Business and entrepreneurial literature describe the big new business opportunities: cleantech, the bottom of the pyramid, health 2.0 and so on it goes.
I believe these are all big, valid market opportunities.
Another one is – or should be – time creation.
Study after study shows that people say they are too busy, that they don’t have enough time. (I was reminded of this today at the Arts Marketing Association’s annual conference in Glasgow where I was part of the opening keynote and where my fellow speaker Jerry Yoshitomi shared a study from New Zealand that showed that by far and away the biggest cited reason for people to not attend arts events was lack of time/too busy.)
These people I refer to are already afforded an abundant life full of necessities and luxuries. They are mostly in the developed world, mostly in the West.
What these people are generally (but not always) driving for are chunked experiences, shorter emails, on-demand stuff that can fit in.
As information overload grows to crisis levels, as our internet addiction spirals and our positive and counterbalancing moves towards greater work life balance and more integrated lives add to the pile of tasks to do, so our time fritters away.
There are products and services that create or reclaim time for us.
The concierge and virtual PA. Google’s Priority Inbox. The Getting Things Done religion. And much more I’m sure.
There are products and services that have sympathy for the time constraints we now willingly live with.
On-demand and catch up TV. Reminder text messages from dentists. Other things you can probably think of.
This is a huge business opportunity. If I were starting a business today I would be asking ‘how does this reclaim time for our customers?’ and ‘how does this play nice and fit into the madly busy lives of our customers?’.
If you believe we could be doing good, useful things with the reclaimed or unlocked time, then this is also an important contribution to society.
Time creation: it’s where the smart money should go.