Episode 1: How Nerdy Of An Answer Do You Want? (feat. Sam Soffes) – The Design Details Podcast

The first episode of Design Details has arrived! For our opening show, we sat down with designer and developer Sam Soffes to talk about his latest project (Whiskey), building in public, brag-driven development and his interest in working as a designer.

This is our first episode and we’re learning a lot! We’d love your feedback or suggestions – give a shout on Twitter, @designdetailsfm or send us a private email!

Sam Soffes on the Web:

Website / Portfolio




Nothing Magical

Whiskey Markdown Editor

Sam’s Blog

Sam’s Video Podcast

More About Sam

Hire Sam

Show Notes:

1:35 – We chat with Sam about his latest labor of love, Whiskey.

Tim Van Damme of Dropbox designed a theme

Sam is building Whiskey in public via feedback on Twitter and with public release notes

3:57 – Are there any downsides to building a side project in public?

4:27 – How do you stay motivated to keep working on side projects and client work?

6:30 – We talk about some of Sam’s older projects.

Cheddar (which we compared to Whiteboard)


7:50 – Discussion about the difficulty selling apps, including Cheddar and Roon


Ghost Acquires Roon

Roon’s open-source Ghost theme

11:15 – How do you balance freelancing with clients and building your own side projects?

Nothing Magical

12:10 – We dive a bit deeper into the challenges of building Whiskey – what’s your product philosophy?

iA Writer

18:45 – Sam shares a brilliant product development hack.

Example of the changelog process

22:33 – What does it take to design a text/markdown editor?

Whiskey App Icon on Dribbble

Louie Mantia

26:05 – Sam has built several photo apps; we dive into the process.


Kevin Rose

Marc Hemeon

Marc Hemeon’s blog post on Building Tiiny

A screenshot of Tiiny’s onboarding instructions

Sam on Github


Aaron Marshall

37:40 – We chat about Sam’s motorcycle trip through South Africa

Sam’s public photostream

Sam’s Instagram

Aaron Marshall on Instagram

43:52 – Dan Cassaro for Deus

44:01 – Sam tells us about designing an onboarding experience in Litely


Litely was named one of Apple’s Best Apps of 2014

48:35 – Should you develop an app for equity over cash?

50:50 – Sam talks about his move from development to design. Can taste be learned?

Aaron Draplin Takes On a Logo Design Challenge

57:27 – We briefly chat about prototyping and the tools Sam uses.


Sublime Text