In the last couple of years I'm preparing myself to become an entrepreneur. However I still think it's really necessary to stay employed enough time to understand how business works before getting to the dark side.
I'm a fan of giving myself some theoretical cases to solve. One of those tricky questions I've asked one day sounds like this: "Whom would I hire when I understand I'm doing too much of routine job?"
Actually, this question seemed to have a quick and easy answer — that what the interns are for. They'll learn by doing, in some time they'll do it even better then you, and they'll have some more free time for some real job. Win-win, right?
Actually, it's not. The problem is that nobody really wants to do a routine job — and that's a rule. Some bastards-phylosophers even created a term for a person, who doesn't want to do shit. You guessed it right, they've called it a "Millenial".
Millenials are often accused in not being happy with doing the jobs which don't "make sense", and the common advice is "be patient, it will come". And yes, every "Millenial" has accused him or herself in not wanting to work hard. People of my age tend to fall into depression once they understand they stopped developing. Read it another way — their job doesn't make sense..for them.
This strange thing I'll call an iPhone dilemma. We know, that every half of the year Apple creates a better, "5S" version of an iPhone and every year they release a better version of a better version. Technology defines Millenials — unconsiously, in 6 months I expect to become Fedor-26S, and the next year I'll have to be Fedor-27 (hope not plus), a breakthrough version of Fedor which will show 'em all.
The previous generations (which rule the businesses of today) were Coca-cola like: it's OK to be Coca-cola 50 years in a row, if everybody likes it.
So back to the questions — who does the routine job?
Firstly we need to understand, what a routine job is. Try solving this puzzle:
Turn your smartphone if you don't see 3x3 image. Click a puzzle piece to move
Now try to solve it once again, I bet you'll do it 3 times quicker now!
Imagine that you return to this article every morning and solve the puzzle. One day you just understand that you don't even need to use your brain to solve the puzzle, as the necessary algorithm is already in the cache of your brain. That's a clear sign that the job became routine. Millenials hate the jobs they're perfect in. The previous generations appreciate being that type of professional a lot, and this is actually great.
A lot of businesses were created because of the fact, that some people understood their topic really well and were ready to help the others. But today there's no chance you do it — the competitors are everywhere. The chance to succeed today is offered to those, who can quickly solve the new problems, not chew the old ones.
However, 101% of the jobs I was doing came out to be routine one day. What do we do with that?
The answer is — that's a time to hire serious professionals.
If you see, that your business is starting to generate routine jobs — it's a great sign. You finally succeded in passing step#1 and now it's time to become great. The only way to do it is to solve the new problems without touching the old ones. Remember, not every business deserves an honor to solve something new. If you're among one of those businesses, don't fuck it up. But what do we do with the old problems then?
We're perfect in solving the problems we solved a lot of times. We know the algorithm by heart. Now it's time to automate it. Hire a good programmer who can listen to you and implement a "Solve it for me" button.
90% of today's businesses are just those "solve" buttons. If you starting to do a lot of routine jobs — great, don't lose a chance to create a new "solve" button. Don't hire a student to make 965 same clicks every day.
Secondary question — but what should the Millenials do then? Would they ever find any job this way? Well, Millenials are born to create problems, not to solve the existing ones. Hire the young people, so there's someone in your office who can ask the experienced guy: "So why cannot we print 3d-objects?"
Question: I don't have money to hire a superstar. Should I hire 3 low-paid guys instead?
- Answer: No. If you have a routine job that doesn't brings money - either stop doing it at all or do it yourself until you understand well why is it happening.
Question: I'm looking for a professional, but I can't find one — where are they?
- Answer: Whenever you want to hire a superstar, you need to become a shark. Not every business will get their Wozniak, so you need to fight for this. And yes, this will pay off, if you know what you're doing.
Question: I'm doing my job for a long time, but it's still not a routine. Everything is changing, so I have to apply my knowledge manually.
- Answer: Divide this job into parts — whenever you apply some algorithm, make it automatic; whenever you apply logic or experience — that's your stong side.