(Hack is an annoying business term and is just one of the 212 Most Annoying Business Phrases Managers Effuse, Confuse, and Overuse detailed in the hilarious must-have guide for every workplace: The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room. Available right now on Amazon.)
Back in the day – before the internet – when someone was able to provide a useful shortcut to a task, it was called a shortcut. When they shared a tip on how to reuse something (for example, how to turn empty wine bottles into an ugly, noisy wind chime), it was called a tip. And when they gave you advice on how to move up in your career or build your business, it was called advice.
Today, each of these are known as a hack. (Well, at least according to the annoying people at your work they are.)
Usually uttered by hacks, everything has become a hack. We kid you not.
There’s a hack for tying your shoes; there’s a hack for getting ketchup out of a bottle; and there’s a hack for reusing wine bottles. Don’t believe us? Google this crap.
The same dumb tip you would read about in a crafting book in the 1980s detailing how to turn your empty wine bottles into one of the most disgusting and dangerous windchimes of all time is now available from hundreds of websites as a verifiable life hack. (A life hack should not to be confused with a growth hack; which is the new douchey way to say career or business advice.)
Google “empty wine bottle hack” and you’ll find dozens of dull and utterly worthless uses for your empty wine bottles. (Which begs the question: Why do so many people have so many empty wine bottles anyway?)
Hack, of course, originated from hacking – as in computer hacking. You know, those nerdy guys holed up in their parents’ basements typing away endlessly in an effort to steal your identity, swing elections, destroy the power grid, and end civilization as we know it?
Understanding this makes it all the more bizarre that hack has become so widely accepted as a positive thing. We, of course, just find it positively annoying.
Replacement phrases: Shortcut; Tip; Advice
See also: Action Item
The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available on Amazon