It is a fundamental
truth that the value of
information is almost
always a function of time. The Powerball number that is worth millions before a drawing is just another list of numerals after the winner is announced.
That same fleeting value characterizes almost all of the information we manage, defining a constant challenge and opportunity – not merely for assembling critical
For the 1.67 million Americans who are
diagnosed each year with cancer, timely
information on treatment options and
clinical trials can be critical (above).
Launched in April 1860, the Pony Express
delivered mail and small packages by
horseback from St. Joseph, MO, to
Sacramento, CA, in just 10 days (above).
The need for rapid mail delivery also drove the exploits of daring pilots who flew for the U.S. Air Mail Service, which was launched in 1918 (below right).
Once threatened by the growth of
electronic communications, urban
bicycle messengers have gained new
popularity as online merchants seek to
meet demand for same-day delivery (below).
information, but for delivering it at the place and moment in which it will have the greatest possible benefit.
The obstacles to immediacy are large, but so are the rewards of overcoming The Powerball number that is worth millions before a drawing is just another list of numerals after the winner is announced.them. For a retail store hoping to capture the interest of a walk-in customer, every second counts. For a cancer patient, notice of a new clinical trial can literally mean the difference between life and death.
Meeting the challenge of immediacy is not solely, or even primarily, a matter of technology, because speed without substance is wasted. Rather, it requires the fullest coordination of specialized capabilities – from analysis and programming to editorial direction and data integration – and a company-wide understanding that, in every aspect of our work, time is of the essence.
"Life is about timing."
— Carl Lewis