When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

The tech industry is sthe ultimate hammer in that it thinks tech is the best solution for every problem1.

And many businesses buy into the tech industry’s thinking, as they scramble for that Holy Grail, that one SaaS solution to rule them all and bring order to the chaos. So they run out and sign a contract and spend months and years importing their data and working with their vendors to make templates and custom reports that fall short of what the nice salesman promised them. The luster wears off and the company concludes they adopted the wrong system, so they start the process over again.

Fast forward a couple years and they’re back at the beginning of the loop, resuming the search for that one perfect solution.

What if the problem lies not in the tech but in what the tech is being tasked with—AKA the processes?

How much of what the tech is doing actually needs to be done? How many of those tasks could be removed?

Tech can work only if your processes and workflows are in order. By getting a hold of your processes and workflows, maybe you’ll reduce the need for tech in the first place.

And by removing steps—by practicing addition by subtraction—maybe you strike a better balance.

In terms of productivity and efficiency, we’re often too easily tempted to do more. American hustle culture gravitates toward the logic that more activity is the ideal solution. But sometimes the secret to doing more starts with doing less, or at least being mindful about what we’re doing and should be doing.

And we can often practice such mindfulness no matter what’s in our tech stack.

  1. Is AI just a solution looking for a problem? ↩︎