Some time ago, I tweeted about a service I built.
I needed to build and ship something for myself. Here is the leanest thing possible in one afternoon: https://t.co/DlOcGYdnwB (Email-stock price-alert)— Kai (@kai_richard) September 2, 2019
Tech: @docker, python, @iexcloud, @airtable, @Mail_Gun
Logo, Cover: @hatchful, @unsplash
It’s a system that can alert you via email if a stock crosses a threshold either up or down. That is it, nothing more. It’s a combination of iexcloud, python code, docker, ansible, airtable, and mailgun - all tied together in an afternoon.
Why did I do this
There were multiple reasons why I felt the need to do that. First, I wanted to know when BYND (Beyond Meat, Inc) fell below $145 because I saw an opportunity for my portfolio. But guess what, I was unable to find an app that would let me enter a stock symbol, a number, and email. Maybe I don’t have enough google foo, or the foo is starting to leave me. Anyhow. The second element of my motivation was that I realized I hadn’t produced anything meaningful and visible in months since quitting my job and joining an early-stage tech company. Yup that company, I mean we, haven’t shipped yet and it drags me down sometimes. So I vented with that little creation.
Self vs. Others
I was totally astounded by the number of users who started using that little tool. Not. It had exactly one user, which was me. Was I aiming for more? Maybe, maybe I needed validation beyond just me patting my self on the back seeing that I am still able to swing things together and make something work front to back. By the way, I since shut that thing down. Mainly because, well, I now use Think Or Swim, which does price alerts and a lot more.
But what is important are the following things I noticed, no one cares what I build and that is a good thing because the world is not about me or you, it’s about the people around us. I should have built something for them, help them with my skills and abilities. Another valuable lesson was that my reach is almost equal to zero.
Effort and creation change existing systems
I say ‘almost’ because I was lucky, lucky that someone reshared what I did for the technology and maybe the lean-ishness execution. And that got picked up by @timothep who runs a podcast on developer stories and asked if I wanted to take part in his series. To which I said yes. And I hope the stories we talk about inspire others or at least make them laugh a little.
The point I am trying to make is that you should never stop creating. I even when you think you never reach anybody or only want to prove something to your self, do it, create it and things will change. I often picture the causality of actions like a thermodynamic system that is in it’s lowest energy state, where all systems want to be, and only by putting energy into it, it starts to change - the same with creating. If you want change you need to create (it).