own food, and with services such as Webvan, many of us do not even visit the grocer anymore. You buy clothes over the Internet in minutes.
So why this sense of deprivation? It stems from the endlessly expanding sea of choices: You’re within driving distance of three or more gigaplexes, each with 16 or 24 movie screens. How many reviews do you have time to read? Want to discuss cars? Once there were the Big Three. How many brands can you name today? How long does it take to visit all the Websites devoted to car buying?