The Domain Riddle

Why keep an unused domain you bought for a side project? The annual renewal comes around, you haven’t touched it in over a year and £32 is due. In no particular order, here follows the riddle in my mind:

a) Renew and go all in. This is the dreamer’s plan. Top tier effort and aspiration. Requires: blood, sweat and tears to revive the initial energy you had when you bought the domain. Furthermore, you have the grunt work of realising everything you’ve had in your mind whilst it has sat unused.

b) Move on, let it go. Acceptance nirvana plan. Life is short and complicated. Ideas are cheap, execution is everything — and that last bit didn’t happen. You haven’t touched the idea in over a year so what makes you think you will now? Less is more. You’re now free of the guilt shackles, although you have to join the DNF bench.

c) Renew it. It’s not that much money in the bigger picture. You can leave it parked on the ideas shelf for another while. No real damage done. Although, what is that? Is it a creeping sense of not delivering and executing something? A mild haunting available at random whenever you don’t need it.

d) Rethink the idea, make the execution easy. You’re caught in a trap where the idea is bigger than the time you have to realise it. What if you go back to the drawing board and make it much easier to execute? So easy that something could be on the domain within a few hours.

e) Start a core meltdown, lower your self-esteem rods. Everything in your life is behind, nothing is complete. In fact the very idea that any good could come of this idea, other ideas and future ones is a work on insanity. Press the reactor buttons, watch the fallout from a safe place and give up. Form the foetal position and find cover.

f) Why would you need more than one domain? Is it old school web thinking to buy domains for specific uses? Use your existing domain once you’ve made the thing.

I bought a new Mac Mini as a personal machine a few weeks ago. It’s my first personal Mac in around a decade. As part of defining the software, process and data setup I want to run I’ve been craving simplicity. I’m sitting on ~550GB of legacy personal data. The simpler the system design of my digital world the better. Less maintenance, less time, less risk, less brain power spent on what feels like a low value element of modern life. Nobody spends their last days thankful that they hoarded gigabytes of unorganised data.

So, with simplicity in mind, what is the answer to the domain riddle? When I ask myself that I know I should let this one expire. A win for simplicity. It’s a name and I can always buy another similar — likely cheaper alternative — if the wind changes direction.

But, hold up one moment. Option D is haunting me. There’s some resonance here, something playing on my mind. Rather than making it much easier, how about it starts easy, then gets progressively harder? My answer is figuring out a gated and phased approach. Right now, I’m resisting the urge to write about modern software development practices.

Order complete.

Now, let’s open the drawing board and figure out the easiest thing to do in hours, not days.


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