Sam Soffes


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So I just turned 30 today. It feels the same as yesterday. I remember thinking 30 was so old and everyone over 30 was irrelevant. (The first few places I worked had founders in their 20s for what it’s worth.)

I remember thinking I wanted to change the world or whatever before it was too late because I was too old because I was 30. I remember wanting to be considered “great” by whatever definition.

I remember spending as much of my free time as possible for years making software so people on the Internet would think I was good at making things. I guess as a result of lots of practice, I did get better at making things. I care less now if you agree or not.

I remember riding my motorcycle up Potrero Hill three years ago to visit some friends at their office and crying my eyes out in my helmet. I remember thinking “What’s the plan? What am I doing with my life?” After finally finding a flat spot to park, I dried my eyes. I’m not sure if they knew I was just crying a bunch. Probably.

Shortly after, I realized I didn’t care about any this any more. I didn’t care about trying to make tons of money or starting a side project that could financially sustain me, or wanting people to like me on the Internet. It was freeing.

I’d rather spend my time with my family or doing things outside or learning new things than making software every waking moment. What a turning point.

I really enjoy the work I do during the day and the people I get to do it with now. However many hours a week I spend at the office is enough. Now when I work on things on the side, it’s because I want to.

Recently, I went to a Mae concert. They were my favorite band in high school. They hadn’t released an album for over 10 years. At one point in the show (which was incredible by the way) the singer paused and said “You know we haven’t put out an album in over a decade. We’re… long pause we’re doing this because we love it. We’re really glad you’re here to listen.” Incredible.

I’m really looking forward to 30. I think 2019, 2020, and beyond are going to be excellent—not from how much I’m making things you might care about, but for everything else.