In the last couple of days I've had reasons to reflect on this dichotomy. Although things can happen really fast online, the process by which they tip is usually quite slow. And for good reason. Trust is something you build over time. Also, many confuse grabbing what is easy to grab for building a relationship, thinking that a fait accompli would let them get away with less than transparent business practices.
With technology as an accelerator, it is easier to put the cart before the horse - to try and get what you want before you established a relationship of trust. When in doubt, ask first. It's easy to get excited with the possibilities and lose sight of the fact that there are humans on the receiving end. Wasn't that the promise of the social Web? Or has that already been forgotten in the need for a fast buck?
With the opportunities of mobile communications at our doorsteps, there will be an increased need for intrinsic motivation, purpose, and intelligent application by practitioners. Or we risk getting to a place where human is colliding with technology. Julien writes about borders, "The only thing that tells you if you’ve crossed the line is people."
I agree with not letting limiting thinking fence you in, however our own freedom to possibility ends when we trample over that of others. Listen to what people are telling you. Building trust is about respecting others, following the Golden Rule, being slow when you know you could go fast, and conversely taking fast action to correct something instead of dragging your feet. It pays off in the end.
Slow is a form of mindfulness. When slow is good:
- Building a network of trusted connections
- Learning about our food, our options, and those of our communities
- Aligning mind and body, brain and heart
- Creating a solid business strategy
- Being in the moment, present and available
Fast can be a fantastic accelerator in some circumstances:
- Reducing load time for applications and servers so you can be more productive
- Shortening the ramp up time to implementation on a solid strategy
- Making connections between people in your network
- Being there for your friends and business partners
- Spreading good ideas to help more people
The challenge, as these things go, is that often you need a combination of the two. What would you add? What's the best speed for your project, team, context?
[image from Spaceballs]