Sometimes it really is just the dirty, hard work

2020-05-02 2 min read

It’s easy to fall into the trap of only wanting to do the new and sexy thing and giving up as soon as something requires the dirty work. That’s rarely a strategy for success and jumping from one idea to another idea and only focusing on the interesting parts is a sure fire way to not get anything done.

Last week I had a brief conversation with Twitter that got me looking for Apple’s S-1. Apple filed this in 1980 as part of their IPO process and on one hand it’s remarkable that you can find a 40 year old document online and yet on the other hand it’s disappointing that it came as a PDF. I imagine every year there are thousands (tens of thousands?) of people that want to take a look at the IPO docs of one of the most impressive tech companies and yet end up with a poorly rendered version. What if someone took the time to modernize it and convert it to a modern S-1? A massive amount of people would benefit and they would get the credit.

I tried searching for a non-PDF version and wasn’t able to find one. Why not? It’s incredibly menial work. There are tools that do a light conversion but you’d spend dozens of hours polishing and making sure the non-textual data was properly converted.

Does this mean that I’m going to convert Apple’s S-1 from a PDF to HTML? No. I understand the hypocrisy but who has the time?