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 Richard König (@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.
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.
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.
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).