As we studied thousands of hacking case studies for Hacking Work, we found four basic kinds of hackers:1. Pioneers. These hackers go solo or find a partner to help them go where no one’s gone before — and do it in a big way. Like telling one’s employer, “No, this is how you will evaluate me;” or the protester in Tiananmen Square staring down a tank; or even entrepreneurs like the founders of FedEx, Apple and Amazon. What they all have in common is daring to say “There’s got to be a better way. If not me…who?”
2. Imagineers. These dreamers also see better ways of doing things and are willing to tackle the big problems, but rarely go solo. Most often they hack by building sizable networks or taking their ideas viral. There’s safety within numbers and wisdom within the crowd! A common hack in this area is for a team to rebuild any tool or process to be more user-centered, and to lobby for its use throughout the company. Both Pioneers and Imagineers adhere to classic hacking philosophies: Learn by taking things apart and making them better; Information is best when shared with all, completely transparently
3. Craftsmen. This is where most work hacks occur. These are the people who do workmanlike hacks to solve everyday problems. From redesigning tools and processes to bypassing a lousy boss or a stupid procedure, these hacks keep the wheels of business from falling off. Craftsmen may do their hacks explicitly or supportively, but their hacks address our biggest day-to-day challenges.
4. Tweakers. This group creates relatively minor hacks — tweaks and changes around the fringes of work and one-time efforts — but when you add up their combined efforts, they make a big difference in keeping businesses running and people employed