Age of Speed: A Strategy for Thriving in a More-Faster-Now World

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Is our 24/7, CrackBerry, more-faster-now culture eating us alive or setting us free? For everyone feeling trampled by the speed of life and business, author Vince Poscente reveals why harnessing the power of speed is the ultimate solution for our time-starved era. The Age of Speed shows this and other groundbreaking revelations at work with case studies drawn from renegade companies such as Netflix, Geico, and Nintendo. With smart personal revelations, addictively clever pop science, practical case studies, and a...

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Overview

Is our 24/7, CrackBerry, more-faster-now culture eating us alive or setting us free? For everyone feeling trampled by the speed of life and business, author Vince Poscente reveals why harnessing the power of speed is the ultimate solution for our time-starved era. The Age of Speed shows this and other groundbreaking revelations at work with case studies drawn from renegade companies such as Netflix, Geico, and Nintendo. With smart personal revelations, addictively clever pop science, practical case studies, and a fresh voice, The Age of Speed is a fast, fun read.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Business consultant Poscente employs velocity as a catchall term for explaining how to thrive in our hyperstimulated society. A former Olympic speed skier, he explains how people and organizations can best equip themselves to surf the endless assault of tasks and data familiar to any office worker. To him, speed both causes and solves the ambiguity surrounding high technology and the competing demands of career and personal life. But even if speed is the answer, this book doesn't uncover any insight that hasn't occurred to anyone who's ever stayed late tapping out e-mails. For case studies, the book wheels out long-suffering Eastman Kodak as an example of a "Zeppelin" that couldn't keep pace with new technology. Google, meanwhile, is a "Jet" that upped the ante. But readers who want to learn from that savvy company would be better served by other studies than this brief sketch. Poscente dallies on the "Aligned Organization" and the notion that "work is no longer a place-it's a state of mind," but the result is a string of business clichés. With almost every other page left blank, Poscente's kind enough not to demand too much of his readers' time. But the lack of substance ensures that they'll forget it even faster. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781885167675
  • Publisher: Bard Press TX
  • Publication date: 9/25/2007
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.68 (w) x 8.42 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Read an Excerpt

The Age of Speed

LEARNING to THRIVE in a MORE-FASTER-NOW WORLD
By VINCE POSCENTE

Bard Press

Copyright © 2008 Vince Poscente
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-885167-67-5


Chapter One

A More-Faster-Now Revolution

It became clear to me that the Age of Speed was upon us while I was inching through an endless security line in the Orlando airport.

I was running late that morning, and it seemed everyone else was too-the line in front of me wrapped around twice, and it was filled with people dripping with impatience. Like them, I felt completely frustrated. I calculated that it would be at least twenty minutes before I earned the privilege of standing in my socks on the cold tile and having a stranger pat down my legs. Then I saw a woman in a business suit whisk right past the line. Carry-on in hand, she stepped to the right of the security station, paused for a moment, and continued through to the gates.

When I learned what that woman went through to save those twenty minutes, it struck me: our hunger for speed has become so acute that we are willing to sacrifice extraordinary things to satisfy it. I realized that speed is a defining characteristic of our time-that what we're experiencing is not merely the drama du jour, but a more-faster-now revolution.

The woman in the Orlando airport was a member of a registered traveler program that uses biometrics (body-scanning technology) for identification purposes. Though the word biometrics may not sound familiar, the concept has undoubtedly crossed your consciousness at some point-voice recognition devices, eye-scanning lasers, face recognition machines. With the help of James Bond, Charlie's Angels, and their photogenic cohorts, this is one business that has never been starved for attention. But privacy concerns and security issues have kept biometrics from becoming as widely used in real life as it is in the movies.

Ninety percent of Americans think designing safeguards against the misuse of biometric IDs is important. They're concerned that biometrics presents a threat to privacy and security, both personal and national. After all, the technology identifies you based on unchangeable biological measures, and the data can be stored. Anybody with access to the stored data can read-and potentially copy-the most intimate details of your physical makeup. What if that information fell into the wrong hands? Could the police show up at your door to arrest you for a crime you didn't commit, because somebody stole your fingerprints? Could a terrorist organization use stolen data to get its members across national borders? Biometric technology makes the very constitution of our bodies vulnerable to observation, judgment, and even theft. Just how much of ourselves are we willing to reveal, to risk?

Despite this debate, Verified Identity Pass began testing its biometric identification program, Clear, in the Orlando International Airport in 2005.2 It was as if the security and privacy concerns had become nonissues-all because VIP offered travelers the opportunity to speed up. At Orlando's airport, those registered for the Clear program wait in security lines three minutes at most, while anyone else might endure a wait of thirty-two minutes. And three minutes is the maximum. According to VIP, the average wait time for Clear members is four seconds.

But VIP's enrollment process isn't exactly convenient or cheap, and it doesn't assuage the fears of privacy advocates, either. Before an application is sent to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for a security threat assessment, travelers must appear in person to undergo a background check, pay an annual fee of roughly one hundred dollars, give ten fingerprints, and submit to an iris scan.

Nevertheless, the added cost, the potential compromise of personal privacy, the chore of completing the enrollment process, and the paranoia associated with being on file with the TSA proved to be no match for the lure of speed. It seems all those negatives are tolerable if it means we can go faster. By early 2007, more than forty-five thousand people had signed up for Clear nationwide, and the TSA had approved expansion of the registered traveler program in up to twenty airports. Standing in the airport security line in Orlando, I bore witness as speed trumped privacy, expense, convenience, and even fear.

The Economist summarized the situation this way: "For many people, 'biometrics' conjures images of a Big Brotherish surveillance society. But tell them they could save a few precious seconds ... and they will sign up in the millions."

FAST FACT

The Clear program is now available in San Jose, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and British Airways Terminal 7 in New York's JFK airport. Next up: JFK Terminals 1 and 4, Newark Terminal B, and Toronto. Go to www.flyclear.com/ airports.html for the most up-to-date list.

* * *

We are willing to make dramatic sacrifices to achieve greater speed because today our society pulses with new priorities and new demands. We've created a 24/7, CrackBerry, more-faster-now culture, and it is changing the way we work, relate, communicate, and live. It's changing what makes an individual successful and what makes an organization viable. And it's changing key aspects of the basic human experience.

FAST FACT

CrackBerries have become the unofficial mascot of the Age of Speed, but mind your addiction. Research revealed that allowing frequent email interruptions causes a drop in performance equivalent to losing ten IQ points-two-and-a-half times the drop seen after smoking pot.

While this may seem terrifying to some, I believe speed has a unique power to enrich our lives on an individual, organizational, and even societal level. It is the lifeblood of the information age, it pushes businesses forward, and it helps people spend less time doing meaningless things to make room for more significant living.

I wrote this book to explore the possibly counterintuitive notion that when we harness the power of speed, we not only get more and get it faster, but our lives and work become less stressful, less busy, and more balanced. The Age of Speed is an examination of the role of speed in business and the individual experience, and a proposal for a new perspective-that speed can be a powerful ally, on both a personal and an organizational level. I will introduce you to four behavioral profiles-Jets, Bottle Rockets, Zeppelins, and Balloons-that characterize how we relate to speed, and I will help you explore ways to turn the speed phenomenon to your advantage and deal with the side effects of the Age of Speed, such as work-home interference and information overload. You'll read stories and case studies that will illustrate the many dimensions of speed's impact on our lives and businesses and also, I hope, entertain you along the way.

In many ways, The Age of Speed is a concept book with the humble goal of inspiring a new perspective, one that will help you thrive in this new, faster era. But the insights in this book are applicable to your life and business, and they can make a real difference. All that is required of you is an open mind and an introspective curiosity. While you read this book, consider how the content can be applied to your life and your business. And consider how speed can work to your advantage and push you closer to your goals-because speed is not only something we need to accept and embrace, but also something we desperately want.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Age of Speed by VINCE POSCENTE Copyright © 2008 by Vince Poscente. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Preface....................v
The Speed Phenomenon....................1
1 A More-Faster-Now Revolution....................2
2 Want + Need + Access....................10
3 Supply and Demand....................16
4 More Life, Please....................22
Evolution....................27
5 Ahead of Our Own Curve....................28
6 Naughty, Naughty Speed....................32
7 I Hate You, but I Want You....................38
8 Honey, It's Not What You Think....................42
9 Smelling the Roses....................46
10 A Love Triangle: Time, Quality, and Cost....................52
11 Breaking Up with Resistance....................56
The Big Blur....................63
12 Out of Bounds....................64
13 Making a New Pie....................70
14 Defining Our Pie....................80
Four Profiles....................83
15 Speed, Success, and Failure....................84
16 Zeppelins....................88
17 Balloons....................94
18 Bottle Rockets....................100
19 Jets....................108
Agility....................115
20 Bats....................116
21 Sensing Opportunity....................120
22 Being Flexible....................126
23 Responding to Change....................130
Aerodynamics....................135
24 200....................136
25 It's a Drag....................140
26 An Exercise in Consciousness....................146
27 Too Much of a Good Thing....................152
28 Off the Desk and Out of the Inbox....................158
Alignment....................163
29 Racing Across aTightrope....................164
30 Authentic Purpose....................168
31 The Aligned Organization....................174
32 The Aligned Individual....................180
33 Desperately Seeking Simplicity....................184
Harnessing the Power of Speed....................191
34 Aikido....................192
35 Anticipating Speed....................198
36 Seeking Speed....................204
Conclusion....................208
Applications....................210
Notes....................216
Credits....................222
Index....................226
About the Author....................232
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2007

    A fast read on keeping pace with the speed of life

    The Age of Speed is a curious but pleasant little book and ¿ surprise! ¿ a fast, easy read. Author Vince Poscente believes the increasing pace of contemporary life is a blessing, not a handicap. A former competitive skier who clearly values speed, he gracefully moves from point to point. He warns of the dangers of clinging to quaint, old-fashioned notions. He offers new emotional and psychological perspectives that will help you understand how to thrive in a galloping world. But the book is short on practical tips for actually embracing speed, eliminating drag or, most of all, concluding that your current approach to speed is less than useful. We recommend it to flexible thinkers seeking a better handle on current and emerging social trends, and on life¿s accelerating pace. However, you may also need a deep understanding of change management to get the most from Poscente¿s wisdom.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2007

    Essential ... paradigm shifting

    Poscente speaks with credibility ... he HAS embraced speed ... as a skiier, as a speaker, as a consultant. The book is an easy read, provocative, interesting, and necessary. Contrast helps us all find our place ... and better focus our targets. The contrast between zeppelins, bottle rockets, hot air balloons, and jets is memorable, applicable, and helpful. Who doesn't need to embrace speed so that they can devote more of their time, energy, and attention to significant investments of discretionary time? He has saved me HOURS with practical suggestions that are supported with interesting research. Dr. B Dallas, Texas

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