Under the Merkle Trees

Insights on the Relentless Pursuit of Patterns in the World Around Me

Geode.io part 1: The premise

Could you write some code that would automatically like pictures for me on Instagram?

Asked my good friend Chris. We had long going discussion about getting into a project together and most recently that had been focused around idea of mine related to personal data and the bitcoin blockchain.

I'm pretty sure I responded with something along the lines of:

Probably, but why the hell would you want to do that?

The more images you like, the more people that follow you he explained. While it didn't sound very interesting, it made sense.

My other idea, which we had dubbed Ledge (think ledger) was big. It involves a lot of cryptographic work and didn't have an initial route to monetization.

It made sense to start with something more pointed. The idea was simple, collect some cash on a different project then pivot into the infinitely more fascinating realm of personal data and blockchains.

For the sake of the story, we move back to August of 2014. I spent a couple days with the Instagram API and got back to Chris with an answer:

Yes, I have a working script that will automatically like images on Instagram.

Sure enough, Chris was right. The followers came and they came quickly. Having previously only logged into Instagram a couple of times before running my script, I was 100% sure that these new followers (and likes) were coming because of my 'auto-liking' script.

We quickly began development and testing out methods to convert this script into a sellable product.

To my surprise, things became considerably more interesting as we moved into the design phase. What images should we like for you? How many can we like before Instagram get's upset? Are we really allowed to be doing this?

Geode.io Part 2: Design (coming soon)


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About the author

Zachary Wolff