The Importance of Quick Response

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Are you one of those culprits that do not promptly return e-mails, phone calls or direct tweet messages?

Then read on. It can be the key to success or failure. One of the reasons why the SA e-commerce security company Thawte came to be worth so much to US Competitor Verisign was that the owner Mark Shuttleworth managed to get the company’s name embedded in the popular browser software.

The story goes that in 1996 Thawte was run out of a garage in Durbanville in South Africa, and Shuttleworth was handling all correspondence himself. The future of the company hinged on persuading browser developers that Thawte was important enough to include in their software, so that companies wishing to sell their goods and services online would be steered towards Thawte when they needed security certificates.

After spending months hitting a brick wall to convince Netscape to take him seriously, Shuttleworth was visiting London when he decided, on a whim to check his e-mail. There, in the pile of everyday messages from friends and colleagues was a bombshell: Thawte would be included in the new version of Netscape navigator browser if he responded by the …. NEXT DAY.

A few frantic telephone calls and heart palpitations later and the arrangements were made. Not to be outdone, Microsoft rushed to ensure that Thawte was embedded in the next version of its Explorer browser, and the rest is history. R3 billion rand history.

To this day Shuttleworth cannot say what made him check his e-mail, but he is the first to admit that he came within a few hours of missing his multi -billion dollar deal”.

The lesson from this piece is clear. E-mail is instantaneous and sometimes the sending party wants an immediate answer.

How prompt are you?

Today rapid response to a tweet or an e-mail can be the difference between failure and success.

Or are you willing to risk on the basis of doing business as usual. Today’s speedy economy and rate of change dictates immediacy as the key between success or failure.