Hey everyone! As promised I wanted to provide an update from yesterday's Apollo AMA.

Long story short I work full time on making an awesome Reddit app for iOS called Apollo people ended up really liking and after over 2 million downloads I've been able to make it into my full time job. I love animals and our local SPCA shelter needed money due to an influx of orphaned kittens in these warm months (dubbed "kitten season"), made worse by the COVID pandemic and a decrease in adoptions and neutering, so the plan was to donate all my proceeds from the app for the day to the SPCA. So anyone who was interested in the Pro unlock in app could get the it AND support a good cause!

Well yesterday blew away my wildest expectations. Seriously. To be clear I don't even make in the planetary orbit of this on a daily basis, the AMA and support around the fundraiser amplifies it to a crazy extent and a lot of people support the app which is incredible and exactly what I want because this kind of amazing thing happens. I think the large amount of money was due to a lot of people meaning to unlock the Pro/Ultra version of Apollo (it's free download/use) but hadn't got around to it yet, plus a new icon option giving existing users a fun thing to unlock and support, and Apollo's grown a lot over the last year with even more people enjoying it, so combined with the AMA and the post in r/Apple it had a lot of eyes on the fundraiser. Which I'm so happy and feel so fortunate for.

We raised a total of $42,749.29. Forty. Two. Thousand. Dollars. That's a ton of money, that's like multiple cars. Or put another way, this bag of cat food is $5/pound. I'm sure the SPCA can get a better bulk/charity price than that, so let's say $4/pound. That's over 10,600 pounds of cat food. Adult great white sharks weigh around 1,250 pounds. That's the weight of over 8 great white sharks in cat food.

Here's an image breaking down the figures for how the $42,749 came to be. ($39.6K from sales proceeds, $2.5K direct donations, $600 from responses): https://i.imgur.com/qA0Am8F.png

The previous record for donations in a single day to the Nova Scotia SPCA was coincidentally $27,355 from our fundraiser last year! I so desperately wanted to beat that this year and we crushed it by over 50%! I'm now in the process of logistically figuring out how to transfer this much money over to them as cheaply as possible without losing much to credit card fees and whatnot, but as evidenced from the SPCA Twitter account you can verify that the money will reach them, given their trust in me and the donations we've made in previous years. Speaking of which, the first year we raised $5,087 the first year, $27,355 the second year, and $42,749 this year (third year) which brings us to a lifetime total of $75,099. What a beautiful number to end up on this year, I'm really hoping we can pass $100,000 one day!

Anyway, thank you so much for your support. I'll stick around to answer some more questions if anyone has any (I tried to answer every single one from yesterday), but other than that I'm going to get back to trying to build the best Reddit app on earth! If you're interested in a free Reddit app as an alternative to the official app that has a serious focus on being fast to use and sleek with an amazing media viewer, I'd love for you to check it out! https://itunes.apple.com/app/id979274575

Stay safe y'all!

- Christian

Comments: 164 • Responses: 21  • Date: 

Sedorner259 karma

How much did you HOPE you would raise?

iamthatis382 karma

I was really just hoping to beat the previous record by a bit, so maybe $28K if I got REALLY lucky. That was like my stretch goal, I would have been SO happy with that. In the back of my mind I was like "Okay I did this thing with Reddit last year and everyone was so generous, I bet if I do it a second year people will have already done the first and not care as much anymore." Like when you sell chocolate bars door to door in middle school or whatever, it's cute the first year but the next year you're like "dang are these people sick of me".

But then it raised 50% more than last year. wtf

That being said I honestly do think this is the peak haha, but it's an awesome peak to hit even if following years don't come close to matching it.

I_need_proof26 karma

You may hit a peak for the day, but you could probably raise much more if you really campaigned for a week or more and marketed it more. I bet you could hit 75k if you did market it and preplan the charity event.

iamthatis2 karma

Definitely noted, I'm curious if that's the case too, the sales slump significantly after the first 12 hours or so of exposure, so from what I can tell the first day is by far the most important, but that would be a fun experiment to run.

MysticSmear123 karma

I literally just went on an old iOS device I don't use just to buy the app to support you.

That being said do they have an estimate on how long this funding will last for them? Like how many animals it will save?

soberRUSSIAN42O76 karma

To make a difference in even one animals life is priceless

iamthatis94 karma

Yeah that's kinda my logic. The SPCA lets you donate it to a specific area of need, so I could totally donate it solely to "food", and it would honestly probably result in 10,000 lbs of cat food to feed cats at the shelter, but I always instead select "area of greatest need" that way I can trust them to use it on food (if they run short) or litter (if an influx of kittens occur) or medical bills (if animal abuse occurs), etc.

Doro-Hoa55 karma

In that case I have a cat and could use $10 million to care for it. Please send in small bills.

iamthatis53 karma


MysticSmear12 karma

True. But I'm wondering how long the funding will last. Is it enough to fund them for a year? Or will they need more funding soon.

iheartgawker26 karma

They will need more funding soon. Shelters almost always need money and donations. 42k is INCREDIBLE but there will always be more animals in need. And even if that covers them for the year, they could always use the “extra” for a clinic or free spay/neuter for TNR folks.

iamthatis33 karma

Or if it's too much to use in one year they can set it aside for a kitty college fund!

iamthatis27 karma

That's awesome, thank you for being so kind. And that's a very good question, I'm going over to the shelter next week I'll see if I can figure that out! I'd imagine quite awhile, but it depends at the same time because some animal cases can get expensive if humans were crappy enough. There's been a few cases in the last two years in our community where some animals have showed up in some pretty bad cases and needed a lot of medical care to be brought back to a quality of life (a cat recently lost its leg from a human shooting it for instance, don't worry the cat is doing great now!), which can get pretty expensive pretty quickly I imagine.

PsychoticEngineer112 karma

I still remember the first fundraiser a few months after I joined reddit. I thought $5,000 was pretty great for just one guy who made an app all by himself, but $42,000 is absolutely fantastic. I’m really enjoying all the new icons in the icon pack. Since this subreddit requires me to ask a question in my comment, what features do you plan on adding to Apollo in the future? As always, keep up the amazing work Christian and thanks again for making such a great app!

iamthatis68 karma

I know!! I was over the moon for $5,000. I wanted to make a donation myself and I thought to leverage the community, and the $5,000 was so much more than I could have done just by myself, so it really felt incredible. $42,000 honestly is hard to wrap my mind around.

A redesigned iPad app and a desktop app are high on my list of priorities right now. Trying to put all my focus into that. :)

Thank you :)

PsychoticEngineer23 karma

Any plans on making an Apollo android app? Not that I use android, but I’m sure there’s plenty of people who would love it (plus the added bonus of reaching a wider audience for more donations next year)

iamthatis3 karma

I'd love to one day. Rebuilding it for Android would be a massive undertaking though, and being just one guy not something I have the time for at the moment is all, but that would be a wicked fun project.

scottydanger2234 karma

Dang it, I was waiting to upgrade until you did another one of these but I missed it yesterday! Any chance you’ll extend donations for folks who were late to the party?

iamthatis50 karma

I'm always donating the proceeds from the SPCA icon in the app, 24/7, if you unlock that. You can also always donate directly! https://www.novascotiaspca.ca/how-you-can-help/donate/


What is goin on with this AMA? 😳

iamthatis50 karma

Haha it's kind of weird, the mods are nice enough that they let me provide an update as a separate post, so it's not a traditional AMA in the sense that there's probably not a lot more to ask since I answered every comment in the original one, but if there's anything more you all want to know or talk about I'm happy to oblige haha.

whiskey4breakfast8 karma

Hey is there a way to change your flair on Apollo?

I know it’s not related but it’s driving me crazy.

iamthatis2 karma

Next update, just finished working on that today haha. Which subreddit do you want it for in particular?

one-three-one-two25 karma

It sounds like it, but are you planning to make this a yearly thing? Because you really should. The idea to add the icon unlock was great (wouldn't have noticed otherwise). I can't remember if there was a popup in the app or if I had to go to settings to see it, but if there wasn't, you should add one next year to make sure nobody misses it.

And a selfish question: Any plans to bring Apollo to macOS? I'd really love a good reddit app on the desktop and with Catalyst I guess it wouldn't be too hard to bring over the iPad app. I'd be more than happy to pay again of you did :)

And happy belated birthday!

iamthatis32 karma

That's the plan. :) It's like the most fulfilling day of the year and the SPCA people come let me play with kittens afterward so I can't not do it.

I definitely want to bring Apollo to macOS. Stay tuned. :) And thanky ou!

ahawk6521 karma

Congratulations! How is your name purple?

iamthatis69 karma

I made my own name purple to help prevent people impersonating me in my app haha. Plus a small bit of vanity.

thomicide10 karma

Does any of this money go to lobbying against the breeders who contribute massively to the population of abandoned animals?

iamthatis31 karma

Yeah the SPCA here actually does a great job on cracking down on puppy mills and whatnot, they broke up a massive one here within the last year.

throwbecausenaked9 karma

Fuck yes!!! So happy for you

iamthatis6 karma

Thank you! :D

spacecatJ7 karma

How mamy kitties does that save????

ObscureCulturalMeme21 karma

One, if it eats as much as ours does! :-p

gets third mortgage to buy food and litter

iamthatis8 karma


iamthatis19 karma

By my math at least 3

missjeany5 karma

Hello! Any way we could have an Apollo for android? I would love to help!

iamthatis3 karma

It would be a serious undertaking, but I'd love to take a swing at it some day. :)

LyokoMan954 karma

I have no idea if Apple would end up going for this, but have you tried reaching out to Developer Relations (and emailing some execs) to see if there’s a way they could help route the IAP revenue directly to the SPCA?

iamthatis3 karma

I reached out after the fundraiser last year to some employees I know at Apple to ask and from what I understand from them asking they said it wasn't possible to do that.

Jimmy4221 karma

Congrats my man! I absolutely love Apollo and it’s great to see the community come together and make something awesome like this happen.

I do have a question for you if you don’t mind answering!

What resources would you suggest for a current software developer getting into iOS development / Swift? I’m a software engineer by trade, but iOS development is so radically different from the traditional Java and C# development I’ve been doing for the past 5 years that I’ve struggled to pick it up and run with it. Any resources or tips you can share?

I look forward to your future work! Macs with Apple Silicon make me super excited for future dev possibilities, and I’m sure you feel the same 😊

iamthatis3 karma

I really love Hacking with Swift, it has some excellent beginner resources, all the way up to professional resources that I consult all the time, it's just an awesome resource built by a really nice guy, I'd definitely check it out. You got this. :)

LimeAsReddit1 karma

Does your client have a paid version? I would like to support it.

iamthatis2 karma

Yes! There's Apollo Pro listed in the Settings tab. :)