Three months, or you’re dead!”

These were the opening words of the keynote speaker at a conference I attended over what now seems a long time ago. Three months, the speaker’s argument went, was the time available to turn an idea into a fully realized solution. After that, the idea would be out of date and the competition ahead.

The specifics of the rest of the presentation have since faded from memory. The speaker went on to cover the intricacies of B2B and C2B for e-business, but by that stage, my thoughts were elsewhere. The point had been well made: The business world had embraced the Internet, and with it, a new unit of measure—Internet-time.

On reflection, the speaker’s opening remarks were something of a watershed in my approach to ...

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