This past weekend I read through a list of things that successful people do that lazy people don't. But here's the question - are successful and lazy really polar opposites?

While it's very clear that drive, discipline and determination are keys to success, laziness is also the fuel behind some of today's conveniences that we take for granted.

Agatha Christie once said, "I don't think necessity is the mother of invention. Invention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness - to save oneself trouble."

Here are a few inventions and companies that exist thanks, at least in part, to someone's laziness. They just might inspire you to embrace your lazy to come up with the world's next great invention.


After discovering that my latest lodging reservation could only be accessed the old fashioned way, I could definitely relate to Jesse Reno as I lugged my suitcase up three flights of stairs. He certainly was channeling his inner-lazy when he invented and built the world's first moving staircase. In fact, when he fashioned his first working escalator in 1896, the concept of not having to climb stairs was such a novel idea that in the span of just two weeks, 75,000 people rode the miraculous invention during an exhibition at Coney Island.


When, back in 1928, two young cousins who were still in their twenties decided that sitting up straight took far too much effort, they invented their own reclining chair from wooden slats and orange crates. But that wasn't the height of their laziness. Edwin Shoemaker and Edward Knabusch didn't try to name their new contraption; the Michigan furniture store owners held a contest to have other people do the work of coming up with a name for their new chair. The winning name? La-Z-Boy beat out the Sit-N-Snooze.


Most of us who grew up in the 60's and early 70's know that the actual first television remote was not the "Lazy Bones" invented in 1950 by Zenith Electronics Corporation, but was whichever child happened to be within hearing distance when a grownup wanted to change the channel. But the next time you're relaxing in your recliner changing channels to your heart's content, just remember that if it wasn't for Zenith, you'd have to get up from your chair and walk all the way across the room to have that much fun.


The computer you're using to read this column? Whether it's a wearable, smart phone, tablet, laptop, PC or something else - you can thank Konrad Zuse. Yes, even the computer was another invention born of laziness. Zuse, an engineer, explained he was too lazy for math - and so he invented a machine which could solve all of those mundane mathematical tasks for him.

Credit Cards

Did you know that in the year 2014 alone, there were 195.56 billion credit card transactions across the globe? That's a lot of virtual spending thanks to Frank McNamara. Back in 1949, when Mr. McNamara found himself without enough cash to pay for his restaurant tab, he decided that had to be a better way and created the Diner card.

Social Networks

And, believe it or not, one of the earliest versions of the online networking platform that we now know as Facebook was used by one of its founders to channel his lazy. While Facebook now boasts 1.71 Billion monthly users, Mark Zuckerberg tells of using an early version to get his fellow students to do most of his art history research for an upcoming final. He uploaded the images onto the platform, added a comment section and invited his fellow students to comment away - thereby crowd-sourcing their notes.

Bill Gates is quoted as saying, "I will always choose a lazy person to do a difficult job, because he or she will find an easy way to do it."

And while I definitely tend to agree with Mr. Gates, there will always be those who take the whole lazy thing one idea too far. Don't believe me? Check out these over-the-top inventions featured by Most Amazing Top 10.