Bill Gates said that

“I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”

I have a lazy brother who is

  • lazy to take a bath and brush his teeth
  • lazy to clean his room, let alone our house
  • lazy to study
  • lazy to help others

I also have a friend who is

  • lazy to help others voluntarily
  • lazy to work hard with a low salary
  • lazy to go to church because he does not want to meet his ex girlfriend


It seems to me, the word "lazy" in Bill Gates' quote is similar to ones I used for my friend. In order to exclude the meaning of "lazy" that I used for my brother, what is the more specific, accurate word instead of "lazy" for Bill Gates' quote?

  • I believe Bill Gates will not choose my brother! – Friendly Ghost Aug 26 '18 at 8:54
  • @MichaelHarvey - pretty much agree, although doesn't being called 'lazy' suggest a (mild) criticism. Is any one happy to be thought of as lazy? I wouldn't say Bill Gates' usage implied he thinks being lazy is a good thing. – Dan Aug 26 '18 at 9:38
  • In a computer setting, one can talk about e.g. 'lazy evaluation', when considering strategies which utilize the machine's resources no more than strictly necessary. Lazy evaluation in a program is an evaluation strategy which delays the evaluation of an expression until its value is needed and which also avoids repeated evaluations. Laziness in approaching any task may have connotations of efficiency and thoughtful discarding of unnecessary or wasteful methods. – Michael Harvey Aug 26 '18 at 11:15
  • Have you looked up the word lazy in a dictionary for its meaning and usage? – Kris Aug 26 '18 at 11:24
  • @MichaelHarvey - I like this use of lazy. Do you suppose this is what Bill Gates was meaning? – Dan Aug 26 '18 at 11:32

The implication of Bill Gates' usage is that someone who is used to doing as little as possible to satisfy a requirement will be the person most likely to arrive quickly at an effective solution (always assuming they are sufficiently intelligent and incentivised!).

A slacker, perhaps - a person and especially a young person who is perceived to be disaffected, apathetic, cynical, or lacking ambition; a person who shirks work or obligation. 'Slacker' is also the adjectival form (My slacker brother...etc).

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  • Why is lazy not as good as slacker? – Kris Aug 26 '18 at 11:24
  • @kris - impossible (and presumptuous) to say what Bill Gates said 'better' than he said it himself. I understood the OP to be seeking an alternative word to 'lazy'. – Dan Aug 26 '18 at 11:29
  • There was no reference to anyone's intended meaning; the above comment stands alone on its own. – Kris Aug 26 '18 at 11:30
  • @Kris - I don't understand your question. – Dan Aug 26 '18 at 11:33
  • The problem with slacker is that it (as pointed out in the answer) implies apathy toward doing an adequate job. The point of the OP quote is that work will get done, just with minimal effort. – ScottM Aug 26 '18 at 14:00

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