Amar Sagoo

1 August 2023

Goodbye, Google. Hello, World!

When I joined Google in 2011, it felt like I was realising a dream. I had been working primarily as a software engineer, with my design activities limited to an unofficial portion of my job and to personal projects in my spare time. Google provided an opportunity to be a full-time interaction designer working with very clever people on widely used products, in a fairytale-like work environment.

But time changes things, including your perspective. In the last 12 years, Google got a lot bigger, making it a very different place to operate in. Also, not everything may turn out like in your dream – for instance, my field (UX) hasn’t developed into the rigorous, science-based discipline I had hoped it would. And, perhaps most significantly, I got to know myself better, learning what I enjoy and what frustrates or stresses me. So a new dream began to form.

Last year I started tinkering on some of my old apps again – Tofu and Licensed. It was partly this which made me realise just how much I enjoy being more in control of how I spend my time, which problems to work on and how to solve them.

So I’ve decided to quit my job, with the goal of being independent and focusing on my own projects as much as possible. I’m also interested in helping others achieve better design, for example through writing and consulting. In any case, over the coming months and years, I want to create new apps that you will hopefully love. (Sign up to my mailing list to find out when I release something new, and follow me on Twitter/X for more frequent updates.)

As part of becoming an independent software maker, my future releases will include paid products. However, I fully intend to carry on offering some of my software for free. If you enjoy my free apps and would like to support me, I now accept donations.

For most of the things I learned about myself in recent years, I’ve come to realise they were actually in plain sight all along. I absolutely loved making my own software when I started out 25 years ago (anyone remember people book?). I think it’s time to act on what my 18-year-old self apparently already knew.

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