The Productivity Paradox and the Future of Community Infrastructure


Hatched by Glasp

Jul 31, 2023

4 min read


The Productivity Paradox and the Future of Community Infrastructure


In today's fast-paced world, productivity has become a buzzword. We strive to do more, achieve more, and accomplish more in less time. However, recent data suggests that we may be facing a productivity crisis. This article delves into the productivity paradox, its implications for society, and the need for a new kind of productivity. Additionally, we explore the challenges faced by community builders and the potential for a platform model to revolutionize community infrastructure.

The Productivity Paradox and its Consequences:

According to historical data spanning over 52 years, there is a concern that productivity growth is stagnating or declining. This trend has far-reaching consequences, including the potential for war, lifestyle stagnation, currency devaluation, the rise of communism, environmental catastrophe, and a halt in innovation. The productivity paradox poses a significant challenge that will shape the future of our society and careers.

The Disconnect between Productivity and Workers:

While productivity continues to increase, workers are not reaping the benefits. Instead, they feel pressured to work harder despite becoming more efficient. This lack of redistribution of gains from increased productivity leads to discontent and a sense of unfairness. For many, productivity culture is perceived as a tool used by the ruling class within capitalism to extract maximum output from workers.

Reassessing the Impact of Technology:

Contrary to popular belief, the productivity impact of the shift to Internet-connected computers is not as significant as anticipated. The benefits of this technological revolution were primarily experienced between 1994-2004. In contrast, the advancements of the 20th century, such as electricity and the combustion engine, had a more profound impact on living standards. The computer revolution primarily influenced information, communication, and entertainment sectors.

AI and Productivity Growth:

Artificial intelligence breakthroughs often lead to narratives about imminent changes and immense productivity growth. However, the reality is that the impact of AI is spread over many years or decades, resulting in a less dramatic increase in productivity growth rates. Our limited understanding of our own intelligence hinders accurate predictions about the complexity of machine intelligence.

The Quest for a New Kind of Productivity:

At a personal level, we all desire a new kind of productivity that not only helps us achieve our goals faster and easier but also enhances our overall well-being. This productivity should be more inclusive, allow for uninterrupted personal lives, and provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Merely repeating the same tasks without improvement leads to performance plateaus. To develop an improvement mindset, dedicating five hours a week to deliberate learning, reflection, and experimentation is crucial.

The Community Infrastructure Challenge:

Community builders face unique challenges in their quest to create thriving communities. The current community tech stack is fragmented, requiring the use of multiple individual solutions patched together. This lack of cohesion hampers community growth and confuses community members who struggle to understand where and when interactions take place.

The Power of a Platform Model:

To overcome the challenges faced by community builders, a platform model that integrates various point solutions is necessary. This modular approach creates value across the community tech stack, allowing communities to reach their full potential. By scaling on the platform, community point solutions can expand as communities grow, fostering meaningful connections and unlocking powerful network effects.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Foster an Improvement Mindset: Set aside five hours a week for deliberate learning, reflection, and experimentation. Emulate Warren Buffett's approach of dedicating 80% of his time to reading and thinking.
  • 2. Advocate for Equitable Redistribution: Encourage fair distribution of productivity gains to workers. Push for policies that ensure workers benefit from increased efficiency and productivity.
  • 3. Embrace the Power of Community Platforms: If you're a community builder, explore the potential of platform models to enhance community infrastructure. Look for opportunities to integrate various point solutions and create cohesion within your community tech stack.


The productivity paradox presents a significant challenge for society, with implications for individuals, businesses, and communities. However, by understanding the limitations of current productivity models, embracing new approaches to personal improvement, and revolutionizing community infrastructure through platform models, we can pave the way for a more productive and fulfilling future. It is time to reimagine productivity and leverage technology to create a society that values not just output, but also well-being.

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