This guy followed his passion, didn’t start a company, yet is banking $200 million

by Jeff Hilimire on February 27, 2012

Choe's Facebook graffiti is about to pay off

Did you hear about this guy, David Choe? He did graffiti work for Facebook on their office walls and instead of getting paid $60,000, he opted to get stock options. In 2005. And now his options are going to be worth around $200 million. (read more)

Does he care? You tell me:

“It’s gonna sound horrible for me to say money is meaningless,” he said. “But everyone’s like: What are you gonna do now, now that you have all this money and freedom? I did everything I wanted to when I had nothing. Everyone’s like: Well, what are you gonna do now? I’m like, I’m still gonna do whatever I want except more people are just gonna bother me now.”

That’s what it’s all about. Do what you love. Sure, maybe you’ll make $200 million, but probably not. But you’ll be so much happier doing what you’re passionate about. Find your passion at work, or find it somewhere else. But don’t delay finding it. Otherwise, what’s the point of life if you’re not having fun?

I get asked a lot why I’m still at Engauge, when I’m obviously still obsessed with startups and entrepreneurship. Truth be told, there have been many reasons I’ve stayed over the last four years, none of which were ever about money, btw. That’s a question I get a lot, do you stay because of some kind of earn-out or something. Nope, there’s never been any earn-out or reason to stay other than I wanted to.

The reason I’m here today and expect to be here for years to come: I love this company. I love trying to figure out how to make it better. I love the people I work with – the execs, the leaders, the badasses, the creatives, the ones that make magic from 1’s and 0’s, all of them.

Could I make more money doing something else? Undoubtedly. But I’ve been around long enough to know that money isn’t what makes me happy.

  • Dave Williams

    Didn’t you already check that box? Nice post. BTW, I totally agree with this sentiment, but at some point you will get that “itch” again to test your new skills. I found that I might be smarter now, but that doing it in your 40s us quite different then your 20s. And, it is different everytime. Basically, I think entrepreneurship is something you never quite figure out. I have a feeling $200mm might actually change some things once he gets it :-)

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