Because of global competition and digitalization, every person and every company has almost the same chance of success. The differences arise from how effectively the most important resources are used. And we don’t mean money, oil or real estate. These resources are time, attention and the ability to learn.
The world has changed a lot over recent years. The world’s most valuable companies are no longer oil or automobile companies. Real estate investors and large shop chains have found that their real estates don’t maintain the same value for ever. Especially if these properties are not located in growing cities. Traditional media companies don’t maintain consumer attention like they did ten years ago.
Whether you are Beyoncé, Elon Musk or neighbor John, you have 24 hours in a day. The differences appear in how you use your time. How much time do you or your company use for tasks that could be automated and how effectively do you spend your time? Effective time management means that you use your time well in order to accomplish your tasks in the most effective way. It means not spending a lot of time on tasks that could be automated. If your company or your company’s products help consumers and businesses to save time, your company has a higher probability of success. If people need a lot of time to understand or learn to use your company’s product, you have lower probabilities of success.
People have traditionally spend big traditional media companies’ content and “paid” that by exposed for advertisements, or more specifically, paying attention to the ads. Advertisers/companies, in turn, paid media companies for ad space. Now, however, this has changed. Due to digitalization and the internet, people have an almost unlimited amount of content available all the time. Part of the content is ad-funded, part of the content people are willing to pay for, where they avoid ads, and some content is even completely free.
People’s attention is divided more and more among different media and content. Therefore, getting people’s attention with advertising alone has become more challenging and more complicated. The services, media, content or individuals who win people’s attention have become more valuable. Examples of that are Facebook, Instagram, bloggers and vloggers. Also, it isn’t a surprise that today many services personalize their messages and services in order to attract people’s attention more easily.
Attention and time are key to the ability of individuals and companies to learn new things. To learn hard things quickly, you must focus intensely without distraction. However, today we have more distractions than in the past: social media, instant messaging, email, and, in general, the smartphone. In addition, the assumption that we need to be constantly accessible makes it almost impossible to learn hard things quickly. But, at the same time, learning has become more important than it has ever been.
Technological development is accelerating all the time. Today we already have a lot of things that didn’t exist ten years ago. Computers and robots make it possible to do mechanical and simple tasks more effectively than people do them. By doing these things, you or your company don’t gain any sustainable competitive advantage. Instead, you are in a great danger of being trampled by development.
From now onwards, those individuals and companies who are using their time effectively, who are able to adopt and learn new things faster than others and who can work creatively with intelligent machines will increasingly be those who succeed.
07 Nov 2016