Adapting the 5-hour Rule to Quantum Technology


The business community is being challenged by the rapid advancement of quantum technology along a similar evolutionary framing to the entry of traditional technology. This has left members of the C-suite and even board of directors to question their current level of quantum technology awareness. They are also examining their ability to stay abreast of advancements that move quantum further into the business application space and closer to becoming a common business tool. Here are some of the more current questions emanating from this combined group of critical stakeholders. (It should be noted, the list below is in a general order.)

  • What is the trend in the level of business interest of quantum technology?
  • What is the current and estimated future market dollar-value of quantum technology?
  • What are the business applications of quantum technology now and estimated in the future?
  • What is the developmental timeline for a business that desires to become a ‘rapid-adapter’ to quantum technology?
  • What are the competitive advantages or disadvantages for a business given the current and future use of quantum technology?
  • What are the recommended actions for executives to take in order to be properly positioned to address the current and near-term implications of quantum technology?

NOTE: Future = five-years out

While not specifically mentioned, perhaps the most critical piece of information for both the C-suite and members of the Board of Directors is where they can regularly obtain a reasonably accurate, unbiased and business focused source for this data (on a regular basis). That is both more important and a greater challenge that many believe. It is also essential for quantum technology providers to try and share that responsibility.

In order to achieve the desired knowledge base about quantum technology, adapting an approach similar to that used by Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jack Ma, Mark Cuban and many others seems to be in order. One such technique is called ‘The Five-Hour Rule.’ This rule is quite simple. C-suite executives and members of the board should put aside at least one-hour a day (five-hours a week) to obtaining insights around answers to the above questions. Some have broken this down and block-out 20 minutes first-thing in the morning. The second period is immediately after lunch and the final period is approaching the end of the day.

During a recent briefing, the question was posed asking for real-world business application case-studies or white papers that examine the value including the return-on-investment (ROI) of quantum technology in business. That is expecting a bit much, at least at this point! It is highly likely that very few if any such documents exist today. A quick response clearly illustrated the reasons behind this status. Would you openly discuss anything that provides your company their competitive advantage? The general case-study/ROI documents are likely to come from new companies that are developing and will offer products and services surrounding the business applications of quantum technology, especially quantum computing. These companies are currently evolving and some beginning to gain a solid foot-hold, so look for a growing number of generalized case-studies with ROIs to begin appearing shortly. That will give quantum technology companies general competitive benchmarks to pit themselves against.