Truly Disruptive

You know what they mean by disruptive? Mobile phones are one example of disruptive
technology – something so significant that it really alters the scene and makes
new emerging social behaviour rise. But what I thought today about disruptive:
take the payment cards for example. They really disrupt the routine of doing
shopping, or going into a bus. Take a look at the individual steps that using
these cards require; first you dig them from your wallet – no insignificant step!
I often have the cards in “wrong” order, so it takes from 5-10 seconds to
get to the right one. Second step: hand over / insert the card into a reader,
and *wait*. The minimum time is 2-3 secs, but you can sometimes witness well over
a minute! Then you enter a PIN code or sign the receipt. You get the card back,
and put it into your wallet. In the “good old” times the magnetic stripes started
to deteriorate, and so the contact between the reader and the card was poor – this
resulted in several re-entries.

Is this significant? Well, let’s take a guess. 85% of people over 18 own at least
one card. They use it twice a day. It takes 15 seconds on average to do the
transaction. That does 105,000,000 seconds overall for Finland. That’s
29166 hours – or 3,3 years of cumulative waiting — each day!

On an individual basis, who cares if you wait a minute each day for the
processing of your payment. But it’s quite an amount of time spent on a national
level. And, this is the point: it’s superbly annoying to stay stil, just because
a machine is keeping you captured!

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