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13TH March 2013
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Yahoo offers a Billion: WWYD?
Yes, Marissa Mayer is out there honing her strategy for a next move, and lots of buzz is around Mobile Ad-Tech. I’m quite keen to those developments, because of my activity in the space… you might say.
But before her time, Yahoo made an offer that prompted one of the best “What Would you Do” conversations of our generation. I caught the gist of it at during Peter Thiel’s talk at SXSW, but Inc. does a better job of describing it here:
…Facebook was just two years old. It was a college site with roughly eight or nine million people on it. And, though it was making $30 million in revenue, it was not profitable. “And we received an acquisition offer from Yahoo for $1 billion,” Thiel said.
“Both Briar and myself on balance thought we probably should take the money,” recalled Thiel. “But Zuckerberg started the meeting like, ‘This is kind of a formality, just a quick board meeting, it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. We’re obviously not going to sell here’.”
At the time, Zuckerberg was 22 years old.
Thiel said he remembered saying, “We should probably talk about this. A billion dollars is a lot of money.” They hashed out the conversation. Thiel said he and Breyer pointed out: “You own 25 percent. There’s so much you could do with the money.”Thiel recalled Zuckerberg said, in a nutshell: “I don’t know what I could do with the money. I’d just start another social networking site. I kind of like the one I already have.”
Now for the What Would You Do part- a/k/a- WWYD.
If I were Mark Zuckerberg, I would have done the same. His talent is towering, his vision is far reaching. I would also say his youth might lead some to say he didn’t know what he didn’t know, but Zuckerberg probably did know. He had one great idea, and the likelihood of having another of such epic scale and impact was remote. He knew that lucky and good are not the same thing, and the former rarely strikes twice. He was, and is, part of an asset light generation that I have written about before.
But, I am not Mark Zuckerberg. Not even close.
I am not a sole founder (um, was Zuck?) and I would not imagine to be able to run something myself without the great work of those talented people around me. I might have other ideas I’d like to back, and more entrepreneurs I’d like to work with. I also deeply respect the stakes held by each of my shareholders, and would give due consideration to what they may want as well. Everyone has a number. And working for Yahoo, especially the new Yahoo, might be quite interesting. I may have hit the bid, not being Zuck.
But most of all, I love the fact that it was a ten minute Board meeting, or he thought it should be!
By the way, What would you do?
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