Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Laziness as a Business Virtue

At first glance, this Lazy SEO Manifesto from Andy Hagans looks like a clever bit of SEO humor and/or linkbait, and it works on those levels, certainly. But the post is more interesting than that, because it also makes us stop to think for a minute about what is actually a business virtue here. America has a lot of people who are so into the Protestant work ethic that if someone told them it's good to be lazy, their head might explode.

On the other hand, there are plenty of lazy people who literally want to do nothing. Andy's not wanting to do nothing. He wants to do a little bit of smart work on the front end so he can avoid a bunch of hard work later, and he also wants to make sure that he makes a LOT of money for the little bit of work that he's done. (There's a big difference in that attitude than in the attitude of some hourly employees who are convinced they don't make enough money even though they actually show up on time every day. As if showing up by itself is high value.)

Andy's post also reminded me of one of Thomas Leonard's principles of attraction, Be Incredibly Selfish. Point #1 on Thomas' list was that selfishness used to have a bad name, but now it's developing a good name. Andy's manifesto is a similar meme. Laziness used to be bad, but in the hands of someone smart and creative, laziness isn't bad at all, but a virtue.

I think I'll go take a nap now.


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