Godin’s “high cost of now” – how being a little behind can save you a great deal

December 4, 2008 by Jared Goralnick

image How much does it cost you to stay current…with your email, with the news, with your industry?  Today Seth Godin explained just how expensive it is.

And I want to reiterate the point.

Have you ever gotten a call from someone asking you an important question, and while they’re explaining the problem to you, before you even get a word in, they solve it themselves?  If you had missed that phone call, it’s safe to say that without your involvement that person would have been just fine.

That kind of thing happens all the time when you’re available all the time.  It’s always more difficult and expensive to be on the bleeding edge, to stay current with the news, to solve problems before any of the dust has settled.

Seth Godin’s article today discusses this much more cogently, and one of his examples is email:

You can check your email twice a day pretty easily. Once every fifteen minutes has a disruption cost. Pinging it with your pocketphone every sixty seconds is an extremely expensive lifestyle/productivity choice.

I’d recommend you read his quick article and then think seriously what you decide to stay current with, and whether it would save you time, money, or energy if you waited a little longer for that information (or gadget, or software, etc).

You should really subscribe to Technotheory via Subcribe via email email or rss.

7 Responses to “Godin’s “high cost of now” – how being a little behind can save you a great deal”

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  1. dcpatton

    Very good point Jared. When I initially read Seth’s article I was thinking in terms of the cost of the devices/service fees required to be in constant contact. I hadn’t thought of the cost of time/interruptions/context switching, etc. that it leads to.

  2. Alexismichelle

    Thanks Jared! Interesting article, and I think your blog post was a unique and helpful addition/ interpretation.

  3. Jared Goralnick

    dcpatton, Alexis: Seth is always thinking way ahead and offering such practical insight… so it really wasn’t hard to highlight a few thoughts! Thank you though, and I’m glad I added a little to the story :-)

  4. Tom Tolbert

    Good point!

  5. Dane Disimino

    I just tried relating getting email to the way my parents got their mail 40 years ago. Imagine the local USPS guy throwing a newspaper at your door every 60 seconds. He doesn’t leave, just stands there all day and throws news at you. I’d be pretty ticked haha. But I think another question here is, what is the cost of not being current? Sometimes I find an article that is so relevant to something I started one week prior, and if I had that knowledge my project would have gained value. So I think we should work hard in the early stages of starting a project through rigorous research to avoid being caught off guard and people saying – “dude, that has already been done.” It doesn’t mean we can’t detach once and a while. But your feed readers should be doing the work for you while away…

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