My dad had a great quote for me growing up. It was “the most successful people are lazy.” He meant a particular kind of lazy- the kind that finds ways to optimize their life. For example, my dad is too lazy to solve the same types of mathematic problems again and again, so he codes up a solution to automate it.

In school, I was too lazy to study more than I needed. Instead I would actually focus on the main concepts and prepare for the topics the teacher was most likely to ask. This left me free to work on side projects or learn things I cared about more.

Believers in technology should especially prize laziness. Why would I want to manually test my code, application, or site every day? I should automate it. I’m too lazy to restart everything if my site goes down when checking in new code, so I need to have a professional software engineering process and staging server.

This also applies to business ideas. I am too lazy to spend months or years of my life working on a bad idea that customers don’t want. Instead, from the beginning I want to be talking to clients and hearing what they need. Do they like this idea? If not, why? Will they pay for it? This will save me much time and frustration later.

I like to say this is being ambitiously lazy. It means you should work intelligently to make sure you don’t waste your time.