I’ve skimmed through a book recently called “The time paradox”, by Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd. It’s about how we perceive time and how that affects our behaviour in the present. To be honest, I didn’t find it particularly revealing but it sparked a related idea in my head. Here it goes: If you think how we spend our money today, what are the things we buy, I reckon they fall into one of the following two categories:
– things that save us time
– things that allow us to enjoy time
This might seem unintuitive and incomplete at first, but let me elaborate. Time today is a scarce resource. Everyone complains that they don’t have enough of it to do all things they need or want to. But we have money. In fact, we invest time from our lives working in our jobs under the premise that this investment will pay for the things we need. That is to say, that the time invested will give us money with which we could buy better things than the ones we could have done ourselves in the same period. Take your home for instance. You could go ahead and build one yourself. But that will take longer and be less efficient than buying one that someone else has done. And of course the nicer the house is, the more we can enjoy the time we spend in it. So the second category includes the things we buy that makes us happier, which is a consequence of enjoying time, either present or future.
Then there are the things we buy so we actually have some more time available to us. And the reasons can be different for different people. Some prefer to have more time for themselves as they are more of a hedonist type. Some others prefer to do more things in the same period of time because that gives them a sense of fulfilment in their lives. Whatever the reason is, we do prefer when things can be done faster, particularly the things that we don’t enjoy doing much. If the previous category can be seen as the “hedonist” spending, this one can be seen as the “utilitarian”. Think about the likes of a car to get to work quicker and avoid public transportation, or the many home tools that help you perform daily tasks faster, or services like Amazon which save you the time to go shopping, park the car, etc.
So, now that I’ve realised of this classification, here is how I see can be used: next time I find myself deciding between items to buy, maybe I’ll throw in the concept of how much time each one can save me. Or how much more I will enjoy my spare time if I choose one over another. Or even I might wonder how much I need that thing thinking about the price vs. the time it buys me. Nevertheless, it will be another dimension to add to the shopping decision.
And then, as a seller, as someone who works in sales, I’ll try to reflect on the benefits that a customer can get from a time perspective if she decides to purchase my offering. I’ll try to describe how much more she will enjoy or how much more time she will get compared to the competition. And this should matter a lot, because time is the only resource that, even if unused, you’ll always run out of.


Carta abierta al director del periódico Ctxt

June 1, 2015

Este es un post muy poco habitual, el único que he escrito de este tipo y espero que el último que publique. Es una carta abierta al director del periódico Ctxt, enviada por email y puesta aquí para poder compartirla de forma fácil con todos los demás. Sr. Director, Estoy decepcionado. Incluso diría que me […]

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Why do we share information?

June 16, 2014

As you might know, I’ve started to contribute as a blogger to Equanima, a foundation that aims to bring philosophy into our lives, using tools and techniques to help us think more and better, personally and professionally. My latest post there is about the reasons why we share so much information nowadays about ourselves, the […]

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Talk to the app…are we listening?

May 20, 2014

Sometimes I wonder about the double-edge sword that technology is when it comes to interactions between us, humans. I’m overly convinced that it has improved our communications, but on the other side it’s being (in my opinion) overused now. And we hide behind it, behind its limitations, when needed. We use it as an excuse […]

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Collaboration is about having a common goal

April 25, 2014

  When it comes to sharing (information, facts, pictures, data) there is one single thing that differentiates true collaboration from mere communication and exchange: a common goal. We collaborate when we all have an end in mind and that has to be the same for each and everyone. From there it emerges the power of […]

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Mapa de las redes sociales y de mensajería instantánea

March 17, 2014

En el último congreso Iberoamericano de redes sociales se presentó la versión actualizada del mapa de las redes sociales y de mensajería instantánea. Me parece muy interesante el tenerlo como referencia del estado actual de estas herramientas y por eso lo reblogueo aquí. El análisis comparativo con los anteriores me parece igual de interesante (2010, […]

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Experience, Flexibility and Technology

March 11, 2014

Experience: knowledge acquired over the years from previous actions done, situations lived or study done. Flexibility: ability to adapt, to learn, to get familiar with new discoveries (self or external) and use them to your advantage. Technology: really do I need to define it?   The sketch above came to mind as I was thinking […]

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The perfect collaboration tool

March 4, 2014

Imagine you had a blank check. Imagine you also had the chance to hire the best engineers. The challenge is then to create the perfect collaboration tool. Be it a mobile app, a thick client to install, a web extension…you name it. It’s in your hands to create the definite communication software that would connect […]

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The evolution of social media

February 24, 2014

Courtesy of: Prohibition

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If you want to listen

February 17, 2014

  Sometimes we complain we can’t listen to what we want because of the noise out there. This is happening now a lot more than before because of the social networks. It’s so easy to share, like, retweet, broadcast….than we end up sometimes creating noise ourselves without noticing. And because we notice there is so […]

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