Reduce The Number Of Moving Parts

Reduce The Number Of Moving Parts

A 4WD enthusiast told me that he wouldn’t trust a fancy new electric ute.

What if it broke down in the outback?


I think this is great food for thought – what’s best for your business if things go wrong? Let’s take it apart a bit…..

Firstly, the chances of him fixing his late model Landcruiser are pretty low. Vehicles have become so complicated that even mechanics struggle.

EVs have a vastly reduced number of moving parts. So few in fact that people are predicting big downturns in vehicle service industries. Having said that, they rely heavily on technology and we all know what that means.

Rivian utes are featured in the Long Way Up series with Ewen McGregor. One of the (prototype) ute’s brakes jammed on. But, realistically, that could happen to any modern vehicle. They fixed it by turning it off and on again. The curse of most things these days. Remember 2001 A Space Odyssey when they are horrified by the very chance a computer could be unreliable? Those were the days.

Preppers think Bug-Out vehicles shouldn’t rely on electronics at all. They fear EMD attacks. They want old diesel engines that can be push started.

Preppers talk about Black Swan events. You could argue we are in the middle of one now.


There are very few jobs in your business you couldn’t do if you had to.

If the CRM crashes, and your sales team all run away to sea, you just call your clients – you know them. If a project needs to get finished you can jump on the tools with the best of them. If you suffer a DOS attack you can use a laptop to access the cloud outside of your network.

Things get difficult when complexity is added into, what should be, simple and easily defined processes.

Great systems bring great advantages, we are all for that, but we need to keep what they do clear and simple. Look at the current scramble to simplify supply chains.

The disaster recovery plans of 20 years ago always seemed so remote. If there was a fire (it was always a fire) they would rent temporary office space and set up servers from backups. They would fast-track a new PABX and fax machines. So cute. These days the threats are disturbingly real and potentially ongoing.


I think the test is if you, the boss, can revert to a manual “back-up” process. 

The critical areas of your business that you probably couldn’t do are detailed performance reporting and complex payroll. You can always get your accountants do do the back office stuff in an emergency but they would struggle to get the important stuff done fast enough.

My first boss had an guy that followed him around with “a blue book and a red book” and I am yet to meet a successful entrepreneur that can’t do a project P&L off the top of their head but you need to build some redundancy into these two key areas. Something you can push start if you have to.



Photo by Carlos Irineu da Costa on Unsplash