📧 Build Week 2024

Last year we made a bunch of changes to the main page, to how you can buy shares, created new alerts, and started experimenting with Policy Votes. 

This year the focus is on building out features to make KmikeyM more sustainable, including adding the new Membership Shares proposal that passed with 81% approval. 

Due to some availability constraints we’re splitting BW24 into two parts, and we just finished part 1!

✅ Finished:

  • Maintenance Updates (Rails, Mailersend, Twilio, etc.)
  • New Payment Processor
  • Fractional Shares

🛠️ Maintenance

Every Build Week we kick off by making sure all the software and databases and services we use under the hood are up to date. Boring, but important!

💳 New Payment Processor

Next we moved off of Gumroad to our own Stripe account. I’ve been a long time user and investor in Gumroad, but it’s never been an elegant solution for purchases or deposits. Plus they seem to keep raising their fees, meaning shareholders end up with fewer shares purchased.

Now that we’re using our own Stripe account we’ve been able to reduce the fees and better integrate payments and DCA subscriptions into KmikeyM.

⅞ Fractional Shares

But the part I’m most excited about is Fractional Shares. You can now buy a part of a share (up to three decimal places). This is a small change with a big impact! 

As the share price fluctuates it means that in the past you had to buy in increments of numbers like $5.26 or $6.39, which left shareholders with small remainders in their account. Now with Fractional Shares you can spend those deposits and maximize your share holdings. 

And even better, this means that when making a purchase for shares with the Buy Now link you spend the whole dollar amount with no pesky remainder left over. Try it out or go to the market and buy $0.01 worth of a share!

Up Next: Build Week II – March 18th to 22nd

For part 2 of Build Week 2024 we’ll build out the “share wall” and implement the Membership Shares proposal. This means that portions of KmikeyM will only be available to shareholders and I’ll be able to be more open in what I share.

And Membership Shares is just the beginning of building some new features for a sustainable path forward. We’re planning on setting up a tiered membership that allows shareholders to help directly support the KmikeyM community, and grants some additional benefits to those who can help out.

So let’s talk about money…

Building a Better KmikeyM

Back in 2017 there was a quote in the Playboy article, The Publicly Traded Man Goes NSFW:

All along, Merrill has touched none of his investors’ money, instead acting like a bank, depositing the funds in an account and holding them for the day the shareholders might cash out. In the meantime? “Every month I pay the IRS,” Merrill says. How much? “A good amount.”

“He loses money,” Dixon, a bookkeeper by trade, flatly tells me.

Since starting this project in 2008 it has only occasionally had profitable years. Most of the time I’ve been very happy with this arrangement, because so much of the value of this project has been the privilege of having shareholders and getting their input on the votes. 

But 2023 was a pretty terrible year financially. The company I was working for in January disbanded, and none of the bigger projects I thought were going to pay off ended up happening. Basically everything I expected to happen got postponed and then to make matters worse, Kathryn was on strike for five months. It’s been a really hard and weird time because while there is no money, I love the projects I’m working on and the people I’m working with. 

In the last few months I’ve been more focused on KmikeyM. You can see it on the front page with multiple updates a month, experimenting with more online videoselling share certificates, and posting more votes. I would love nothing more than for my full time job to be KmikeyM, but in the short term I’ll be happy if it can cover the costs of operations and updates.

🤞 So I’m hoping that all the projects and fun we’ve had in the the past 16 years will inspire some people to support this project and community in the future. And then that support means I can do even more projects and votes and finally get my onion futures market off the ground. 

Recent Projects

What does more time with the shareholders look like? Well, here is what I’ve been up to recently…

With these five minute (ish) videos I’ve also been experimenting with cut-downs for Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts (would appreciate a follow on Youtube). And Kathryn and I have also been making goofy videos with Georgie like this one on the beach and this one in the park

Even with being in kind of a hard place financially I’m pretty excited about the coming year and looking forward to more votes, more projects, more updates and another Shareholder Summit this summer. And I’m going to make a video about fractional shares as explained with a quesadilla prop…