21 May 2024

The Idea

Over the past few years, I've embarked on numerous side projects, only to abandon them halfway through. But one project that did see the light of day was Cliv, an invite-only community for creators that connected through video meets. I launched it in 2021, but unfortunately, it didn't quite take off as I had hoped. After a few weeks, I had to shut it down due to dwindling member interest. Looking back, I wonder if I gave up too soon.

Around the same time, my job got busier, leaving me with little time to nurture my ideas. However, in 2022, I had an epiphany - what if I created a platform where people could curate their own lists? These lists could be about anything: bucket lists, favorite movies, games, or even restaurants. The idea struck a chord with me because I love sharing recommendations with friends and family, especially when it comes to mind-bending thrillers, video games, and my favorite eateries in the city. I even went as far as buying the domain thunderlist.to, but alas, it suffered the same fate as my other side projects - abandonment after a few days of work.

On a more positive note, I built my first website back in 2016, a personal portfolio that showcased my skills. Later, in 2017, I snagged the domain priyanshrastogi.com. Since then, I've revamped my website at least 6-7 times, roughly once a year. I'm also passionate about blogging and have experimented with various platforms like Medium, Ghost, and custom JAMStack blogs. Among these, Ghost remains my top pick due to its sleek UI and impressive theme options.

Fast forward to 2023, while on my vacations to Thailand and Japan, I managed to tick off some major bucket list items, like attending the breathtaking Yi Peng festival in Chiang Mai and indulging in matcha ice cream while taking in the majestic views of Mount Fuji at Lake Kawaguchiko. I was so inspired by these experiences that I wrote a detailed post about my Japan trip on my Ghost-powered blog.

However, after hitting publish, I realized I'd forgotten to add a few crucial details. I ended up editing the post multiple times, which got me thinking – there has to be a better way to share travel experiences and itineraries with others. That's when the idea struck me: what if people could create lists of anything they wanted – favorite movies, TV shows, video games, eateries, music, or bucket lists – and share them with the world at the click of a button? It should be easy, intuitive, and organized.

I envisioned a platform where people could write and share their stories, whether it's about travel, personal thoughts, or anything else they want to share with the world. And, it should be easy to find and navigate. Lastly, everyone should have a dedicated webpage that showcases all their content in a neat and organized manner, like a personal website.

I scoured the existing solutions, but none of them quite fit the bill. WordPress, Wix, Framer, and Weebly are complicated and confusing, making it tough to create lists. Ghost and Medium are great for blogging, but they lack the organization and list-building features I had in mind.

Once I had a clear idea of what I wanted to build, the next challenge was finding the perfect name and domain. Then, it hit me – since this platform would be a webpage about a person's life, why not keep it simple and straightforward? The URL should be <username>.is.living.so, which made total sense. I quickly checked NameCheap to see if living.so was available, but unfortunately, it wasn't. I really wanted that domain, so I contacted the owner through a broker and, after some negotiation, secured it for $1,200. It was a pricey investment, but it motivated me to work tirelessly in the evenings and on weekends to bring "Living" to life.

Fast forward five months, and I'm thrilled to announce the early beta launch of "Living" to the public. It's been a labor of love and hard work, and I can't wait to share it with the world.

© 2024, Priyansh Rastogi.

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