"Cory and I did a thing, did not know it will blow up, now we can't remember any of it." - Cory 4/19/21
In the summer of June 2019, five years into being a full-time consultant, I became increasingly frustrated with the daily grind. Taking a page out of Taylor Swift's rulebook of writing songs about ex's, I decided to do animated gifs. I thought, what better way to channel my frustrations into a set of emotions personified with my cat's face? If you know Blu, he only has two sets of emotions. Care or Do Not.
My use case is that I didn't find Apple Emoji's to be sufficient to express my feelings, only custom ones that I create will suffice. Many of you know my favorite meme is the dog in the burning building. "This is Fine" is my mantra. It started with that. I wanted my own This is Fine.
Naturally, it was a snowball effect. Drinking a ton of coffee and working furiously was a natural next design. All I had to do was draw from within. I would start sending these gif's in chat messages, and when that got tedious, I uploaded them to Giphy to use them in Giphy Keyboard.
Huh? 117.7 Million Views
"This should be an app." - Cory
A few months go by December 2019, I thought maybe I should keep this going and make multi packs. We needed to rewrite the App to support an ongoing iAP. Cory did a complete app rewrite, got rejected a bunch of times because we (5 people that work at MC) didn't QA. It was amazing.
Due to the popularity of the dancing animation from June, I figured I should add more. In this pack, I introduced a new concept of drag and drop stickers on top of each other to create a new look.. I don't care rainbow, goku flame, and pixelated censorship.
Stats? It kept climbing to 419.4 Million. 4x in 6 months.
I decided to do bi-yearly updates.
May 2020, two months into the Pandemic, New York City being the epicenter of the crisis, expressing through these stickers was my outlet. Lockdown, hoarding toilet paper, zoom calls were the new normal. Struggling with the anxiety of dealing with the virus, focusing on a fun task was a great distraction. Once again, getting rejected from apple many times because we didn't QA was the highlight of all time. QKWALITY
Sept 2020, the pandemic didn't let up. I was listening to a lot of lo-fi chill hop music to make me feel more settled. As a result, I decided to make my own Lo-Fi Chill Hop. When I took a survey from friends about what's missing from the current sticker pack, many voiced about the distractions kids create when parents work from home. This youtube video was made in the spirit of hearing soothing music against distraction.
"It should be a screensaver" - Cory. Here's the screensaver.
Every update I pushed out during the four-month period would spike considerably but slowly met with flatlining. The flatlines depicting an avg of 500,000 views a day.
55 Gifs in Deep. I didn't have many ideas left and didn't want to put any more GIFs out there because the cost of time was higher than earnings. I essentially gave this out for free, and if you downloaded the App, the donation of $1.99 contributed to our time and effort.
January 2021, looking at the new incoming vaccines, I wanted to create one final gif to promote getting the shot. Armed with one last gif to send over to Cory to update our app.
Apple decided to tell us then that my stickers depict "health information" essentially, I can't refer to the pandemic, COVID-19, or any vaccines. I am not an approved medical app.
If you take medical advice from my cat stickers, I pray for you. 🙏🏻
Apple was also not happy how my stickers are so distasteful. Specifically, the cat sitting on the toilet surrounded by toilet paper is not to be taken lightly. We don't want to spread negativity.
My app is blocked until I remove such offensiveness. I think there are a lot more apps that are offensive in the App store than this gif. I'm at an impasse because I refuse to take down what was already approved.
At the rate of 500k a day, it would probably slow down or never reach its peak. I uploaded this last vaccine gif on Giphy as my last "NOS" to spike my 1 Billion Views dreams.
Overnight from 47,092 views to 35,848,599 Views, and I ended it with a celebratory clip of blu being on a rocket.
Now I await for PETA to send me a letter about blowing up a cat. This is the internet. :)
April 19, 2021. 10 am EST