In carpentry, cutting a piece of wood improperly will result in the piece being unusable. In order to minimize wastage, the rule is to double check the measurement of the wood before committing to cutting it hence the rule: “measure twice cut once”. This rule is still valuable in some situations but does not fit well in many cases related to the “Internet economy” where actions and events appear to occur much faster. There are two interacting factors that render this rule of limited value in the internet economy: Internet time and the concept of Carpe Diem.

Andy Grove, CEO of Intel, coined the quote “The world now runs on Internet time. Techopedia defines Internet time as, “the time it takes to perform an activity on the Internet, usually depicting it as faster compared to doing the same activity offline”. Transactions that took a long time and were carried out serially with the brick and mortar economy can be now executed concurrently online.

The literal translation from Latin of the concept of Carpe Diem is: seize the day – implying the focus should be on what you can do today rather than tomorrow taking advantage of opportunities that you are presented with today and not leave to chance future happenings. Do what you can do today to make the future better which is popularized under the term “you only live once” or YOLO for short.

These two factors lead to the conclusion that in today’s environment, rather than measuring twice and cutting once, it is more appropriate to change the rule to read “measure once cut twice”. This rule can be applied to both individuals and companies in situations in which obtaining the desired information trumps the analyses paralysis “wait and see” attitude. It is important to make faster decisions, get the results and reiterate if needed.

 

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Written by

Eli Fathi

Eli has been a technology entrepreneur for the past 30 years and has founded or cofounded a number of companies with a few successful exits. Currently, he is the CEO of Squanto.net a company offering automated fraud detection platform. Eli was the cofounder of Fluidware Corporation, an Internet software company offering Software as a service (SaaS) online applications based on collaborative feedback. He was the co-CEO from inception until the acquisition by SurveyMonkey.

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