The Importance of Beating Earnest


If I am earnest and hard working as a software developer, is that not good enough?


If I am running a project where the selection of options could have a profound affect on either over-reach, or not shooting high enough, then my ability to evaluate combinations of options is critical to success.

This is all well and good when everyone is limited in the same way – no one can evaluate more than a few options at a time. Even though reality may provide me hundreds of great options, no one can expect me –  or anyone – to stretch beyond the capabilities of human thought.

All this falls apart, however, when tools emerge that allow me to easily visualize and evaluate more realistic combinations of options. In this case, my earnestness is no longer genuine – I really could do more, and without significant effort. If I could be more successful through an earnest use of the tools available, then failure to use those same tools becomes a willful choice not to optimize my own options.

When “The Best I Can Do” is redefined, those of us who compete for a living must make a decision. Is it time for me to up my game?