Towards the end of 2018, my heart wasn't in Steem. When I first came here, I had hope and optimism for the future of Steem and then once the prolonged bear market truly set in and Steemit Inc started focusing on reducing costs instead of promised features such as Smart Media Tokens (SMT's).
You'll see in my posting history, that I went from blogging very often to not that often at all. There are sometimes weeks and a month gap between postings.
Then I started developing blockchain applications for Steem, just fun little apps not too ambitious in scale and some of the excitement came back for me. Working with the Steem blockchain however primitive (via SDK), it works and it works really fast.
But in-between, STINC's constant delays and ADHD like lack of focus on features that would generate revenue and grow the ecosystem had me bitter. There is also the communication issue, but STINC has done a better job of late communicating with the community.
And then @yabapmatt @aggroed and @harpagon with their powers combined created and released a sidechain called Steem Engine, which provides custom token like functionality, similar to what Steemit Inc was promising with their constantly delayed SMT's feature.
For me, 2019 has started off with a bang, I have already launched two fun little Steem apps and now we have Steem Engine, I will be creating more ambitious in scale applications, including a marketplace where you can buy and sell unused gift cards, transacting in a custom Steem Engine token.
The future is really bright, now that we have Steem Engine.