Why Work on The “Boring” Stuff

Receipts, expense reports, and piles of paper clutter are really as exciting as they sound. So much so that I lead off outreach calls with a half-chuckle- “is now a good time to talk about expenses?”.

I won’t try to argue they’re some cosmic metaphor for where we are or where we’re going as a species. In fact, I’d muse that they tend to pull us away from meaning and the potential our brains and lives can achieve.

Oh, wait.

The folks I talk to about Fetch, the product occupying much of my time these days, set and forget their expense systems because they’re such a pain in the rear.

That inertia is precisely why the time we collectively spend things like expenses and documents is worth looking at closely. We all have better things to do than spend 3-5 hours/week paying colleagues back for things that make the necessary, and sometimes extraordinary, happen at work.

I know I could use a few hours each week to, say, write more, stretch my hamstrings, or plow some time into deeper market analysis. Any of those would be just great: all would be even better. What would you pick?

That right there: we short change opportunity by not yoking machines and automated processes to repetitive tasks and failing to engage with things that are less than shiny.

Human possibility is the kernel of why it’s worth working on the “boring, unsexy” stuff. That’s a mandate for meaningful work.

It’s also a handy excuse to connect with people doing really excellent work, who share that macro view of what’s worth tackling. Like Tina Roth Eisenberg at swiss miss and the 30+ beta testers who have set us up to make Fetch reach its potential as a product.

And that’s why I’m more than happy to focus on what might be the seemingly asinine world of receipts.