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No Yak Shaving!


Apparently Yak Shaving means a useless activity undertaken in lieu of meaningful activity. The term originated at MIT some years back in reference to Yak Shaving Day, a fictional holiday featured in a Renn & Stimpy cartoon.  

Here's a definition by uber-blogger and noted Purple Cow expert Seth Godin who got it from Joi Ito:


I want to give you the non-technical definition, and as is my wont, broaden it a bit.

Yak Shaving is the last step of a series of steps that occurs when you find something you need to do. "I want to wax the car today."

"Oops, the hose is still broken from the winter. I'll need to buy a new one at Home Depot."

"But Home Depot is on the other side of the Tappan Zee bridge and getting there without my EZPass is miserable because of the tolls."

"But, wait! I could borrow my neighbor's EZPass..."

"Bob won't lend me his EZPass until I return the mooshi pillow my son borrowed, though."

"And we haven't returned it because some of the stuffing fell out and we need to get some yak hair to restuff it."

And the next thing you know, you're at the zoo, shaving a yak, all so you can wax your car.

Its amazing how many times you meet people who are constantly distracted by technological Yak shaving. They need to redo the website but first get a new build of the latest Ubuntu release before they can download the compiler, to write the framework to patch the library, to write plug-in for the browser, to automate the process of updating the whatever it was they were supposed to do in the first place. 

Are we all clear?  No Yak shaving!

Unless you're a Yak Whisperer in Mongolia during the Yak shaving season.  

In that case, Namaste, Dude.


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