Chapter 3

Time, Speed, Scale, and Domain


So, what has really changed? Clearly, we are not doomed as individuals to exist in a wholly digital world. This isn’t Tron, the 1982 film that examined how all the rules would change should we move to a digital-only domain. We are physical beings, comfortably locked in our space-time continuum, defining ourselves by where we are, what time it is, and who we relate to (which by one definition are the three core elements of our consciousness). We build fences, eat strawberries, clip fingernails. That won’t change. So, what’s all the fuss? In our view, the real disruption to our lives after the pivot can be seen in four dimensions: time, speed, scale, and domain. The impact of these will be felt most keenly not by individuals but by institutions.

  • Unit of productive time


  • Speed of transaction

    Speed-of-light (c)

  • Scale of impact


  • Domain of interaction


Changes driven by the pivot

humans and machines in space

Post-pivot, humans and machines work together in collaborative teams

Appreciating that time, speed, scale, and domain are different now, let’s take a moment to ponder the changes wrought by each of these elements. We can list a few general changes here, but as the leader, you will benefit greatly from adding the shifts in your own work paradigm to these lists. Ones that will require your acknowledgment and action if your organization is to survive and stay relevant.

  • Time: From seconds to nanoseconds; from memorizing to searching; from writing to texting
  • Speed: From analog to digital; from lifecycle to version; from perfecting to iterating
  • Scale: From localized to distributed computing; from ownership to sharing; from competing to disrupting
  • Domain: From local to virtual; from recording to streaming; from human to suprahuman and human + machine

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