May 25 2020

Yak Shaving


Turns out I’ve spent a great deal of time shaving yaks, without knowing what it was called.

Yak Shaving – how you find yourself doing something you shouldn’t be doing because you need to do that step before you can do another thing that will enable you to do the task that makes it possible to do the thing you should be doing.

Seth Godin explains it in this extract from this episode of his wonderful akimbo podcast.

The term is used in software development, where one spends a lot of time down rabbit holes, and was coined by Carlin J. Vieri at MIT.

I had to shave a few yaks for this post. To extract the audio, I had to record the system sound from my Mac. Turns out my old tool to do that, SoundFlower,is out of date. The demo mode of Audio Hijack did the trick. But to edit the extract, I needed an audio editor. I used Quicktime, but that created a mov file and I needed an mp3. So MediaHuman Audio Convertor worked for that conversion – I had found it last time I shaved a yak. Then I could complete the edit using Easy Audio Mixer.

I love shaving yaks. Beats mowing the lawn.

What I Learnt On 25th May in other years

One Response to “Yak Shaving”

  1. Rif says:

    I’ve been waxing yaks because the stubble of shaving is not quality improvement. And WILT? That I need a more powerful computer to manage video content. In a VERY round about way.
    Great work Tony, it’s a privilege to work with you.

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