Oh To Be 23
So what we were you doing when you were 23 years old? I barely remember myself. Well that’s not really true. Actually I’d just as soon forget. Were you starting to work, or back in school, or worse, still in school? Its safe to say our perspective on life hadn’t been fully formed yet. Wait, perspective? What was that?!
And for those of you not far removed from the aforementioned 23, please stop the snide ‘I am so cool’ and ‘you’re not hip anymore old man’ remarks. I know I ‘totally don’t get you’ and ‘like, I do not want to man.’ I am just jealous of you’re ability to forget pertinent things, recover quickly from almost anything and watch South Park without waiting to be alone. In fact, I just wanna sleep in like I was 23 again. But I digress….
Now where was I. Oh, yeah, I’ve been trying to get us all to summon our inner 23rd year. At this point I’m certain of only a few things in life – one….I don’t have a Facebook account (Turco impostors busted), two….my dad doesn’t know what Snapchat is, and three….as in $3 billion…..was the number turned down by the 23-year-old Snapchat CEO from Facebook in an attempt to purchase the app for the second time. I will repeat, Facebook offered $3 billion to buy Snapchat, and cool as a cucumber, Evan Spiegel said no thanks. For the second time.
That’s as cocky as Muhammad Ali in his prime. That’s as ballsy as TO celebrating a Niner’s touchdown on the Texas Stadium star. That’s like dad throwing teen Marty the keys to the Mustang and nodding approval for a spin and me turning it down.
Obviously there is more to it for young Mr. Spiegel.
Perhaps the Facebook task force in charge of said offer was sent via a Snapchat account, and it went something like this: “We, Facebook, tender the offer of $3,000,000,000 to Snapchat for purchase of your company……” one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi…boom, poof, gonzo….. WTF? Wait come back! Ha! Well probably not.
Or, more likely, the economic team around Evan has informed him about the current value of their technology and pending offers from other suitors. Speaking of team, what if you worked for Snapchat, had equity in the company and had heard the diss. Let’s say, you had a meager 0.5 %. That’s 15 million in bluffing chips. At what point do you pour hot coffee on your boss? I was thinking more of Jerseying the hoodie-wearing head honcho while only throwing pillow upper cuts hoping the kid would get the message. But seriously, can you imagine at that tender age possibly refusing that kind of offer? It’s crazy to fathom.
At 23 I was in my first pro year living in Kalamazoo Michigan. I’d just finished 4 years of college, was starting to collect a check (and a bonus, fooled ‘em!) and felt pretty solid about myself. I was living the dream, but Evan Spiegel is playing Texas hold‘em with 4 aces in hand. Apparently he has tiger blood and is winning.
Speaking of hold‘em, I was curious of other epic 23-year-olds. For instance, the recent World Series of Poker champion, Ryan Reiss, just collected $8.4 million for his triumph. By his account, the tournament was a foregone conclusion. This 23-year-old was quoted after the win as saying, “I Just think I’m the best player in the world.” Well he has 8.4 million reasons to think so. It’s good to be young. Hopefully he’s not a Billy Joel fan.
But maybe he is a Taylor Swift fan. This fellow 23-year-old has taken the music world over. Her cross over appeal rivals her ability to verbalize and monetize her now famous heartaches. Need proof? Um, nine number 1’s, seven Grammies, she’s worth $220 million and has 36.7 million twitter followers. And as of this week, she donned the runway with Victoria’s Secret models. Snapchat that!
I would be remiss to not mention some old colleagues (I use that term loosely) who made quite an impression at the ripe ‘ol age of 23. Wayne Gretzky scored 73 goals and 208 points and was an unreal plus 98 for the season (that’s my fav stat). Mario Lemieux potted 85 goals and collected 199 points in his 23rd year on Earth. I had 24 wins in the IHL when I was 23. I was a late bloomer ok?
Now where was I? Oh yeah, the thought of turning down $3 billion for anything is crazy. But I do believe that the latest generation is capable of just about anything. In some ways I feel sorry for them. But mostly I’m excited for them and jealous of them. What they lack in respect, they make up for with intelligence. Our world will be a better place with them in charge.
A scary thought? Maybe.
And take no offense current 23-year-olds, but I cannot wait to see what the millennium babies have in store for us in ten years. Before you know it the decade will go by and Taylor Swift gets married and stops making music. The World Series of Poker kid-division goes live from Disney World. My advice – take a mental picture that lasts longer than 3 seconds.
My final thought: A quick superficial 3-second picture app…..$3 billion. Making history…… priceless.