Think Quarterly: The Speed Issue

The world is moving faster than ever before. Technologies afford us instant access and split-second connections. At the same time, consumer expectations are rising as we learn to take speed for granted. How will we keep pace in a world that moves at web speed? The Speed issue of Think Quarterly is about this acceleration of everything, covering what's changing, how it works, why it matters and when it doesn’t.

Route to 2015 Featured

Route to 2015

What changes will digital innovation bring to marketing over the next few years? Google's Senior Vice President of Americas Sales, Dennis Woodside, peers into the future of advertising and tells us to expect mobile payments, more two-way interaction between marketer and customer, and real-time everything.

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    The Google Gospel of Speed

    Google's search guru and SVP of Infrastructure, Urs Hoelzle, explains why speed is of the essence when it comes to search results. Search, video and internet users in general are quick to click away if anything takes too long, even by fractions of a second. He discusses some of the ways this informs product development at Google, emphasizing the need to eliminate anything that can slow results down.

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    Executive Insight with Marty St. George

    Marty St. George, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Commercial at JetBlue, reveals how social media has changed his business, and the speed with which he adapts. In this article, St. George discusses that when the company started, feedback came in the form of letters to customer service. Now he can log on to Facebook or Twitter and find out instantly when there's a problem, whether it's a broken TV or fog on the windows. Social media also adds a personal touch that helps promote the "humanity" that's such a large part of JetBlue's brand.

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    Start-Up Speed

    Big business is traditionally slow business. Start-ups are small enough to allow nimble changes, but what happens when your business becomes too large to move quickly? Kristen Gil, VP of Business Operations at Google, explains some of the changes we instituted to help us operate at small business speed, even as we grew.

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    Not So Fast

    The internet has made us faster than ever. But are we in fact lagging behind the opportunities presented by technology? Jeff Jarvis argues that no one foresaw the vast societal differences the printing press caused, and he thinks the internet is an even bigger, more fundamental shift. He discusses some of the potential changes that could come about as mankind continues to adapt to a new world of technology.

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    Branding in Mind

    Brand choices happen in milliseconds. So what can be done to influence, or change, the complex criteria that a consumer uses to make virtually-unconscious brand decisions? Brand strategy expert Tjaco Walvis reports on what happens in the brain when brand decisions are made, and five branding principles that have the most implications for marketers.

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    Speed of Dreams

    Technology is progressing at an exponential rate, but are we thinking big enough to take advantage? Astro Teller, Google's Director of New Products, is determined to rise to the challenge. He says that while we usually overstate what might be possible in a year, we often underestimate what could be possible in five years, when a number of different technological trends may have come together in ways we couldn't have foreseen.

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    Recoding the Classroom

    Though our world is changing, teaching itself is stuck in a time warp. According to some forward-thinking experts, only by embracing new technology and ideas can twenty-first-century schooling stay up to speed with kids. We compile the work of educators who argue that educators need to let go of previous models of learning and open themselves to new concepts and ideas, realizing that the skills that will be valuable in the future are not the same as those we valued in the past.

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    HTML5... 4... 3... 2... 1... Go!

    You've heard the hype, but still wonder: what is HTML5, exactly? Here, we offer a primer on everything marketers need to know about the new web language. Plus: the most innovative sites using HTML5 right now.

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    The Slow Manifesto

    This satirical piece poses as the recordings of celebrated 'slowologist' Professor Aldred Leatherworth - once lost, now found, and immortalized for posterity by "The Daily Show" writer Jo Miller. On the surface, it advocates the benefits of slowness and being thoughtful, while implying that those who take too much time are left behind and their ideas never come to fruition.

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    First In, First Out

    Are early adopters the key to marketing success? Or do they just distract us from the customers that really matter? That's what we consider in this thought-provoking article. It's tempting to focus on early adopters because they often provide free publicity and buzz, but the company that ignores first droppers - those that make the decision to move on from a product - loses an important source of valuable consumer information and feedback.

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    The Knowledge: Frank Stephenson

    Frank Stephenson designed the Ferrari F430, Maserati MC12 and the 2001 MINI. Now Design Director at UK supercar manufacturer McLaren Automotive, he shares the ideas, trends, and technologies that drive his thinking. Over the course of nine short lessons, he addresses the topic of constant change and innovation, and how that can apply to marketers of any discipline.