“It’s the thought that counts,” say people, always.
You would think there has to be a point where that simply isn’t true.
I went on the hunt for coffee at Techstars recently and found a freshly made pot, compliments of Cali Harris. There was maybe a half-cup left in the pot once my mug was filled with that life-giving bean juice. As I passed Cali’s desk I mentioned there was only a little bit of coffee left, but the look I received from both her and others made me stop in my tracks and re-evaluate my decision to leave a few drops.
“Should I just kill the pot?” I asked with hesitation.
“Yes, don’t be that guy,” was the resounding response.
The whole thing got me thinking, and eventually I came to a conclusion. An action is comprised of two things: a thought and the execution of it. At a certain point, “It’s the thought that counts” doesn’t make up for poor execution.
Like many phrases, – “hey, I tried,” and “well I was drunk,” just to name a few – “it’s the thought that counts” is often used as a crutch that allows people to remove themselves from being held accountable for their actions.
“Well yeah, I may have gotten you a pair of mismatched earrings and a half-finished coloring book from Goodwill for our anniversary, sweetheart, but it’s the thought that counts… right?” Wrong!
‘That guy’ uses phrases like, “it’s the thought that counts” religiously. ‘That guy’ half-asses selflessness to cover up selfish acts. ‘That guy’ thwarts responsibility. Nobody likes ‘that guy.’
Strive for better, because honestly, everyone would rather you just drink the rest of the coffee than to be ‘that guy.’