Build Week kicked off on Feb 17th with a live stream. We went through all the feature requests we’ve built up on Change Map and organized a list of what we expect we can accomplish.
Video One: Planning
Video Two: Demo Day!
- Main page improvements (main image, longer news, FRED)
- New ways of buy shares (DCA, and Buy Now)
- New notifications/alerts
- General maintenance and admin changes
- New Policy Votes beta
An epic amount of new features was completed in just four days. The full list is below but I want to highlight the changes that I expect will have the biggest impact on shareholders.
Home Page Updates
The KmikeyM home page now lists more than twice as many updates in the sidebar. In addition to providing a bit more history of activity this also made room for FRED, a fun little widget from the Federal Reserve showing various economic reports, giving a bit of macro comparison into the performance of KmikeyM.
Of course the biggest change is that the main image is now editable and a link. This means I can guide visitors to topics of importance like blog posts or active votes.
New Ways to Buy Shares
The deposits page now has a new feature called “Buy Shares Now.” This eliminates the deposit step for those looking to buy up current offers. Using Buy Shares Now a user enters whatever amount they want to spend and those funds will be used to buy shares with any remainder being added as a deposit to their account.
This allowed the creation of a “Dollar Cost Averaging” process using Gumroad’s subscription service. Anyone can choose a dollar amount to automatically buy the best offers each month. Dollar cost averaging allows an investor to spread out their purchases over time so that the total price paid is less affected by market timing. It’s a great way to “set it and forget it” while you build up your KmikeyM stake.
There is also a variation on the Buy Shares Now for new shareholders. On the new /buy page someone can choose to Buy Shares Now and it will also create a new account for them. What was a multi-step process (create account, deposit funds, make a trade) is now all completed in a single transaction!
⚠️ Note: The fees from Gumroad on deposits and purchases will now be subtracted before funds are deposited or purchases made. These fees can now be seen at the bottom of your profile page. (Your history of trades and deposits is now private from other users on your profile page, but recent trades are public on the Completed Trades page.)
New Notifications and Alerts
Users will now be alerted on the Trade page if they create a buy or sell offer that is worse than an already existing offer.
New accounts will now receive a welcome email that offers some guidance on becoming a new shareholder.
And while users won’t see it, as an admin I now get an alert in Slack when a new account is created.
General Maintenance / Admin Features
Most of this is invisible to users, but Aaron updated the voting code to PHP 8.2, removed some old tracking code from the site, and cleaned up some errors we’d been working around. But this means less downtime and faster loading pages for users.
A number of changes were added at the admin level for better tracking of shares and funds transfers and optimizing my workflow. The most impactful of these is the ability to turn the trading market off for what I call Vacation Mode. If I’m going to be unable to respond to issues, or if I want to pause trading before a major update, I can now turn the market on and off and add a note letting users know when it will return.
Policy Votes (beta)
The big new feature I was most excited about was Policy Votes. While we did not create any custom code for this I am happy to announce we’ll be launching it in beta using the existing voting features.
Over the years we’ve had votes on things like my political party, diet, facial hair, television and movie habits, and even if I believe in ghosts. These are all what I call Policy Votes and they often come up over and over as circumstances change. The idea of this new section is that the votes will not expire but be open-ended, allowing for shareholders to change their mind and adapt to new information and circumstances.
This will also allow a vote like believing in ghosts to change dynamically as people buy and sell shares. And a wonderful side effect is that new users will have a range of votes they can cast immediately as soon as they become shareholders.
As this beta program gets up and running we can log any issues or ideas into Change Map to revisit during the next Build Week.
Thanks as always to Aaron Parecki for his work on Build Week. This entire project runs on his technological efforts and we are lucky to have him!
A special shout out to Greg Borenstein who programmed the first version of the site and whose code is still running my life sixteen years later.
And thanks to Austin, Beau, and the other shareholders who popped in to Slack or messaged me with ideas and encouragement. These past few days have me really excited about KmikeyM and it’s so fun to get to work on this weird thing with all of you!
Discussion was happening in the #proj-development channel on the KmikeyM Slack.
Friday Feb 17th to Monday Feb 20th
Stretch Goals (not completed):
🧮 Fractional Shares
💸 Trading Fees
Accepted But Not Completed:
🗳️ Policy Votes*
⏲️ Real Time Updates for Votes
📧 Message Features:
- 📧 Notification for Vote Ending
- 📧 Offer Accepted Notifications
- 📧 Old Offers Not Accepted Notifications
- 📧 Vote Has Ended Notification
- 🖼️ Make Main Website Image Editable
- 📈 Add FRED Widget to Front Page
Other Updated Pages / New Features
- 📊 Extend Leaderboard
- 📆 Vacation Policy
- 🗳 Add Abstain Option to Voting
- 🤑 Add “Buy Now” Function
- ✨ Create account for New Users on First Purchase
Messages and Alerts
- ⚠️ Show Alert if Order is Under/Over Existing Offer
- ❗ Slack Alert for New Account
- 📧 Automated Welcome Email
- 🏭 Investigate / Upgrade Voting Site to PHP 8.1
- 🚫 Remove Excess Tracking Tools
- 🐛 Disable Verbose Logging (hard disk doesn’t fill up)
- 🐛 Fix Logins to vote.kmikeym.com
- 🐛 Fix Nav on Votes Page 404 Error