The Slippery Slope of Laziness

by Ric Merrifield

The Slippery Slope of LazinessSome things in our lives are easier because technology made them easier and that’s good.

But other things come about purely because we are lazy, and time and again we have seen that there’s a lot of money to be made banking on the increasing laziness of the consumer.

Exhibit A is the pre-cut, pre-washed, pre-mixed bags of salad that are so common these days. While I will grant that the technology of the bags is a huge leap forward in food preservation, still, are we all really too busy to cut up our own salads? Evidently we have been convinced that we are. One tidbit that I love is that in many cases these bags have things that we would never choose to buy as individual items, like dandelion leaves. Once just a by-product of weeding, now it takes up as much as 20% of these bags. How clever is that?! We are now eating what used to be garbage, and paying a premium for the privilege to not cut our own salad. That’s not to say that these ideas are a guarantee. I remember seeing pre-cubed cheese in the cheese section of my grocery store once and I haven’t seen it since. Thank goodness we don’t think we are too busy to cut our own cheese.

On to Black Umbrella. Black Umbrella preys on our laziness to prepare for emergencies. Sure there could be an earthquake and I would need all sorts of food and other supplies and I would need to know what to do if the power goes out and so forth. But there wasn’t an earthquake yesterday, and if I am too busy to stop and chop my own salad, than maybe my emergency preparedness planning can wait another day… Enter Black Umbrella – they sell emergency preparedness kits and training so that you don’t have to keep postponing it. My guess is that they will do very well. It’s actually something I have been meaning to do for some time, so I may just raise my hand and say “Yes, I am THAT lazy.”

What will they rethink next? If you have some other or better laziness examples, let me know and I will update this post (and give credit where due).

Don’t miss an article (1,800+) – Subscribe to our RSS feed and join our Continuous Innovation group!


Ric Merrifield is known at the “Business Scientist” at Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, WA and is the author of Rethink and the upcoming Surviving Business Earthquakes. He blogs about ways to rethink through getting out of what he calls “the ‘how’ trap”.

No comments

  1. Ric –

    Thank you for the mention and I HOPE you are not too lazy to make a plan on your own. I do a talk for groups on the five steps you can take yourself to avoid having to hire Black Umbrella, and if you’d like me to walk you through those steps sometime, I’d be happy to do so.

    You might be interested to know that most of our clients are not lazy, so much as… not ready to really think about the worst case scenario. For instance, it might be challenging for a mom of three to take current photos of her kids every 6 months in case she is in a situation where she needs to find them. But if our specialist stops by when it’s daylight savings time, changes the clocks over, changes the batteries in the smoke detectors, snaps current pictures of everybody, and updates all of the go bag supplies, that keeps the family plan up to date without making everybody have to think about (and potentially dwell upon) a lot of very unpleasant thoughts.

    Will keep following your blog – good luck to you. Now go make your plan!

    Semper Paratus,

    Catherine Hooper
    ready@blackumbrella.com

Leave a Reply