It is a fundamental truth that the value of information is almost

always a function of time. The Powerball number that is worth millions before a drawing is just another list of numerals after the winner is announced.

That same fleeting value
characterizes almost all of the information we manage, defining a constant challenge and opportunity
– not merely for assembling critical

Launched in April 1860, the Pony Express delivered mail and small packages by horseback from St. Joseph, MO, to Sacramento, CA, in just 10 days (above).

The need for rapid mail delivery also drove the exploits of daring pilots who flew for the U.S. Air Mail Service, which was launched in 1918 (below right).

Once threatened by the growth of electronic communications, urban bicycle messengers have gained new popularity as online merchants seek to meet demand for same-day delivery (below).

For the 1.67 million Americans
who are diagnosed each year
with cancer, timely information
on treatment options and clinical
trials can be critical (above).

information, but for delivering it at the place and moment in which it will have the greatest possible benefit.

The obstacles to immediacy are
large, but so are the rewards of

The Powerball number that is worth millions before a drawing is just another list of numerals after the winner is announced. overcoming them.
For a retail store
hoping to capture
the interest of a
walk-in customer,
every second
counts. For a
cancer patient,
notice of a new
clinical trial can
literally mean the difference between life and death.

Meeting the challenge of immediacy is not solely, or even primarily, a matter of technology, because speed without substance is wasted. Rather, it requires the fullest coordination of specialized capabilities – from analysis and programming to editorial direction and data integration – and a company-wide understanding that, in every aspect of our work, time is the essence.

immediacy - usairmail

“Life is about timing.”

— Carl Lewis