2017: My Year in Review

“life is the bucket” — Ted

jordangonen
Dec 29, 2017 · 12 min read

As we close out 2017, I, yet again, type in a state of reflection.

I write this year-in-review as a means to:

  • Remember both the good and the bad parts of 2017

Disclaimer: I in no way mean for this to be a prescriptive essay. At times this year, I got really lucky and things appear to have went well. What is perhaps not perfectly represented, however, is how often I failed. I failed a ton. I messed up a lot. I am by no means the example. I made a ton of public mistakes. But I have no regrets. Always onward.

Further, I want to recognize that there are no participation trophies in life. No one cares if I work hard. No one cares if I may not sleep. Talking about working a lot does not accomplish anything. I only get compensated for output, not input. There is no prize for quantity. I say this only to emphasize the purpose for my writing — it is detached from ego. I really do not mean this essay as a brag towards my relative accomplishments.

Thank you to everyone — my family, (new & old) friends, enemies, mentors, coworkers, peers — everyone. While life is largely a single player game, I know that I am standing on the shoulders of giants. I owe everything to those who have helped me make it this far. Thank you.

Cedalion standing on the shoulders of Orion

2017 was another year of personal, social and professional growth. From exploring my personal tastes and preferences to acquiring new skills to stepping out of my comfort zone, this was another year of extreme learning.

(this whole post is about a 12 minute read) (also see 2016’s year in review)

Personal Summary (these are both external and internal metrics):

  • Felt present. Used social media/phone significantly less. Began to really appreciate the little things in life.

Once again, I wanted to emphasize that talking about doing, writing about doing, publicizing my doing != doing. No prizes for being busy.

January 2017

  • I kicked off the New Year at home (in Arizona). I spent it with friends. I played a ton of soccer. Ate a bunch of hummus. Also, I jotted down that Houseparty had just gone viral.

February 2017

  • My “internet friend” Henry Kaufman, who, to this day, I have never spoken with on the phone, and I decided to stay up late one night and build Celebrate Immigrants — a directory of immigrant founders. Though it was just a simple one-pager, it got tens of thousands of page views and was written about in Mashable (h/t Kerry Flynn) and The Independent. Most importantly, I think it made an impact.

March 2017

  • Started my weekly newsletter that has gone out every single Monday since March. I send a collection of interesting links and excerpts that help the curious think about the future. Here is the archive. Has since grown organically to 1700+ subscribers.

April 2017

  • Went to the midnight premier of Fate of the Furious. For those of you who know me well (or follow me on Instagram), you know this is a big deal. And for those who do not, here are some action clips.

May 2017

  • Launched Storyheap for real on Product Hunt. Launch day was scary/awesome as Seb and I went “all in on stories.” Got 1100+ upvotes.

June 2017

  • I moved to San Francisco (somehow found a place to live with 3 of my best friends from school, thanks to ZeusLiving). This would be my second summer in SF (Jacob Schein, Ben Trunnel, noahadelstein).

July 2017

  • Wrote this long-form post on IndieHackers about how we scaled Disrupt Cards to $1500/mo. (Thanks Courtland Allen).

August 2017

  • Went on a camping trip to Crater Lake (would recommend).

September 2017

  • Started further exploring my personal happiness and psychology. Started running more often. Cut out parts of my day I was not happy with.

October 2017

  • Published my 600th daily blog post in a row.

November 2017

  • Shiv and I shipped TikTok — a countdown timer that lives in your browser. Got a few hundred users.

December 2017

  • Built a “smart mirror” for my Internet-of-things class with Justin Friedman. Not the prettiest, but it worked.

And…that brings me to today (a few days before the start of the new year).

Thank you for reading. Thank you for an awesome year. I have so many people to be thankful/appreciative of. I am so lucky. Thank you.

I hope you (and your family/friends) have had a healthy, fulfilling year.

I wish you the best in 2018.

If there is anything I can do to help, please reach out.

Best ways to stay connected?

My newsletter and my Twitter.

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