Oh god. It’s true. I’m 30.

My mother is here in NY. We’re in my west village balcony, talking about how the hell I became 30 (and she is 50).

She is laughing at how a little boy that came from a family from Dimona (south of Israel) loved to negotiate, numbers and to socialize.

So stories tell … that

When I was 6 my parents brought me a Piano teacher so there is a chance I’ll be something when I grow up. After 2 lessons, I was so painfully suffering, I realized the only way to get out of it was to break my hand. So I did.

I was babysitting my little brother when I was 7 for money. Otherwise, no deal.

I was tutoring my own math teacher’s daughter for money. Otherwise, no deal.

When I was 10, I negotiated a deal with my mother where to educate me on how to appreciate their money – every time I wanted something we would split it 50/50. My parents were to put 50% of whatever it is I desired, and I would put the other 50%. On paper, as I was also involved, I could not have asked for things I didn’t really wanted, and if I did, my folks could act as a good VC  to support it (50% on my CAP Table !).

My grandmother, who is an amazing woman, at the age of 12 realized that it didn’t make sense to keep asking me “what did I want” for my birthday as I wanted things that were just out of range. Telescope, a computer, and computer games. Granted, I was a serious geek, but an expensive one.

Later I was fortunate to have met amazing people from all different realms that I learned a lot from, and in a very (very) diversified fashion.

From my first neighbor Lee Geva who became my first real friend since I was 5 or so (who also introduced me later on to my very first crush Adva Ofir, she was the only girl with boobs at the time; I must have been 11 : – )), to the top night-life-business guy in Tel-Aviv Nisan Larido who I figured was the most charismatic person I’ve met who’ve also mastered making people around him feel good about themselves for who they are. Something I didn’t see again up until today ..to top basketball player Ido Shay who we played together in a team for 6 years, and also taught me about eating Humus…to people that showed me why loving life is what it is all about Nir Porat…. to Ofir Perets who become my 2nd brother over Officers Academy where I was able to get him out of the field and do some paper work in the AC (so he liked me), To Monis and Yoav who we started our first ‘venture’ together 24Go.com, something about text messages. It wasn’t live more than a few moments but we enjoyed it … to the guy who got me in a business meeting and had me speak in English for the first time Shay Goldberg.. to Ruthy Goldberg who aside from being such a great friend starting the army years, and the smartest lady I knew, was also in charge of me becoming remotely close to graduating Math and Computer Science under-grade … to Romeo my loved dog for 15 years, to Pilberg (AKA 800) who introduced me to inhuman brain and what it can really do (he is the first guy to use 90% of his brain versus the rest of us)… to Danny Tocatly who gave me the biggest opportunity of all – to do Taboola when I was 26, and is what entrepreneurs refer to as “angel” (he also introduced me to Epicure 2, before that I smoked $2 cigars)… To Lior Golan, the guy who sold a company for 145 million dollars, rested for a year, met me for burger in Tel-Aviv, had me pay of course, and then decided to take a gamble on me and join as Taboola CTO… the guy can’t hold his liquor unfortunately but he is a great guy… To Itzik Ben Bassat who was my first blind-date in NY when I moved in through an intro from Mr. Resnick, a good Sequoia VC friend. Itzik showed me you can actually do work 15 hours a day, have a life, be a family person, and enjoy the city…to Victoria Monsul who I’ve met in a very odd way, but became the lady I love waking up next to every day here in NY in our west village apartment. She is amazing.

I’m sure I’m missing wonderful people, but it was nice to go down the memory lane for a second after 30 years.

So after 30 people what do I think I know?

Aside from me being rather obnoxious as a kid dealing with how to earn a penny —  It’s all about the people you spend your time with that really matters in my humble 30 years experience opinion.

From the people you call friends, your family, to the lady you share your day with, to the people you’re building the biggest recommendation engine on the planet who I call Taboolars. People make it different. At least for me.

Thanks for the birthday wishes guys.

In Israel, I’m already 30, here in NY we’re 7 hours away.

Oh god it’s true, I’m 30.

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