Keeping Things Running
Hospitals keep things running. Without them we would live shorter, less productive (and happy) lives.
Energy companies keep things running. Without them we would not be able to heat our house or cook our food.
Governments and leaders keep things running. Without them there would be chaos and confusion.
Doing Things Better
Search engines do things better. Without them we wouldn’t have the world’s information at our fingertips.
Social Networks do things better. Without them we would be less in touch with our remote friends and the digital world (granted – arguably).
Airplanes do things better. Without them it would take weeks instead of hours to travel between continents.
If you keep things running you’re necessary. If you do things better you’re nice to have.
Some do both
Amazon.com does things better while AWS keeps things running (most of the time).
Google+ does things better while Google Drive keeps things running (at least for my business).
Sports teams do things better, while referees keep things running.
Downside vs. Upside
If you keep things running, it’s much easier for you to do bad than good. If you stop doing what you’re doing or worse yet – start doing it recklessly – The downside exceeds you. People will suffer.
If you run things better, it’s much easier to do good than bad. If you stop doing what you’re doing or worse yet – start doing it recklessly – The downside is limited to you. People will move on.
A president who keeps things going may push a button and millions will suffer, but stopping global warming is a far more complicated task. An inventor may create something that improves the lives of millions, or create something that doesn’t, and that’s perfectly okay.
What do you do?
You may keep things running for someone who does things better. You may do things better for someone who keeps things running. You may be both of course, and could just as well be anywhere between.
What’s clear is that in our lives we need both. We need things to run and ways to run them better.