The Collapsing of Time


The news of Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, the photo sharing application for $1bn, came as a surprise to most people. When you consider that the company was worth £20m few months back and that it has only 13 employees (some say less), the news becomes an extraordinary one.

But is should not surprise anyone, we are witnessing what I call the ‘collapsing of time’. The time it takes for an event to repeat itself is reducing at a phenomenal rate.

Before 1980, the last time real (adjusted for inflation) oil price was over $100 per barrel was in 1862/63 (120 years prior). It took 28 years (2008) for this to occur again. Three years after we had another repeat. Cities are rebuilt in months rather than years as shown by the Japanese cities rebuilt after the ruin of 2011 Tsunami.

So it is no surprise that we have seen the re-emergence of the dot-com era (obviously in a new guise as social media applications) about a decade on from its original collapse (also referred to as bubble bursting).

The obvious question is whether this new guise will stand the test of time unlike its precursor?

This piece was originally published in EnterpriseStreet.

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