Today I would like to talk about producers versus consumers. I will then tie that into automation.
Most people spend a vast majority of their time.
We consume food. Television content floods the house a large majority of the time. Blog after blog is read with no action.
There is nothing wrong with consumption. We all have to do it to some extent in order to survive.
But what amount of your time is spent creating vs. consuming?
You may find that those that are better off produce a vast amount more than those who are struggling.
This goes deeper than just at home for recreation.
Consider working at your job. There are those that produce a lot more value to the business than others. Some spend a lot of time consuming, while others spend a lot of time producing.
Those who consume a lot more are less valuable to the business.
In contrast to consumers, producers create things.
They create content to go in blogs, YouTube videos, social media posts, etc. Producers create new material, often to help others with something (but not necessarily).
These are your ‘rockstars’ on the job. They are able to get stuff done. People go to these people when something needs to get accomplished.
Based on this, these type of people bring more value to a business or just the world in general.
John Smith in the early American colony of Jamestown told the inhabitants to either “Work or starve” (http://www.ushistory.org/us/2c.asp). They literally had to produce, or they would die.
At least for many Americans and other first-world countries, many can not produce and still live a fairly decent life-style.
That being said, the best (the most successful, those who are able to get more out of life) are most likely going to produce a good bit more – whatever “producing” means in the context of what they are doing.
There comes a point though that one person becomes a bottleneck.
There’s only so much one person can do in a day.
How can that one person help more people? There are several ways, but let’s discuss automation.
Using Automation to Produce More
Before agriculture and larger cities, people had to spend a lot of time searching for food. Afterwards, many people could focus on different pursuits as agriculture and ‘automation’ of growing crops (using animals to help plow or in modern days, farm equipment to produce much more with many fewer people).
Computers have done the same thing in the modern age. People can drive cars, control missiles, automatically turn on lights, and more just from the automation that computers provide.
Let’s get a little more specific. How can you use this knowledge to make an impact in your current business?
Figure out what a lot of people are spending a lot of time on. Perhaps they are manually creating spreadsheets and adding numbers together.
You can get familiar with Excel to automatically make these types of charts.
Taking it a step further, perhaps the software that can help people is difficult to install.
A web server could host a lot of the code, making it even easier for the consumers of that tool to use it. Rather than having to install it or a programming language to run some scripts, they can run it from a browser. Most everybody using a computer modern-day is going to have a browser.
This is the exact idea I use with Jenkins. I don’t want to create a custom web interface for some script, so I use the open-source Jenkins software to run my script: Using Jenkins as a Front-End for Automation.
Using a web front-end makes it even easier for people to consume software tools. And updating the tool is a lot easier than desktop applications. You can automatically update a web server. Not so much for software install on a client’s computer.
Are you producing a lot in your life? Or are you consuming a majority of the time?
If you are constantly consuming and not producing a lot, consider what effects producing more could have on your life. Maybe producing is a lot more work than you want to give, and it wouldn’t give you much benefit. Hey, I’m not judging anyone. Just make informed decisions.
If you are producing a lot, are you a constant bottleneck? Perhaps automation can help alleviate your input on everything in your situation. Software may be able to allow others to do what you are manually doing. (In addition to software automation, you maybe consider more documentation or training others. I just focused on automation in this post.)
Producing things provides more values to those around you. Removing yourself as a bottleneck when you do produce a lot provides even more value. Keep these ideas in mind if you’re wanting to make an impact on those where you work, on those around you, on your community, and even more.