April 1, 2024 at 1:44 pm

What Are Real World Examples Of This Bill Gates Quote? – ‘I will always choose a lazy person to do a difficult job because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.’

by Matthew Gilligan

Source: Reddit/AskReddit

Today is your lucky day, friends!

Because you might want to use some of the tactics below in your own life to make things a little bit easier…

Let’s see what Reddit users had to say are real-life examples of this quote from Bill Gates: “I will always choose a lazy person to do a difficult job because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”

Start now!


“Start of lockdown, my 9 year old son was having worksheets emailed to complete at home.

One day, left him at the laptop doing his maths while I made some dinner with my 3 year old daughter.

Walked into the living room with his dinner to find him asking the Alexa all of his maths questions.”


“Worked as a laborer at a nursery one summer. Daily tasks included manually watering 15,000 plants each day.

Put together a back of the napkin plan to build an irrigation system and spent the next few weeks building it with some money from the boss. That system is still running 15 years later and does all the work now. I did automate myself out of the job and had to find another eventually.

Couple years later got my engineering degree. I’m convinced Engineers are inherently lazy people that will spend a disproportionate effort to make things easier.”

Nice work.

“I was working as a stock boy in a supermarket and when we had to fill the milk cooler people would bust open a 12 pack of milk cartons and put them in one by one.

On my first day I just placed the 12 pack in the cooler and cut the plastic off on one side with my box cutter and yanked it from under it and the look of the store manager and the other employee who was training me was pure bewilderment.

From that day everyone did it my way.”


“My brother in law spent a whole summer trying to figure out how to fix his sagging deck at the lake which he could in theory crawl under and jack it up.

It would have been a tunneling project. It’s a 60×60 area all long 2×6 boards. Massive.

I sat there long enough with enough beers in me to come up with the idea of just cutting a square out of the sagging area about 3ft x 3ft, jacking it up then re-screwing down the boards.

He paints the thing every spring with a roller anyhow so it’s not like the square cut shows up.

He thought I was a genius.

I was just lazy.”

Back in school…

“We had to hold a thermometer in water in chemistry class.

It probably was only 20 minute experiment but your arms get tired after a couple minutes and you can’t let the thermometer touch the bottom of the pan or it won’t get an accurate reading.

So instead of sucking it up and just holding the thermometer, my lab partner built a contraption out of lab books and paperclips to somehow hold the thermometer in the water without it touching bottom.

It was the stupidest looking thing you would ever see in a lab class and our professor even walked over and said “if it looks stupid, sounds stupid, but it works, then it isn’t stupid.”

My lab partner and I joke that he wasn’t talking about the contraption but the intellect of my lab partner.”

Nice and easy.

“I was a (paid) intern at a large company during one summer back home from college.

My work 95% consisted of using SAP, import to Excel, clean data and generate reports (occasionally create some tool someone needed). In the 1st 2 weeks after getting a hang of my responsibilities, writing all the Excel formulas needed, and basically automating 99% of my work, I was chilling.

I went from actually working from 9-5 to maybe 1 hour tops a day. Finding, importing, cleaning, and reporting usually took hours but with all the formulas it took 2 minutes of clicking. I then helped the other cool intern get his **** set up so we could both just chill.

We could take 2-hour lunches (paid for by the company) and nobody said anything cause we were just getting so much more done than the other interns. Ofc I helped for special tasks when asked but those were simple 20min tasks building something in Excel.

Overall, was the easiest/stress-less internship of my life.”


“The clerk was asked to bring 145 white papers into the office.

He doesn’t want to count the papers manually so he printed 145 blank sheets and took them in.”

Work smart.

“One of my favorite examples is Andy Kim. And I’d like to preface this by saying that I don’t think Kim is lazy so much as a genius.

Andrew Youakim was a singer/songwriter who became famous under the stage name Andy Kim. He achieved success writting songs for bands like the Archies, possibly most notably “Sugar, Sugar.”

After his success he coasted for a while until his record label dropped him for lack of output. At that point he created his own label and cranked out hits like “Rock Me Gently.”

When they saw this, the big record labels then bought his label under the assumption that they would then profit off of the songs he wrote and performed.

He then very shortly stopped writing songs and largely lived off the sale of his label.

Work smarter not harder.”


“It took me like 3 months, but I automated a data pipeline to extract data, clean it up, and spit it out in an excel or pdf format to one of our clients.

I walked over to shoot the shit with the lady who handles my client and gives me tasks and she told me we make 40k off them every month for that automated job.

I need to go start my own business.”

More breadsticks.

“When I was in college I had a job at an Italian fast food place with a reputation for it’s breadsticks.

They came in frozen and needed a bit to thaw, so we’d take a giant 3x4ft aluminum baking sheet, spread them out in a single layer with no spaces and cover it with a plastic bag, then leave it sit in the walk-in overnight.

The next day you’d have to get a pair of tongs and move each stick to a new tray, turning them over, then cover the new tray with the bag and let them sit on racks for a couple of hours before brushing on the garlic butter sauce.

This was tedious enough that you’d usually be ready to brush the butter on the first tray as soon as you turned the last tray. I was given this task for the first time one morning and just did not want to deal with it. I realized if I put the second tray upside down on top of the first one then turned it over and took the first tray out, I got exactly the same results.

Blew the boss’s mind when I did the 3 hour job in about 15 minutes. I was given a $0.05/hour raise.”


“I was once set to test a certain piece of equipment on a ship.

The test involved attaching the unit to a reader, then run loads of command line commands. Then, one would have to make a copy of all the text, copy it into word and save it as a (real crappy looking) report.

There was HUNDREDS of units, and they needed to be testet several times a year. We did about 20-30 a day. It would take several weeks to finish.

I didn’t know coding at the time, but always wanted to learn it.

Within two months, I had made a program, even with a GUI (to spot faults with ease, instead of having to actually READ the reports). The program could read three units at a time, and would automatically create a smooth pdf report and save it on our server, named with serial number and date.

The job was now to attach three units, then wait for about 3 minutes, detach and attach new ones. Basically 30 seconds work, 3 minutes break. I could now test all units in a day, though I would typically spread it out over a couple more days.

When I left the company, I left the program on the test computer. I got an email from an ex colleague a few months later, saying they were using the program on several ships now.

There wasn’t any manual for the program, of course, but it was so straight forward that it wasn’t needed.”


“An older company had a person dedicated to “data entry” which boiled down to copying and pasting portions of data from text files into spreadsheet and formatting into a report.

The person originally doing this job spent a full 40+ hours/week doing it, but was not very computer literate. When they retired, the company hired someone with actual skills. The new hire convinced management to let her work remotely after getting up to speed on the job.

The first week at home was spent automating the entire job. The remainder of their multi-year tenure with the company was spent doing whatever they wanted save the 10-15 minutes weekly to run their program and to answer the odd email here and there.

All while getting paid full salary and benefits. They actually had to add in a few errors now and then to make it seem realistic.”

Some very lazy, inspiring moments in there!

Get inspired!