The era of impatience is upon us.

I walked into a Chipotle yesterday, saw a line about 10 deep, mumbled an expletive that would’ve miffed my mom, and walked out.

I’m an impatient person.  Always have been and always will be.

But as I turned the corned on my way to McDonalds, I couldn’t help but think . . . am I more impatient than I was a decade ago?  Or two decades ago?

The answer is a burrito-sized yes.

Sure, I’m busier than I was a decade ago, and two decades ago I wasn’t living in the city, and we all know that New York injects you with impatience upon arrival.

But still . . . and I don’t think it’s only me.

I think we’re living in The Impatience Era.

The last twenty years have given us so much technology that so many things are available instantly . . . and at our fingertips.  News, television shows, and yes, even burritos, all seem to be “on demand.”

So, when things aren’t available instantly, the modern-day consumer, like a spoiled brat, gets frustrated . . . and may choose to go elsewhere . . . like McDonalds.

This is going to ripple through the theater very shortly, so we better start taking precautions.

What can we do to reduce the lines at the TKTS booth in Times Square?  What about the lines for ticket pick-up at the box office (when oh when will we just get ATM-style pick-up and purchase kiosks)?  How about how long it takes to buy a ticket online?  ( answers their customer’s impatience with “1-Click Ordering” – can’t we do the same?)

Of course, the best way to get a customer to not care about how long it takes to get your product is to create such an in-demand burrito show, that they’ll literally wait a year to experience it (Phantom, in its hey-day, or BOM, today).

But those shows are rare . . .  and for the rest of the market, it’s important that we come up with an impatience antidote, because while our audience won’t go to McDonalds instead of seeing a show . . . they could just stay home and watch another type of show on their TV, computer, Netflix, Xbox, iPad, iPhone . . . and whatever will be invented tomorrow.

What about you?  Are you more impatient today than you were?


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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.