Killing Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS): A tool will not do the work for you

A tool will not do the work for you.

Work comes from skill, time, and energy.

To someone skilled, the tool becomes almost irrelevant. Consider, what is the difference between the super well-known, well-paid photographer making a book or doing a shoot with an iPhone and the doctor (aka rich person, low skill) with the dslr.

You find this occurence in a lot of fields (rich person with low skill).

That is not to say that there are not
There are rich people with skill. Who do great work. And poor people, grinding, who would do much better with tools.

But you update tools when they make a HUGE difference. 10x at least, if not 100x.

When they get in the way of the workflow (something you do A LOT). Not something you IMAGINE you will do a lot. If you do not have a broken down, junky version of a tool, or a log book with hundreds of hours of effort, consider that you do not need anything to participate.

That said, there are a few 10x type items for creative, artistic, and work output.

But still, the tool will not do the work for you.

Instead of buying gear or a tool, build skill

So what do you need?

  • skill
  • time
  • energy

and a whole host of other things, vision, people, dedication, commitment fun and keep working at it. Engagement.


Instead of buying tools, consider:

  • spending time doing the activity yourself
  • watching every video online about it
  • going to the library and actually looking at would be surprised how much more information dense a book is
  • buying books
  • establishing a relationship and learning from a mentor
  • formal education
  • doing it more
  • sharing it more
  • bodging a solution - once you have a hundred bodged examples, consider getting a cheap tool or a very expensive tool

These build skill and reputation.

Instead of buying a tool or gear, build reputation

Pretty straightforward to build reputation.

Share your work, at scale, where people are searching for it.

Typically online or talking about it with your network.

Consider the person who is talking to everyone about their new endeavor. They have put in the work. They are charged up about it. They are making progress, A LOT, on their own. Someone will eventually say, hey my brother or my friend from should meet them. They know a lot about this topic.

Instead of buying a tool or gear, bodge a solution.

Bodging a solution can take many forms, but typically it means using a tool that is NOT right for the job.

Do that a hundred times.

You will have a better idea of if you even need or want a tool at all.

The movie Jurassic Park was created using computers thar cost $80,000 and had less power than your cell phone. Engineers and artists worked with those limitations to make a movie that was a big deal, and technologically ground-breaking movie.

If you don't do it that often, then you do not need a specialized tool to get it done.

A saw will cut just about any wood. If you find yourself cutting 2x4 s often, then consider getting a circular saw. But you can build doors, tables, shelves, and just about anything with a normal $30 saw, wood, nails, and a hammer.

Bodge could also be to borrow a tool. Actually borrowing is kind of fun, because oftentimes, there are people that are happy to have the tool be in use. Just make sure you return it in better shape than you started it with.

Instead of buying a tool or gear, do the activity.

Did I mention doing the activity?

There are so many ways to do the activity.

If you are into digital art? Well how about you just draw on paper with pen and pencils. You do that hundreds of times, you will have a better idea of if you actually want to do that.

You are into photography? Cheap film camera was the answer to this question, but now I guess every single phone has a camera too.