Firms are born and die faster, it is widely claimed. Supply chains bristle to the instant commands of big-data feeds.
Customers’ grumbles on Facebook are met with real-time tweaks to products.
The regular doubling of processing power known as “Moore’s Law” has provided decades of exponential growth in computing power.
Information technology is ever more embedded in customer’s lives.
In his 2014 book, “The Impulse Society”, Paul Roberts, a social critic, decries a system “so hostile to the notion of long-term investment, or commitment, or permanence, that it is becoming incapable of producing anything of durable social or economic value.” The idea that time is speeding up is clearly popular. In 1913 Henry Ford’s reinvention of the assembly line cut the time it took to make a car from 12 hours to 90 minutes.
Alfred Sloan, who ran General Motors as president and then chairman from 1923 to 1956, invented “dynamic obsolescence”—using a flurry of new products to whip up demand and make existing models seem out of date.
Honda took this idea to an extreme: in 1981-82 it launched 113 models of scooter in 18 months.
Japanese firms pioneered flexible supply chains and reorganised factory floors in the 1970s and 1980s—eking out efficiency gains by eliminating delays.
On Apple’s home turf in Silicon Valley the idea that things are continually speeding up is a commonplace.
“The pace of change is accelerating,” Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg of Google assert in their book “How Google Works”.
They have complained that there is nowhere to sit because of the matchmaking groups.
A CUSTOMER downloads an app from Apple every millisecond.
Ginni Rometty, who is struggling to revive IBM, recently told the , “People ask, ‘Is there a silver bullet?