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Is your business/product helping people waste or save time?

Most products/services either 
  • save you time
  • help you kill it
Its been a way I've amused myself and thought it was pretty obivous. But someone got a kick out of it when I explained it to them a couple of days ago, so here goes... 

The argument is broad enough so that with some mental and verbal gymnastics it can be made to apply to anything. Think about it: almost any product or business you use either helps you do things more efficiently or helps you kill time.

Cars: save you time
TV: helps you kill it
Google: saves you time
YouTube: helps you kill it

In essence, you're job is one of these things: its that simple: you're saving people time or helping them kill it (which is just as important, because life is hard!:))

Of course, its no fun unless you unnecessarily complicate the thought experiment!
Everything that helps you save time can be used to help you waste it

Cars: save you time, except when you're driving to the movies to waste it
Google: saves you time, except when you're searching for YouTube videos

Similarly things that can generally used to waste time can be used to help you save it

TV: helps you kill time, except when you're watching the educational show that teaches you something quickly.
YouTube: helps you kill time, expcept when you use it to communicate or learn something that's just easier via video

The job of designers, engineers and managers involves helping you either get more efficient (faster cars, navigation in em, better search results etc.) or waste time more efficiently (think about every new feature on YouTube or record/save/remind feature on TV) etc. etc.

Can you apply this to anything you're working on? Before you waste too much time on thinking this through, I know its a silly argument, but I still enjoy it so there...:)


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