This article introduces the reasoning, thinking and concepts behind a technology we call Signals, which we believe has the potential to have a profound impact on the design and development of software, the performance engineering of systems and the management of distributed interconnected applications and services. We originally designed Signals to address the sub-microsecond execution performance variation analysis of software in extremely low latency high frequency transaction and messaging environments but subsequently evolved our design to incorporate support for the development of new software components, libraries and platforms that are self adaptive.