41: OurCraving – an old idea of restaurants lookup with friends – and year-end summary

This was my old idea from 2012, and I built OurCraving.com back in 2013.

I published a long post of my research, motivation and design in a different blog, however, I finally decided not to extend that domain anymore, which will expire early 2020. Therefore, I decided to upload the detailed blog post here:

It is still fascinating to read, trust me, even today.

Unfortunately, I was never a good enough front-end developer, even though my background is HCI (btw, it doesn’t mean one in HCI must be able to create beautiful UI, which is a separate thing). The idea was good and I still stand for it, but the website design was ugly and unappealing. Moreover, for individuals to do something like that, it’s usually impossible, because I can’t have that much data to support what I really want to achieve.

5 years later, Google actually launched their version of looking for restaurants with friends. So I was not totally crazy, I was just a crappy developer couldn’t realize my own idea right.

In retrospect, today I would probably implement it differently.

It is interesting to record my old idea by the end of 2019. The intention of me writing this blog is tracking my nonsense so I discover my calling. I have logged 40-ish ideas in 2019.

Some of them I already gave up, such as 22: write my own Kusto Explorer. I was really hoping to write a source-control-integrated Kusto explorer, so I can better manage all the Kusto functions. I gave it up because I really didn’t have time.

Some of them are still fun and promising, such as:

7th: Can kids write a book?

18: Moodger – A device may change your mood

36: AI-selected president candidates

I understand what I want, which is: delivering a big impact by making a lot of people happy. Based on the book Grit:

It is the power of purpose makes the difference. Therefore, when I feel what I am doing does not have big enough impact or does not make a lot of people happy, myself becomes less happy. I do agree with the book on some degree, because it is indeed how I feel.

Hence, when I think about it again, does a product of looking up restaurants for groups make a lot of people happy? I remember even I admit at the time, it will be a niche market. The experience of restaurant recommendation will be different in the future, not like this proactively punch some text on a screen and then expect a list of recommendations. It will be something else, but I just don’t know yet. Therefore, maybe that is why I was not fully devoted when building OurCraving and why I decide to give up this domain name.


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