Choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it – Bill Gates

An interesting quote by Bill gates, the founder of Microsoft. This quote have raised a lot of eyebrows, but maybe the biggest issue with thin quote is that it is presented without context.

Choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.

– Bill Gates

A first glance at this quote, one would realize that this statement is absurd, and you would assume that Bill was possibly lucky and his company achieved a product-market fit that even bad hires had no big influence on it’s growth. Is really Bill Gates a bad manager who was lucky to have right timing and connections ?
Are Entrepreneurs Rich Kids From Wealthy Families ?
Entrepreneurs Gene or Rich Kids with Money.

Bill Gates have caused this doubt in his capacity as a manager, because we simply did not look at the context. Bill Gates is not making it easier when he simply generalized what should have been specific.

To put it simply:
No, you should not hire a lazy person to achieve predetermined tasks, or tasks that have a well established modus operandi.
However, when it comes to programming, it is an entirely different story. In programming the employee is creating the program or the piece of code from scratch. And in programming it is better to have simple code that execute properly and is easy to debug. Instead of having a complex code that might create a hidden bug that could show up when you least expect. A simple code can also be checked, or even improved by others with minimal effort, a complex code does not offer this option. A lazy programmer will chose a simple code or might also use a shorter code to avoid writing a longer code.

Microsoft being essentially a software company, and Bill Gates being a programmer, it is safe to assume that when Bill referred to “a person” he actually meant programmer.

Bill Gates quote should have been:

Choose a lazy programmer to do a hard programming task. Because he will find an easy way to do it.

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Abdallah Alaili

I'm a serial entrepreneur (mostly tech) and micro-investor (tiny), this is a blog to learn from other entrepreneurs and spread the wisdom to many more. You can find me on: Instagram - Twitter - Linkedin - more about me