The dark side of hacking and shortcuts

Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.   


Andy Rooney

The idea of “hacking” and taking “shortcuts” became a constant conversation alongside the tech startup movement. Both by people in the industry and those utilizing their tools which had and still have vulnerabilities.

While hacking can be useful to fix and understand systems that are broken, also take leaps that set you up for the type of work you want to do, that same mindset can leak into places where it does not belong.

Whenever I think of hacking now the image in my mind is of someone entering a lifesize fern maze with a machete. Instead of enjoying exploring the maze they just paid for, instead, they cut through it trying to get to the end as quickly as possible.

There is something sick about it because not only do you not enjoy the maze but you’re ruining it for those who will come after you.

Some people may argue that life isn’t a maze to be enjoyed but I’d have to disagree. The whole point of life is to grow, take a long windy road with your friends & family and make sure to do some cartwheels on the way.

Sure, maybe you can skip early parts of the maze to get to other parts, but why? Is there an ultimate destination?

Taking shortcuts can take away the moments of discovery from you. You can learn and move faster but what’s the point? Where are you trying to go? If you like life then why are you trying to rush through it?

I personally love working on things that seem very “pointless” to those drawn to hacking for this exact reason

Learning an instrument should be something you enjoy.

Discover yourself and finding a partner should be something that you enjoy.

Even the process of growing a business should be enjoyable.

If you’re doing these things to get to somewhere on the other end you will be disappointed. There is no arriving. You will build yourself into a mindset where you will feel the need to continue hacking ad infinitum. The people you attract will be a bunch of friends also with machetes cutting down every fern maze they find. Maybe that can be fun too, but at what cost?

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