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Rush Hour

Consumers demanding instant graification warn businesses it's now or never.

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This story appears in the February 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

We're not talking hours. We're not talking minutes. We're not even talking seconds. No, to get to consumers in the hyperpaced (and cyberspaced) 1990s, it can conceivably take only milliseconds. Fast. Faster. Fastest. What an astounding, confounding and pulse-pounding time in which we live. And this push to gratify consumers in an instant--even as the jesters among us contend that instant gratification itself now takes too long--is not a phenomenon destined to lose steam.

"Customers have so many choices today that they can be very fussy about whom they buy from," observes Roger Blackwell, author of From Mind to Market: Reinventing the Retail Supply Chain (HarperBusiness). "If a store can't provide what they want, when they want it, they have plenty of alternatives that will."

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