And the timer is only visible for your own tiles, not opponents' tiles.
This! This one was my issue. If you can't see which tiles are protected by your opponents then it creates a real issue. When you're making split second founding decisions based on other people founding you need to know whether to pull the trigger knowing you can get the resources you think you can get. I would like to see that someone is protecting tiles before I found and get stuck because the resource was on the edge of that protected realm. When i founded in that example I gave earlier there was no indication that the carbon was protected. it was 4 hexes away and nothing that the expansive player would be interested in at founding.
As Insync mentioned this is good solution to prevent people from founding RIGHT next to each other (especially in quickmatch) but it might create another problem if resources aren't more evenly distributed. If there's only 1 patch of iron and 1 good carbon spot nearby in a quickmatch all you do is found expansive, squash most of the iron, and make sure you found close enough to that carbon triangle to lock them out for awhile. Game over.