Tool Option Fatigue: Causes and Cures
Let’s start with a mental exercise.
You agree to meet a friend for lunch at a greek diner. “Great,” you say to yourself, “I haven’t been to that diner in ages.” “Damn fine coffee! And HOT!”
You score a booth. A surly waiter hands you a menu of nigh-biblical mass. You open it up, and… are overtaken by a tsunami of option anxiety, confronted by a swarm of choices in 6pt font.
There are many tools you could use, but what should you invest time, money, and energy in? When I say tool, I mean anything we wield with purpose to achieve an outcome — software, facilitated events, little scripts, templates, processes, etc. When I say fatigue, I’m talking about the annoying weariness that comes from the paradox of choice. Having too many choices isn’t just tiring; option anxiety often predetermines mediocre outcomes.
All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. — 1 Corinthians 6:12
In this series, I’ll explore the root causes of and some practical cures for tool option fatigue and anxiety. Stay tuned (subscribe!) for more!
Part 1: Diagnosing Causes
- You’re evaluating something early.
- The benefits and consequences of open source tools.
- Fear, loathing, and vendorism.
- Solutions in search of problem.
- Second system effects with dependencies.
Part 2: Prescribing Cures
- Know where you are on the adoption curve.
- Bypass the hype cycle.
- Sensible defaults, Shu-ha-ri-kokoro.
- Techniques for hiring (and firing) your tools.
- Let your value system guide you.
- Consistency’s for fools. Get smart with reversible decision and execution.