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I'm forty today.

A weird feeling as so many people think about being forty as a really big deal in your life, that only probably makes it a big deal for anyone.

A good moment to take a step back and look at your own life. Can't help to think I'm hoping it's half of my life, I lost my father from a cancer when he was 53 so it wasn't half for him, I can't celebrate today without thinking about missing him and also my sister that died in her thirties also from cancer and some remaining complications of a huge car accident she encountered when she was little kid.

Having those thoughts I feel actually even happier and fortunate that I'm having such a good life. I have  a wonderful family that I love and loves me. Being 40 and having already three teenagers is fantastic. That's how I chose to spend this day, this week, with them and my wife Geraldine. I kite surfed, played cards and spend the day yesterday pretty much hugging them and playing with them, same program today. 

I'm fortunate to have so many great friends, too. Offline and online, close and not close. People say generally you make your closest friends for life around your college years, it's true for me but our move to San Francisco 5 years ago definitely changed me a great deal. I used to interact 90% of the time in French with french friends or connections and now it's the opposite, I'm mostly in an english or international environment all day long. That doesn't make me less french, or maybe it does, but it clearly changed me.

"You're defined by who your friends are" told me once Yossi Vardi.

If that is true then I feel very accomplished by having incredible friends around the World. I enjoy quality close relationships with few friends (that some tend to be on Path, which is great) but I could not leave without my broader online/offline friendship. I have extraordinary real life friends and I'm learning from them every day. Joichi Ito taught me blogging and social networking in 2003 and changed my life, I learned to live with many online friends every day and some of them I met and became really close with. I can't live without my online friends even though it's a weird feeling of course, I have about 90k followers on Twitter, 150k on Facebook and 1m+ on Google+ (but I was featured there so that number is artificial) that's plenty to interact with. Definitely frustrating too, in a way, I'd like to meet them, and so many of you that I have never met helped me so much. Thank you. 

It's five years this summer we moved to Silicon Valley.

When we moved we were wondering if it was something temporary for a few years and back to France. We're definitely in Silicon Valley for the long run and got permanent residence with our green cards, we feel more and more attached to the brilliant and vibrant entrepreneurial community that happens no where else in the World. New York is tempting us, though, we might try to live there someday but no short plans. While I still feel very european and french in the way I think, I feel more and more american in the way I work. Faster, more focused on being efficient. I don't mind a two hour lunch from time to time though. No I won't get here into the Europe versus Silicon Valley debate, I love you european friends and yes you're doing fantastic, entrepreneurship is great in europe too and so on. I just feel the energy, ambition and general atmosphere in Silicon Valley feels better for me and is a great environment for my teenagers to be inspired.

Phil Libin of Evernote came to brunch at my house recently and was surrounded by my boys asking him about his incredible success with Evernote. Now they want to do the same. Ask them and they will tell you they want to be entrepreneurs and build something great. Just that is an accomplishment for me. I don't think everyone should be an entrepreneur but I think my boys should be, or at least be inspired by being entrepreneurs in anything they do, should they choose a different life than technology startups, which would be fine, of course. 

I feel very happy and fortunate.

I have not always succeeded and it's not surprising, I have succeeded enough to feel happy. 2012 treats me great so far as we took risks to launch LeWeb in London and I think we were very successful in our first non Paris based event with 1400 participants from 50 countries, wow. I have been struggling with Seesmic for 5 years, pivoting 4 times and not reaching success yet, still trying hard (we just killed a bunch of products to focus on one, Seesmic Ping and monetized it with hundreds of happy paid customers already and a nice growth). A big change.

Success doesn't come where you expect it most of the times. It's unrelated to how hard you try to focus your efforts and your time on something. I have spent 95% of my time the last five years on Seesmic and 5% on LeWeb. Seesmic hasn't been what I have hoped for (even though I'm still trying hard) while LeWeb has become a true international brand and a profitable business without me doing much more than inviting speakers. Big lesson here. I thank my wife Geraldine for LeWeb's success and blame myself for not having been able to make Seesmic what I had in mind. I still have good hopes we can make it something good, growing and profitable. Time will tell and I don't give up, even if sometimes I actually should. I will have to write more about the pivots, I have been thinking a great deal about them and what happened next. I think we had a lot of head wind, to take a sailing image. I have a great team and I'm thankful my business partner Bastien Vidal and my team (past and present) went through so many challenges with me.

What's next? 

I want to keep focusing on my sons being successful, that's a very important one for me. I love creating products (we just did that again with Seesmic) and growing LeWeb is a daily source of happiness, especially as it became a real platform of success. There is rarely a week without a LeWeb participant or partnering telling me that thanks to LeWeb they had a business idea, started one, raised funding, did a major partnership or sold their company. Helping others being successful is the best feeling ever. 

Thank you, all, for being such fantastic friends and inspiring me so much.
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81 comments
 
Great honest post. Wishing you a very Happy Birthday. 
 
+Loic Le Meur you are such a beautiful person, so inspiring!! Congratulations on your 40th B-Day.

Warmest wishes for another incredible 40 years filled with excellent health, more wisdom, family, and success! :)

Grow LeWeb into something better than SXSW, which has become big, chaotic tweet up. We need high quality conferences / communities with rich signal, low noise (think tank quality). Personally, I'd ditch the API client biz and focus on LeWeb. Just my 2 cents.
 
happy BD enjoy your life dont think about age
 
Happy Birthday Loic! Many thanks for sharing your deeper life, which often in our world we don't dare to open up. If we don't others can't have a clue why we act as we act in life. Once the story is out that is the moment of authenticity.

Thanks again for sharing, enjoy your day, and the time coming with your beloved, friends, colleagues, and the ones you don't know of yet.
 
Thanks for your shearing, and best wishes to you and your son.
 
Happy birthday Loic, I turned 40 very few years ago and it is a real turn in life. Thank you also for LeWeb I followed from 2d to 5th edition and gave me a real kick as entrepreneur.
Be happy with your familly, the most important thing in your life
 
J'ai passé moi aussi le cap au début du mois. Je compatis ;-)
Bon anniversaire.
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i have yet to be fourty 29 years away but good luck
 
Happy BD - keep on trucking - off to see Bruce Springsteen in London's Hyde Park!!!
 
Happy Birthday +Loic Le Meur , for me my 40's have been by far the best time of my life, don't sweat it :-)
 
Good for you. I am 53 today.
The same day the French Republic was born also, she is even older :-)
 
Dear +Loic Le Meur ,

I really enjoy reading about your life story. I am amazed and really happy to read this and again find a great personality. One who charishes the life and what God has given him. The true values and not only the material happiness. In arabic I would say mash'Allah and may God protect you for careing so much about your wife and sons, too.

I kind of look up to how you talk and what you achieved to get motivation for my own career and life. I am 35 now and in some cases feel similar to you concerning the different struggles. And yes, I do agree that most succcess doesn't come as a reward for what you invest most hardship in. Strange but true.

I live in Berlin, Germany. I myself am German-American and was living in great New York City for a couple of years myself, so I feel your compassion for the entrepreneurial feeling in the US. It surely is not the same compared to the US.

Anyway, I am really happy to know you online and maybe even meet a person like you someday. Until then I wish you the best in life and of course health in this life.

Keep doing what you are doing because I am pretty sure most of it is the right thing. And...ach ja...dont change our personality.

blessnx~
TaugenX
 
Happy Birthday Loic, I wish you the best, especially a healthy body.
 
Happy 40's , Loic everything is fine now ))
 
Joyeux anniversaire :-) et continue comme ça, merci pour toutes ces années de blogging etc...
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Some say that life begins at 40. Happy birthday. :-) 
 
I am 40+6months, it is really weird, to people life is still ahead, but to us, life ahead can be a lot less than the life we lived.
 
Happy too and be inspired by your stories. Go go and make it special.
 
Dear Loic,  Forty was quite sporty for me, I received my Master's Degree in my forties.  My Fifties are quite nifty for I hope to achieve my Doctorate.  Also in my fifties, I have struck out on my own and started a brand new business.  I don't look back only forward and, personally, I love to see how well my son has pulled himself together.  All that time you get to spend with your sons is more profitable than any business project.  For me, it is my reward.  So looking forward, your greatest profits and rewards are yet to come!  I haven't yet decided what great words will rhyme with sixties, seventies, eighties or even nineties.  But I am sure that they will be ........hmmm!  

Enjoy your forties, fifties....... and welcome to the over the hill club.  I take that back---Welcome to the still climbing the hill club because the best is yet to come!  Happy Birthday!
 
I felt like this at 40, nothing changed, life went on... now I'm in my 50's, things change, you notice the tell-tale signs of old age creeping up. Enjoy your 40's, it'll be gone in the blink of an eye! :)
 
Happy Birthday. I'll hit 41 on Monday.
 
Happy Birthday and great post! I love Seemic - it's my favourite Twitter app (on Android and iOS!).
 
Bienvenue dans le club de ceux qui sont à la moitié .... texte émouvant et touchant ... ici en France c est bien morose, profites bien de la Silicon et bonne chance pour la suite de tes aventures
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Bon anniversaire +Loic Le Meur . 40 is a great age. Where you learned lessons from your 30s and can achieve great things. I believe it's particularly true in your case. Wish you to continue this way and wish your sons to be as successful as you want them to be ( or they want to be, or both, whichever is higher :) ).
 
Happy 40th birthday, hope you have a good day
 
Thankyou so much for sharing so openly, Loic. I am sure that you are an inspiration to many. Happy 40th!
 
4 decades! whoa! congrats and enjoy life dude!
 
Have a better than bless one!  Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy!!!
 
 Life is the light of a burned match in a long and dark night .so do the best With it  while the little match is lightening.
 
Feliz Cumpleaños Loic!
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Happy Birthday :)
 
Happy birthday Loïc. I will be turning 40 in a few weeks soni will try to step back as well. Interesting milestone in our lives. How much it means is really up to us I guess. It was great to read about your life and choices. Also enjoyed attending LeWeb London a few weeks ago so thanks for creating that experience for all of us.
 
Happy birthday, good thoughts, best wishes.
 
Happy Birthday,you deserve all you‘v got.
 
Happy Birthday Loic. I wish you many more wonderful birthdays.
 
+Loic Le Meur  I shared your post and responded, but I forgot to tell you that I am now reading research that says the hormones and enzymes that are released when people are angry and repressed contribute to the inflammations that cause cell change and cancer. Keep being happy and grateful and it will inevitably keep you healthier:-)
 
Many many happy returns of the day.
 
Malgré le rang social que l'on occupe, on est relativement égaux devant l'horloge qui tourne... Le temps s'écoule inexorablement pour le monde, c'est nous qui influons sur la vitesse qu'il prend!!!
Alors profitons de chaque seconde et bon anniversaire...
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Lol happy 40th. Wait till you turn 60. He he
 
Nice post! I Iike your line that you have "succeeded enough to be happy". Is the inverse true- you have to be happy enough to succeed? Or do other emotions motivate people more?
 
Happy birthday! I enjoyed you post. 
 
All the best Loic, I wish you a brilliant day and many years to come ! 
 
Bonne Fete - hope you have a fantastic day.  Welcome to the 40's club :)
 
On se bonifie avec l'age / we get better with age ! Bon anniversaire / happy birthday !
 
+Loic Le Meur  Congrats and happy birthday again! I know such a judgement of our own life is becoming forty :-) in Italy we say "Life begins at 40" and I feel myself as an evidence of this theory (and now I'm 53...).
Anyway I've been captured by your phrase "French in the way I think and American in  the way I work"; I think that's could be the perfect approach to our future economy, while we survive this dramatic situation ;-) working with international partners, everyday I experience how different cultures and ways of life can merge to make a better World for our children. 
 
happy birthday are you from britany (your parents) ?
 
40 ans c'est pas bien grave, le plus difficile c'est 41 ans non seulement tu es plus vieux mais en plus tu ne peux meme pas faire une grosse fete...
Forty is not a big deal, 41 is the worst age, because you are older AND you cant make a big party...
 
I turned 55 in April and my fourties and fifties are the best in my whole life! When I was "younger" I was unhappy, timid, with all kind of problems...Now I' m younger than ever! And finaly I found piece in myself.
 
Ok, I'm a bit late. 14th of July? What a great date. Celebrating all over France, fireworks and so forth. Clever boy! Have good 40s.
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