We have a maximum of eight seconds to get the customer’s attention. That is what the academic studies all say.

In my private life, I have the impression that three seconds is already a concession. A person’s attention span quickly wanders when talking on the phone, to navigate around a few short steps on an app, and if you’re lucky it will go back to the telephone conversation again. If you really want to talk to someone about something, it is sometimes better to contact them by WhatsApp.

Today, attention is the scarcest of all commodities, as a person can only dedicate themselves to one task at a time. Every two years the knowledge of the world is doubled, but more and more of it has less to do with me, because I am still, more or less, the same as I was in 2013. My communication channels are constantly bombarded with more and more information, but less and less of it is reaching me.

Perhaps in the future, we can formulate it like this: The economy of the 21st Century will be determined by the fight for that first second. Presumably, the scale of a lived customer experience management will be to produce within a second, an experience that the customer finds so captivating that they are willing to invest another bit of that very rare commodity, attention.