Monday, February 28, 2011

My Lazy Theory

image I’ve been toying with this one for a while.  I’m too lazy to keep notes when thoughts occur to me so now I’ve just decided to write it without notes.  Or, with apologies ahead of time, off the top of my head.

I work in the software business.  I find there are two categories of people (well three, but I’m going to skip the completely inept ones for today).  The two categories we will discuss are the diligent hard workers and the lazy people.

If I were to start a software company today, part of my interview process would be to find the lazy (but not inept) ones.  As long as you are intelligent and have a knack with computers you have potential.  Just keep the hard working attitude to a minimum.  Be lazy.  Hard working software people write lots of bad code.  They excel at it.

Hard working people work.  Lazy people try to think of ways to get out of work.  When you are writing software, it’s best to keep it simple.  Part of keeping it simple is keeping it easy.  Lazy people excel at keeping things easy.

Another way of looking at it is that lazy people think before they work.  They don’t want to start work immediately because odds are they can think of an easier way.  If you tell a hard working person to get the water out of a plugged tub, he will immediately start being productive with whatever is at hand (perhaps even using his hands to scoop out the water).  A lazy person will look around, think about it, then probably run to the store to buy some equipment or perhaps find a hose and figure out how to siphon the water.

image Let’s take a look through history.  Back in the prehistoric times, man hunted and killed with his hands.  Eventually a lazy hunter was born and he said, “This if for the birds.  Wouldn’t it be easier if we used sticks and rocks to make weapons?”

Probably my favorite lazy person was Alexander imageGraham Bell.  He was so lazy he  didn’t want to walk across the road to his neighbor’s house to chat so he invented the telephone so that he wouldn’t have to.

imageHow many inventions that we use today were invented by hard working folks?  I personally have difficulty naming one.  There was the guy who was too lazy to imagesaddle a horse, so he invented the car.  There was the guy who was too lazy to write with a pen so he invented the typewriter.  Thomas Edison got tired of filling the lamp with oil and lighting the wick so he created the light bulb.  You just switch it on and off.  Nearly no work required.

If it weren’t for lazy smart people we’d be nowhere.  Smart lazy people make life easier.  Hard working people aren’t bad in most situations.  Once the smart lazy people makes things as easy as they are intelligently capable, the hard working people can be that much more productive.


  1. This was your best blogging ever, in my sometimes humble opinion. It was funny. And so true. And something that had not occurred to me before, that being that it is lazy people who advance civilization forward, trying to get out of doing some annoying task or suffer some annoying inconvenience.

  2. My version of the lazy theory is that I'll work extra once so I don't ever have to do it again. Scripts, spreadsheets or utilities all take a bit of effort once but make the ongoing life much easier.