Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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On Demand Culture

There is probably no quantifiable way to prove that Americans are an impatient breed. We want what we want, when we want it, and we’re willing to pay for the privilege. Today, companies rake in millions–sometimes billions–giving people the ability to have sex on demand, sleep on demand, television on demand and technology on demand.

This comes from a Forbes.com special report titled “Life On Demand.” When did we become an On Demand culture and when was the move away from instant gratification. What is the difference anyway?

You can’t live in an instant gratification culture when culture moves at the speed it does in America. We are no longer gratified by speed. Broadband is widespread, cell phones allow us to speak to people at any moment and music is constantly leaked before street release date. Every piece of American culture moves at the speed of fiber optics and it’s not slowing down. We are simply no longer satisfied by speed. Speed is little more than an ante at this point, content has moved up in our list of priorities. The internet has taught us that the world is at our fingertips. That is the message. It is the ‘world-wide-web’ and it is availabe in our bedrooms, on our laptops and at blazing speeds. ‘On Demand’ is about bringing you things you want, when you want them. As speeds continue to increase, content will continue to move up in our list of priorities. We will demand more and more, both in terms of quantity and quality. As people become better informed the speed of things should be easier to cope with. Then, if all goes according to plan, the cycle should start up again.

July 27, 2004