Never send a human to do a computer’s job

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Why do we spend so much time doing things that could be automated?

Often, we’re too busy to spend the time to learn how to do things to save time.

And what doesn’t really help is the way in which software systems are evolving.

What is the single biggest problem many software vendors face?

It’s keeping us hooked – interested enough in their platform for us to come back to it again and again.

The apps that succeed are the ones that get and keep our attention – the more time we spend on them, the more addicted we are to using them – and the more reliable we are as a source of income to the owners of the software.

So, what does the current trend towards software as a service mean for us?

At one extreme there are some truly useful services – like Dropbox. That sits in the background and makes all our files available everywhere and really does increase productivity.

In the middle are a large number of so-so services.

Do we really need to store everything that we read in a cloud based notetaking system? Are platforms necessary for everything from bank accounts to electricity billing?

One argument is that it makes access easier – when everyone can sell on ebay then there is more choice and better value for consumers.

On the other hand, some services are designed to make it cheaper for the providers to do their thing and for users to do the hard work instead.

Service in this case really means self-service.

And that’s perhaps where some business models don’t work – where people want a service and are instead offered a self-service option.

The point is that they don’t want to do the work, they want it done by someone else or something else.

Most of us now probably have around 300 logins and passwords for various platforms but use a handful regularly.

The rest simply take up time and effort.

Perhaps the primary test for buying a new piece of software is not what it can do, but how much time it will save us.

A good starting point might be to select software that doesn’t have a login screen at all – no graphical interface to bother us – and which really does just sit in the background doing work that needs doing while we put our feet up.

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