Take yourself back to Spring 2018

I am finally done with my IB exams. These two years were just brutal. I was longing for a break and now I got it. So… what do I do now? Well, I found this interesting subreddit r/MemeEconomy. People post memes and joke about investing with profits. So I think to myself, why not make it real?

I went to see Deadpool 2 with my friends today and my parents have some guests visiting tonight, so that means I have an evening to do whatever. I sat down and punched down some python code that catches !invest AMOUNT comments on the subreddit, uses karma difference in time for a linear profit formula, and stores everything in a single text file. Sounds good to me!

It all took about an hour or so of code writing, an hour more of testing/debugging, and a couple of minutes to run it public on my trusty Raspberry Pi 3. Ah, it’s running now. Probably won’t be used by more than… let’s say ten people. Let me write down !create to create an account for myself, !invest 100 for fun, and see the guests.

Huh, my phone is blowing up? Oh. My. God. It blew up. Big time. On the same evening the bot first came live, a couple of people spotted this interesting reddit bot that recognizes commands to invest in memes? Let’s all create and account and see what’s it’s about!! Oh crap. The measely text file corrupted with number of writes and it of course crashed

MemeInvestor_bot went down
Figure 1. MemeInvestor_bot went down

Hey mom, dad, I need to go upstairs real quick. Be right back. Okay. I remember like a week ago I’ve heard about this thing called S-Q-L-Lite? I don’t know how to use the big boy databases, but this one just uses a file. Okay, let me quickly swap the file-based functions with sqlite-based functions.

10 minutes later

Alright, push it live right back up. Let’s make meme investments real! I’m hungry, let me go downstairs and have faith in my coding

Early investors saw very good returns

My man
Figure 2. My man, I have invested 300 in this meme, don’t let me down

Some people even liked the new feature!

I finally understand this subreddit
Figure 3. I finally understand this subreddit

Some even bet their everything

ballsy move
Figure 4. ballsy move, will it pay?

You might wonder, how did the bot work back then? Here is the help message and available commands at the time

Figure 5. !help

And here are the messages with investment updates

Figure 6. !invest

And 15 thousand more messages that are just !create, !invest, and !balance. Dinner was good and I’m happy with how this little meme investor turned out. I wonder how I can work on it more?

So what about today?

Well, this whole project turned out to be more than I thought it would be. It was… fantastic! I had over 25 people joining me on development. Even developers from the real world contributed to the project, taught me many invaluable skills, and an understanding of what it means to manage a project. This story has been retold many times and I will shorten it because it’s very late right now and I’m watching Death Note.

I have been maintaining and working on the project for a little bit more than three years. We had dozens of developers from across the world contributing code, advice, and technical support to MemeInvestor. We amassed more than 100,000 registered users, with an all-time peak of 10,000 active daily users. An r/MemeEconomy creator and my partner Noerdy incorporated our little venture into an LLC. Sometime later, our humble project got acquired by EnterMeme.

Wait, why acquired? For how much? How was it? Let me answer one by one. Frankly, maintaining an active project while grinding in college did wear me out in some places, so I’ve found myself burnt on the project. Development (as a sole engineer at that time) took way longer than expected. Not a lot of passion left for it. At one point, I was starting to look to find a new maintainer, just to offload MIB (the new version of MemeInvestor) onto someone, who can actually do something about it.

I can’t say how much specifically, but do not think it was an "exit". Think of the acquisition as just switching maintainers at that point. I was just happy that I could focus on other things, as I did not have the heart in me to just shut it down and shelve it. That is still how I feel. I am glad to finally have been able to move on to greener pastures and spend more time on projects that drive more passion within me.

I wish EnterMeme, which is now officially meme.market commercial and social success it’s looking for and actively working towards.

Thank you and Goodbye, MemeInvestor_bot.

Go to the original memeinvestor_bot repository