Everyone knows, "Necessity is the mother of invention." But that begs the question, "Who is the father?"
I would argue it's Laziness.
And it appears Bill Gates would agree with me.
Take Pickleball for example. The fastest-growing sport in America in 2023. It has been around since 1965, but it has grown by 159% in just the past three years and has over 9mm people playing it now. Pickleball courts are popping up nationwide, including inside shopping malls where Old Navys and Bed Bath and Beyonds used to be.
But let's be honest, it is just lazy tennis.
But appealing to laziness can be a powerful business strategy.
Innovation and technology have done many things for society - but making it easier to be lazy is a side benefit of most big ideas of the past 100 years. Successful companies make it easier for people to do things that have to be done that they don't like doing. My Dad used to say that the world changed once the microwave arrived in suburban homes and people found out they could have a hot meal in less than two minutes. We wanted everything to be that easy and that fast.
But, the desire to do something in the simplest, not the smartest, way possible feels counterintuitive to the way we are trained to learn, study, and mature in our educational and professional lives. Most educational systems teach "the way" to do something with the expectation of showing your work. If you get to the correct answer but not in the "correct way" your answer is wrong. If you use readily available tools like calculators, Wikipedia, and more recently, ChatPGT, to complete your work, you are not given credit and possibly even accused of cheating.
"Cheating implies there is a contest. Schools should not be a contest. Most schools are childcare systems with status games. I think schools should embrace this technology and really think 'how can we impart knowledge and critical systems into individuals?' - Today's students will never not be without this A.I. as they grow up and you have to prepare for that." - Emad Mostaque, Founder, Stability AI
The question that I am asking this week is what game, what industry, or what educational system will laziness revolutionize next?
I am working on a few ideas right now to use the laziness mindset to help optimize my work, but I'd love to know what laziness has taught you recently.