Money is circulated. Time is spent.

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by Prateek Rungta on Monday, January 20, 2014

Geekery (Science, Tech and Life Hacks)

Session type

Technical level


To highlight the scale and significance of losses incurred due to decisions (design, business, purchase) that undervalue people’s time.


Our society and lives are getting more and more connected by the day. The amount of information we are generating and have access to is growing exponentially. While human life expectancy has doubled in the last century, it is far outpaced by the growth of things fighting for our time and attention. (Note too that time and attention are not the same thing. Attention is even more scarce.)

Yet we often choose to file the "time is valuable" adage away as a wishful general truth or ignore it completely, at times (pun unintended) without even realising that we may be undervaluing time while making a decision. It could be a seemingly trivial decision to add an extra field to a web form, or a strategic business decision to provide a product/service for free.

I came across "Money is circulated. Time is spent" in Frank Chimero's Lessons Learnt in 2013 list. Those six words, as philosophies have a way of doing, explain a lot. Low-performing interfaces, distrust of a company that shuts down a free service in stark contrast to affection for a company that shuts down a paid service, Tab closed; Didn't read — just a few examples.

I hope to explore this idea more fully in my talk.


Your time and attention.

Speaker bio

I design websites at (and help run) Miranj. I have been building web stuff for the last eight years and am largely self–taught. I spend a lot of time pondering about design and the web, and more recently, about the connections (and peculiarities) between everything around us.