Business at the Speed of the Atom

Recently, I’ve been thinking about the speed at which we conduct business. Business at the speed of the atom, you could say. Advancements in computer technology, specifically, artificial intelligence, afford us more momentary physical comfort. It’s always been that way. So, what’s different — now?

Since the dawn of the First Industrial Revolution, we have consistently been using technology to enhance our level of personal comfort, and luxurious lifestyle. Or if you prefer: get more done in less time.

So far, so good.

What happens, however, whenever our work is providing us with enormous comfort, and grand luxury, albeit dishonestly? What happens when digital software development becomes about lining my pockets, instead of the value I’m bringing to my customers?

Why Should Business Speed Concern Me?

Psychologists see a positive correlation between honest work, and reward for that work (whether monetary, or social), and psychological well-being.

Genuine happiness is impossible without authentic concern for and corresponding behavior towards the well-being of others. Nicole Torka (2019)

It follows, that if I am going to ensure healthy customers, and employees, I need first to design my business accordingly. Business must consider the smallest of atomic structures. As I result, I must take pains to authentically care for the needs of my customers, as well as, my workforce. The operative word here is authentic.

Because, they suffer a disproportionate risk of becoming self-serving, virtual forms of labor, and services are in a dangerous position. With that I mean that we focus on creating software simply to get rich.

What’s the Solution to Atomic Business Speeds?

Honest Digital Development. Simply because something can be made and brought to market to make a buck, doesn’t mean it should be. Try performing the following litmus test before launching your next product or service. Make sure you’re in a private place whenever you do this. Otherwise, there’s great potential for, shameless, disingenuity: i.e., to simply lie your pants off:

The Litmus Test

Ask yourself: “who gets the most out of this?” If the answer is “me” — you will end your business with customers who don’t trust you and a workforce who can’t wait to get away from you.

What Does Honest Digital Business Look Like?

Digital solutions offer a unique opportunity to give an honest answer for how best to close the gap between technology, or the immaterial, and the tangible sides of our lives.

The following are some top-of-mind examples of the kinds of things I’m talking about:

Make it Easier to Purchase Online.

Not ads, or #bullshitmarketing Remember this is about honesty. Information is key to the buying process. It follows that digital solutions will consistently reveal in context information necessary for me to more quickly, and confidently purchase what I’m looking for. How does your solution help with that?

Supplying People with Information

so they can chart new courses never dreamed of before. This field has been exploding for years, and I’m happy about what I see.

And Thousands More Solutions …

These types of solutions may, logically, provide value to all parties involved — a zero-sum-game. Nevertheless, popular culture will tend to err toward the path of least resistance. Presently, this has created a whole generation of stars grabbing microphones, and getting in front of a camera to tell the world about the latest thing which is „sooo cool“.

And they’re right: there are a lot of cool new things out there every day (and I confess: I enjoy watching them too :-)). But who is all those hours of video providing value to? Yep… them (and the publishers and advertisers). It’s a non-zero-sum-game. They get value you get none. Nuff said.

How Do We Stay Honest?