You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to build most things, but it’s good to remember that wheels wear out.

The trade-off is that if you use something that someone else built you have very little control over that something.

The something that stopped working for me was an API I found early in my coding journey and was all about population statistics. I used it to learn when was the most likely time I would die depending on my age, sex, and where I live. It worked. It was great!

So I made a feature so you could know, roughly, when you would die. I even had an audible click track at the rate of people passing away in real-time, worldwide. It was terrifying.

Here are some fun adverts I made:

Then they changed their business model and I lost access to their API.

Now, I have a feature on an app (the stoic app, if you’re interested) that doesn’t work. Worse than that the app crashes if someone tries to use that feature.

My options are:

  • Remove the feature
  • Find another API to service my feature
  • Replace the feature with another feature

I will keep you in the loop which route I take, and if you have any ideas I am all ears. 🙂