We have been doing some thinking at work about the tools we use to get work done – specifically the software tools. We rely on some tools to do things that their creators probably didn’t envisage, where we could instead use something specifically designed for that purpose.
It’s not quite as stark as Maslow’s famous hammer (I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail). A lot of the tools in question were designed to be generalists – Excel, Miro, Notion – so a more apt comparison might be a Swiss army knife. But if you’ve ever tried to use a Swiss army knife as a knife, you’ll know that it doesn’t do the job as well as… an actual knife.
That’s not to say there is no place for generalists – every new tool introduces friction, requires behavioural change, and may turn out to only be marginally better after all. But it’s worth having the discussion, and maybe trying something new. Even though you know that when the next unexpected use-case emerges – the generalists will strike back to fill the gap.