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Entrepreneur Plus - Short White
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Speed Freaks There's e-commerce and e-mail and virtual this and virtual that and if you don't grab that third cup of espresso and kick yourself into overdrive to get your business up to speed, you can bet you'll get left in the dust.

By Geoff Williams

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It doesn't even take a second: the arm is airborne, pistol in hand, gunshot a memory. If the gunslinger of the Old West didn't have a fast draw, he was dead. Today, several thousand competitors pay tribute to those men of speed by joining the World Fast Draw Association (WFDA), a club whose members compete in events held around the globe. Every year, shootists fire at a target to see who has the quickest trigger finger. "Some of the fastest draws take only a quarter of a second," observes Howard Darby, one of the wfda's ranking members. "A typical fast draw is just one-tenth of a second slower." Nobody's timed the slowest draw. Nobody cares.

The world moves fast--and it's getting faster. E-mail. E-commerce. E-everything. The world moves so fast, in fact, it's enough to make you fall fast asleep from exhaustion.

But don't! You don't have the time, according to Kelsey Biggers, executive vice president of Micro Modeling Associates, a technological consulting firm in New York City. "Industries are changing so quickly," he says, that--at least in terms of keeping up with technology--companies "need to accomplish in 90 days what traditionally took a year. The landscape is changing so quickly that if you tried to stick to your five-year plan, you'd be obsolete in six months."