Low-hanging fruit is a phrase tossed around in meetings when someone wants to do something they believe to be obviously high leverage.

The problem is, the use of this phrase is an insidious method of concealing two critical assumptions: that the best solution to the problem is obvious, and that it will be quick to implement. Neither of which are necessarily true. It’s a trick. A trick that not-so-subtly disrespects the process of building something great.

Building great things is hard, and there’s always a certain level of diligence required to unearth the optimal solution. It’s intellectually dishonest to label something as low-hanging fruit with the intent of short circuiting the typical rigor you’d bring to bear on solving a problem.

There are no shortcuts along the path to great things. If you want something great, you must be willing to explore the paths others lacked the will to travel.