Why I Create An App That Named After My Good Friend?

Marcus Tan, or some of you may know him as @curiousmarcus is man of many wonders. He runs an awesome startup Carousell and he is a great photographer1.

Weeks ago, we caught a movie together with the evernote team in Singapore. He took a photo of Lijiuan and me. We love it. And to our surprise he even printed out a copy for us as Xmas’s present.


So I what could be the Xmas surprise from us? I decided to make an app that named after him and also help him to solve his big problem.

what’s the problem?

He takes lot of photos and good ones too. Each photo carries meaningful moment that capture that particular point in time. But the photos are lost in the instagram timeline each time new ones are added. Can there be something that helps to trigger back these lost moments?

“All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.” via Susan Sontag

rediscover old photos, maybe?

I thought maybe I can help Marcus rediscover his old photos. A feature that Everpix2 had for it’s premium customers. It was also an opportunity for me to pick up web development too3. So MarcusApp was born. An app that sends you a weekly random photo that you took on instagram 6 month ago.

app design consideration

I wanted to keep the app simple. I do not want to be bothered by authentication. I want Others who are interested to rediscover their old photos to use too. I keep the signup to a 2 step process.

  1. Connect to instagram account4
  2. Users to give an email that they want to receive thier photo at

merry christmas, marcus!

Merry christmas, Marcus! Lijiuan and I hope that you love this unique gift. As for updates, I would be adding flickr support too :D.

And too all our friends, if you are using instagram and are looking to rediscover your old photos. This is app to help you. http://marcusison.herokuapp.com/

  1. He is also the featured instagram user for Singapore, check out his specatular photos.
  2. “Built into their apps is a feature called ‘Flashback’. This will show you photos that were taken 1 year ago today, 2 years ago today, 3 years ago today etc.” via @jackpea
  3. This app was created with the help of my awesome teachers!, I like to thank Bryan Lim, Chris Cai, and Cong for teaching and guiding me. For those who are interested, this is build with Nodejs using Express Framework.
  4. MarcusApp is asking for the basic permission to read the user feed and nothing more. This is to allow the app to pull the feed and find the photos 6 months ago. µ