The story of 8chan so far as I know it, being a guy that posted on /loomis/ pretty much exclusively this entire time (but still believed in the "idea" of 8chan as a hedge against over moderated, censorious websites like R*ddit):
>8chan.net picks up Gamergate traffic and becomes relevant out of nowhere after a couple years of just sort of floundering around like most non-4chan imageboards
>Hotwheels begins taking heat from journalists, SJW-types etc. which he bravely shrugs off
>8chan is taken over by a rich old boomer named Jim and his son Codemonkey, with Hotwheels remaining basically the CTO or whatever you might call it; Hotwheels was painted into a corner because he was cut off from all conceivable mainstream payment gateways so effectively selling the site was his only option
>Suddenly, just a few months in the site stops working properly, posts on the front page are frozen in place for hours, sometimes days at a time (the catalog still works normally)
>Instead of fixing the problem, Hotwheels and his friend Josh Moon who Jim hired with Hotwheels' recommendation deign to make a new imageboard engine entirely. The site is left broken for six months and well over 90% of the users, maybe over 95% even had left by that point.
>Hotwheels has an epiphany and investigates the code; it was one of Josh's commits that broke the site and instead of taking care of that which probably took him no time at all and giving themselves time to work on this second project they put the cart before the horse, losing everything in the process.
>8chan.net was still around and now "fixed", then some Kiwi shoots up a mosque full of people who unironically didn't do nuffin' and instead of blaming it on Reddit implicates 8chan, which is subsequently taken out in the legal kerfuffle that followed.
>Some months pass after that and then 8chan comes back as "8kun", is hosted on a toaster and riddled with posting errors
>We stuck it out as long as we could there despite its flaws but it was pretty insufferable, eventually I was approached by Mark who moderated /v/ from the beginning of the affair who'd apparently made his own imageboard with help, and that's how we ended up hear