1. The Diminishing Returns of Everything
The first couple hundred lines of code of your project will have a much larger impact than the last few thousand lines of code ever will.
The same rule goes for the amount of time you spend on a project:
- For instance, I spend the past two days working on a single CSS file, in an attempt to center-align some stupid buttons (a futile attempt, since they are still not aligned). In comparison, at the beginning of the project, I built out the entire REST backend of the web app in a single afternoon.
This applies to the size of a corporation. The 13th employees of a company will likely have a disproportionally larger impact on the company's future than the 750,013th (according to Wikipedia, Amazon had 750,000 employees as of 2019).
The same goes for abs. The first ten thousand set-ups you do just may give you that 6-pack abs you want, but another thirty thousand sure won't get you the 7-pack.
And, interestingly, this also applies to certain automations that don't scale very well:
- For instance, if it takes me 5 hours to figure out how to turn on my bathroom light with my voice (saving me roughly 5 seconds per day for not having to flip a switch), then in 5 years it will only have saved me 2 hours, netting a 3 hours time loss from the automation.
- Here's a nice xkcd comic.
The only exception to this rule I can think of is McDonald's fries. The more you eat, the better they become. It is true.
2. Lesson: Don't Do It Again
Today I learned the valuable lesson that, after 14 straight hours of working, I do not feel great.
Even as I type out this sentence, my eyes drift across the screen, my brain whirls incoherently, and I can't find the letter "e" on my keyboard. Maybe, some would say, it is time for me to learn time management.