iEarn/Yearn name

Hi guys,
I am an academic writing about DefI and I am curious about a few details. Since Yearn is fairly new there no official histories and so I figured i would come here!
(a) In some early Medium posts (Jan/Feb 2020) I see Andre is sometimes using iEarn and sometimes Yearn. Did something happen to make the iEarn name go into disuse? I can’t figure out why there are these two names for the project. The answer is probably mundane but it would be good to document it somewhere.
(b) What is the origin of the ‘I test in production’ phrase? Medium, Twitter? I am aware this phrase has much nuance to it and Andre’s regret over it at times.
© Is there somewhere - maybe a smart contract reference? - that corresponds to the official transition from Andre’s control to the community?

Hopefully the questions are a little interesting to you guys,


This memo (worth the paywall) gives a great history and explanation


Thanks, maybe in a pinch.

Does anyone have any non-paywalled history?

iEarn is what Andre called yearn before it launched its YFI token, after launching the governance token it was changed to yEarn then later it was further changed to Yearn which basically is the history. Not sure the best place to look for a historical summary. Andre’s Medium and Yearn’s Medium might be good places to start. This article by coindesk might help explain more about yearn.

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Thanks Dark. I am creating a timeline based on his Medium posts and know the CoinDesk article. Neither provides a clear answer.
If I have it correctly this means iEarn is dropped when YFI launches and then we move into yEarn/Yearn. This is happening from about July 2020 onwards right?

I understand these things can get a little lost to history and that is why I want to try and nail some of them down a bit.

For what it’s worth, if you look it up you can see that Andre registered back in January.

He’s said before on podcasts that he originally used iEarn, but changed it to Yearn (we’ve officially moved to yearn or Yearn as the name although it was originally stylized yEarn) to make it seem more inclusive and less like “I earn money”. I forget which one of the podcasts he said this on (I think it was one that came out in August), but I would obviously recommend you listen to all published podcasts with Andre if you haven’t (since there’s only like 4-5 of them). I think he probably addresses the “test in prod” in one of those podcasts as well, but it basically is what his pinned twitter post says—“Disclaimer: when I build software, I build it for myself. If you do insist on interacting with it, please use caution, there will be bugs. Interfaces are built to make my life easier. I will make mistakes. If you don’t understand it, please don’t use it.”

The transition to the community occurred with YFI—that was the whole point. Governance was up and running very quickly after YFI launch, and you could probably use the date of the first post on this forum or of the first on-chain YIP vote to establish when it truly decentralized. Also maybe when the multisig was established.


Thank you dudeshan.
The early registration is exactly the kind of nugget I would not have come across normally.
I also like the reasoning about iEarn. I think even phonetically it rolls off the tongue less well than Yearn (I also like how YFI sounds).
I will give the podcasts a listen. A blindspot on my part.

I will have to think about what constitutes the transition. I feel like it’s a combination of the more informal formal discussion, the more formal YIPs/votes, and when the multisig is deployed and used. i’ll think it over.

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Very interesting finding. I remember suggesting the name in January, didn’t know Andre has registered the domain back then.