To post today on the blog of lifeinlines.com today is an honour. What began as an idea in the head and got passed over a cup of tea with a friend has taken shape and is out, alive and kicking. To think that a casual cup of tea can lead to someone investing 500-1000 hours of effort and making a career choice makes one feel giddy. The identification of need and the first seed might have been mine but an idea is useless without execution and Ankur's preserverance in implementing it single handedly (when we could not give him any time!!) is examplary. In this first post are the first few sketches of lifeinlines I made (I was still deciding whether to name it lifeinlines.com or lifeomap.com)!!
Why lifeinlines? Need and idea.
What is the gap that it plugs?
Over the last one year a lot of refinement has happened and what has emerged is a stronger adult version. Thanks to Shiv for the monumental effort in supporting this initially and kudos to Ankur for making this possible. My best wishes for lifeinlines 'One Life to Live'!!
Ideation on features, looking up the existing popular sites and looking for what we'd want more and different, trying to organize thoughts and create documents. A bunch of newbies, trying to put together the thousands of ideas hoping to integrate them together to create the best mashup of it's class.
June 10, we still thought we were unique with the concept and nothing close existed anywhere.
June 12, discovered twitter, written as the new rage amongst western youth, in the times of india - felt that primary concept was validated and our job was to indianize!
Funnily enough, so many of hte features on LiL today were thought as originals for quite some time till we discovered somebody somewhere had thought similarly. :) . Sometimes it was intimidating, at other times, funny, but everytime it was a great discovery.
There was email input system, there was privacy meter, there was the desktop client... added to the feature list one at a time as the file versions tossed between the three of us. We had a design SBU by now :)
Then the seriuos thought of registering a private limited company went on a high.. did a few rounds for a few days.. I tried to talk to some ppl about how to structure the relationship with three stakeholders.. we started thinking of names for the company.. Weblife Pvt. Ltd. and SMocking Ac3s came up as ideas.. ASH, HAS, SHA.... (for shiv, ankur and harpreet )
Left it behind, in the quest of coming out with a good release before we registered the company.. made sense then..
It was time to think of revenue models. To think of sharpened focus. To think of differentiating clearly from existing players!
A marketing plan was to come into picture! Crazy ideas flowed!
Happy being the senior one, brought some discipline into the group. In terms of mail subjects, to points/content, to documentation.. he was the structure master.. kinda important for a junglee like me to have around.
Me and Shiv were to now talk twice every week and all three of us would have a conference call every wednesday night.
I am more than happy to work with u guys. Having never blogged before i dont know whts best, u have a better and bigger picture.
I believe the designer and the coder should work in close proximity and decide whts best, i know people who will do both, i will try and convince them to do this for free. As you said you have a designer but my concern is the communication gap the designer and coder will have might create problems for us.
You do the idea and what all should be on the site. I will do the implementation part.
The First concept note as I'd created after the chat with Happy.. Think it was about mid of may 2007...
Life n the lines and between them!
Blogs have now become fairly popular as a medium for communicating one’s thoughts, opinions, feelings in his own way, without having to take the trouble of maintaining an entire website or the other complications involved.
With multiple free blog sites such as blogger, rediff iland, livejournal, wordpress and a host of others, the blog user base is constantly on the rise, and entire new breeds of writers have been born out of this blog revolution.
Typically, blogs are homes to narrations of routine lives in amusing ways. Or they could be opinions, reactions, thought provoking anecdotes, personal journals or anything else for that matter. However, not every person who wants to write a blog always has the time or the capacity to write long proses in one go and here’s where we want to introduce the concept of “life in lines”.. for people to journal-ize their lives in blogs, one line at a time.
The concept is fairly simple, and easy to copy but it might serve well to have the first mover advantage and the USP of the web based service lies in its simplicity.
What we provide, is a web blog, which is very simple in its interface, the next page shows what the page looks like.
Blog enthusiasts across ages and professions can write their journals as ‘life in lines’ in smaller chunks at different times of the day, rather than one long prose. It could serve as a live status message, updated as frequently as one wants.
At the end of the day, it’s a live journal, which doesn’t have the complicated part of dashboard, just like a scrapbook with a pin up button.
Add ons :
1. Templates – could be paper clip format, scraps with/without photos or alias
2. Mobile blogging, people to update this service from their mobile phones via sms, not GPRS. Can be handled : SMS Blog <> to 6767
Login : Password go
: office could be fun when boss isn’t around!
: Some things in this world never cease to amuse me- bosses, women and women bosses!
Why wouldn’t they let me be.. the maniac that I am!
11: 35 Innovation is nothing but rearrangement of all the ideas you see around yourself!
Hmmph! Meetings are long, boring and pointless.
Finally! M getting out of here now!
The embellishments and elaborations have gone very far from the first job.. but the core philosophy has stayed the same.. This doc was the starting point, and what I'd passed to Shiv, to start thinking about it!
August 2007, I'd told Sagu and Gullu about the idea, and Sagu, for one was quite fascinated, though wanted to toss it across to a few people before he thought much of it.
I guess it was about the time when Sagu was to finally leave the campus after all of his dual degree and he would call up once in while to say that he really could do with a service like LiL because in the senti times of moving out of campus, there were so many things he would like to record.
One afternoon, when I was with Happy in Delhi again, discussing the prospects of LiL, Sagu calls up, and says, hey, I had an experience I want to record... and in our conversation, it felt we needed a name for all the moments in our life that we find worth recording. So with a chuckle, we fixed upon LiL Moments. Working well with the acronym side, and a cool variant of the li'l moments of poetic english.
Whenver something is worth photographing, it's a Kodak Moment, they said. Whenever life has a moment worth recording, it's a LiL Moment, we say.
And then of course, as a small time hobby photographer, I was told sometime the translation of beauty lying in the eyes of the beholder. If you want you can seek and capture beauty in the most unlikely of situations. Random streets being my personal favorite. So then, every other moment in life is a LiL moment, if you choose to look at it that way.
A life, is an interesting story worth recording. It's One Life, and a million LiL Moments.
It was Summers of 2007, one weekend afternoon at PVR Priya in Delhi, I met up with Happy, a senior from college and an acquaintance through Gullu. Both of us, aspiring parallel entrepreneurs, had good amount of stuff to talk, discussing how life had been shaping up, post college and a host of potential business opportunities. He was then at Inductis and also putting together pieces for his baby venture, Cocubes, (that's a toddler now).
He had been thinking of some way to keep in touch with people you were close to, while in college, and lose touch as you get busy in life. Not everyone had the time to write a blog, or the flair to write one. How often would you make a long phonecall or a write a long email to your friends. Social networks had their own limitations. In between blogs and scrapbooks, there was something amiss. He'd conceived that, if you make a platform that lets ppl write about their lives in small snippets.. a line or two at a time, multiple times during the day and let them share with people, it would be really useful. the name, he aptly thought, was lifeinlines.com.
Given that I was newly getting fascinated and excited with the internet space, with my little stint at Educomp's e-learning product, I found it interesting to pursue and check out how internet startups would work, pursuing it like an interest, more than a business. Then, Shiv came along the way, a junior from college, still in his final year, as our execution man!
An online group was formed, some drafts created and action started rolling, fresh for the first entrepreneurial stint that we could call our own. Vision(happy), ideas(me) and enthu execution(shiv, already bringing together shaishav, bond and pali) got together and got cracking..
LiL was an interesting acronym that fit Life in Lines well, and there's another story behind LiL Moments..
Been close to a 9 months, and our LiL baby is due anytime now!