Facebook is currently worth $346.1 Billion. That puts them in the top 5 most valuable companies in the world. Mark Zuckerburg, the CEO and Harvard dropout, is worth a staggering $51.7 billion (Forbes). That puts him at the 6th wealthiest person on the planet. The best part is – he’s only 32 years old. So how could Mark Zuckerberg become a trillionaire?
If you took Mark’s $51.7 Billion and invested it at 10% for 30 years – you would have $902,134,097,301.46. That’s only $100 Billion short of a Trillion! But hey – who’s counting?!
Mark has been the figurehead for the millennial generation, proving that anyone can solve a problem and make BILLIONS while doing it. So why will Mark Zuckerburg become the first trillionaire? Like any great investor, Mark sports a diversified portfolio that’s growing exponentially.
Facebook owns 4 of the most downloaded apps in the App Store:
Facebook, WhatsApp, and Messenger are all used by 1 billion users a month. This number will continue to expand as the Internet becomes ubiquitous. With the launch of internet.org, Zuckerberg has committed to implement global connectivity. Facebook recently launched a solar plane that will provide internet access in remote locations. Apparently, these planes will be able to self-sustain in the air for MONTHS. Check out the video here!
Once Mark provides internet access to the world – he can connect them with his services. Once they’re using his services – he has their data. And most importantly, Zuckerberg is excellent at turning data into profit.
Here’s a brief summary of Facebook’s most valuable assets:
Instagram has grown from 27 million monthly users (when it was purchased) – to 500 million monthly active users. The visually appealing filters and ease of browsing bring in the younger user base that Facebook lacks. Instagram is a catch because of its staggering engagement rates. But, the one aspect of social media Instagram misses out on is sharing (natively). It’s a social media anomaly!
Instagram will undoubtedly implement some sort of sharing to increase the platforms viral capacity down the road. I believe this was one of the smartest tech acquisitions of the decade thus far. Depending which estimates you look at, Facebook purchased Instagram for somewhere between $715 Million – $1 Billion. Experts say it’s worth somewhere north of $37 billion today. Not a bad return on investment for 4 years.
Today, you don’t even need a Facebook account to use Messenger. The transition was highly scrutinized at the time – but ended up being a great long-term strategic move. It positioned Messenger as an all in one communication tool – and a powerful platform on its own. It gives everyone the ability to communicate with friends from all over the world for the very low price of FREE.
As Facebook looked to expand their influence – they needed to look at global markets. Facebook was looking to expand their presence in Europe, Africa, and Asia – and an international messaging platform was the perfect target. The acquisition of WhatsApp was all about DATA – the revenue driver of the 21st century. WhatsApp sends more pictures than Facebook – and that’s an opportunity Zuckerberg couldn’t pass up. People are having ‘private’ conversations on WhatsApp, and talking about topics that are not yet trending. Zuckerburg wants to know what you’re talking about behind closed doors so he can advertise accordingly. WhatsApp was purchased for $21.8 Billion in cash and stock.
Oculus is one of the up and coming virtual reality technologies on the market. Facebook licensed the Oculus software to Samsung – and put their own consumer hardware out as well. If you haven’t looked into virtual reality, the time is NOW. In the next 5 years, it will have an impact on nearly every industry (including education, healthcare, sports, and entertainment, just to name a few). But, don’t be fooled, there are competitors like Sony (Play Station – Project Morpheus) and Microsoft (HoloLens) to give Oculus a run for its money. The Augmented and Virtual Reality industry is expected to hit $150 billion by 2020. Facebook purchased Oculus for a little over $2 billion.
What the Future Holds
There is no doubt that Mark Zuckerburg schemes how he can change the world on a daily basis. He has things up his sleeve that people can’t even fathom. He has the power to accomplish ANYTHING he sets his mind to. And most importantly, he knows that standing still is detrimental in the age of technology.
In interviews, Mark has talked about developing telepathy so that users could send thoughts. This is a topic I’ve been thinking about since high school! When I heard Zuckerburg wanted to send thoughts – I knew he was the one who could get the job done. Communication is the cornerstone of our civilization – and this is the ultimate innovation. It’s a ‘far out’ concept. But in today’s world – far out isn’t as distant as we once thought.
Zuckerburg has created a TON of momentum with Facebook today. Videos go viral in a matter of minutes. Groups, pages, and live video have gained significant influence in 2016 alone. And facial recognition, as well as other software acquisitions, have allowed Facebook to become a well-oiled machine.
Although the platform is strong, Facebook will inevitably need to expand to other industries if they plan on hitting a TRILLION dollars.
When looking for buyouts – Facebook will look to vertically integrate their product offerings by leveraging the data they already have. Here are a few industry acquisitions I could see Facebook making in the next 5 years:
Mark Zuckerburg will become the richest person in the world in the next 30 years – there’s no doubt in my mind. The man controls a large portion of the data we use and see every day. He has created the largest media conglomerate in the world – and doesn’t produce any media. Facebook has changed how we celebrate holidays and mourn losses. It’s altered marketing, communication, presidential elections, and how we consume trending topics. Zuckerberg is the man on a mission to connect the world – and he won’t let us down.
International investment bank Credit Suisse stated in an annual Global Wealth Report that there will be 11 trillionaires within 2 generations. Who do you think will be the first trillionaire? Who do you think will be in the top 10? What companies should Facebook acquire in the next 5 years to help them hit that plateau? Let me know in the comments below!
The average salesman will strike out 9 times out of 10. Dating, although commonly practiced, is most often a waste of time. Why are both these skills difficult to master? These activities take patience and trust from all parties to be successfully completed. People fail to realize that sales and dating have many overlapping principles. Before you create a mutually beneficial relationship with a new client, or “potential partner,” go over these 7 practices to ensure smooth sailing.
Let’s take a look at some of the similarities between the selling and dating processes:
1. Prospecting – Make sure you are setting objectives for your interactions, and qualifications for your leads. Planning out what you’d like to accomplish at the first meeting will only help you in the long run. This is the first step to all sales and dating. Setting objectives will help define your target market, concentrate your efforts, and qualify potential partners. Going for someone outside your comfort zone is a waste of time and money. Nobody has time for that! I frequently find “warm leads” to be the most successful. My friends know what type of person I am and what I’m looking for in a potential partner. Spend time developing quality prospects to enhance your chances of closing each deal.
2. The Approach – Everyone knows that first impressions last a lifetime. Always dress to impress for the first interaction with a potential partner or client. Firm handshakes, eye contact, smiling, and positive body language are all necessities for a successful first impression. This is the first time a potential client will see you, so make sure you are memorable. There are 7 billion people that all blend in; be the one that sticks out!
3. Building Rapport – Gaining trust is the first bridge you’ll cross when looking to create relationships. Finding similar interests can break down invisible barriers, and allow 2 people to connect on a higher level. Failure to find common ground will result in reserved sentiments and mixed vibes. A great starting point is a common connection. If you don’t have a mutual friend, do some research and find out things they’re interested in. The internet is your greatest resource; use it and make building rapport a breeze.
4. Uncovering Needs – This is the turning point in any date or sales presentation. Make sure you’re asking questions to truly understand what your potential partner is looking for. During needs discovery, listening more and talking less pays off. Knowing which leading questions to ask, and when to ask them can enable you to steer the conversation. Remember that everyone you meet has different needs, and no two prospects are identical. There are plenty of “window shoppers” out there. The right questions will easily uncover intentions, and allow you to adjust accordingly.
5. The Pitch – This is the process of matching your company, your products, or yourself to the needs of the potential partner. A great pitch takes an artist who can paint a detailed picture with words. This picture has to show the buyers current
situation, and how their lives will be different with that product. Some people never get past this step, as they’re simply pushing product and not listening to the customer. This is your insurance or auto salesman, as well as your typical frat boy or high school jock. Make sure your pitch is touching on the problems you identified while uncovering needs. Know that your competitive advantage is what makes you different from the competition. If you are tractable and modify your pitch, you’ll meet the prospects needs and be more likely to close the deal.
6. Overcoming Objections – Life wouldn’t be fun if it was easy. Most people will be on edge at this point in the process. Make sure you know potential questions your prospect may ask. Premeditating these questions will help you overcome them with confidence. You may teeter between overcoming objections and closing many times.If you use trial closes throughout, objections will be few and far between. Don’t be too pushy, as doing so could permanently end a potential relationship.
7. The Close – This is by far the most important part of the process. Most sales calls or dates never move further because there’s no ASK. If you’ve made it this far, YOU HAVE TO ASK FOR THE SALE! Many men have lost sleep over not asking for the date, or going for the kiss. Realize you have nothing to lose! The time it takes to get from prospecting to closing will greatly determine the individuals’ customer lifetime value. Someone that comes home with you on the first night typically isn’t there for the long run. On the other hand, a prospect you’ve communicated with often will be more likely to stick around longer. Ask yourself what you’re looking for out of this relationship. If you’re looking for a “quickie” or “shot in the dark” you can take a chance. If a long-term relationship is something of interest, think about how you can completely gain trust before closing the deal.
The morning after can be extremely bittersweet. One party may think “why did I buy this” while the other party is saying “thank god I sold this” (most frequently the girl and guy respectively). Make sure you follow up with ALL future partners to secure a relationship moving forward. Failure to do so will ensure a short customer lifetime value. In sales (and dating), it’s not about how many people buy once, it’s about how many of them come back for more.
There are many differences between selling and dating. This piece was meant to emphasize the similarities ONLY. Think this was too edgy for LinkedIn? What other correlations do you see between the 2 processes? In what ways are dating and selling completely different? Let me know in the comments below!
Written June 2015
Yesterday we left London – 6 days into the trip. Dublin and London have very different ways of life (besides both driving on the wrong side of the road).
Unfortunately, I had forgotten the Eurail train tickets in my car in Boston before the trip. At first, this was expected to be a huge hassle. Working out the logistics with RailEurope was an inconvenience, so we had Jay’s dad over-night the tickets.
Our hostel in Dublin was great; the one in London, not so much. Black mold, sharp mesh, terrible beds, and more. After talking to the manager he decided to give us a full refund. I was very honest with him, and he appreciated our feedback. We shook hands and parted ways peacefully.
A few of our plans have not completely worked out. I guess you have to expect that when leaving for Europe with a passport and backpack. This has reiterated my “Rolling With The Punches” principle.
Tractability is extremely important in life. Being able to adapt change has separated successful people for years. This is not only about being comfortable with change. It’s also about being able to make decisions quickly and confidently.
I’m also noticing a sense of ‘free-willingness’ from many of the Europeans I’m meeting (as well as the other backpackers). Making the best of every situation is a great quality to embrace. It’s easy to freak out when things go wrong.
So the weather sucks and the food isn’t great.
Or we have to walk miles with all our luggage – but WHO CARES?!
We put a smile on, and realize that we are typically our own biggest enemies.
I’ve been trying not to be that ‘business guy’ on the trip, but naturally many concepts are reaffirmed during my travels. I love this cultural aura that’s beginning to penetrate my perspective.
Yesterday we were planning on going to Greece after our tickets arrived. Flights were a little more than $300 – not an expense we wanted to eat this early in the trip.
We decided to fly over to Croatia instead. Amazing scenery and people. The culture here is unlike any other in the world. It’s by far my favorite place (so far). Next stop – Budapest, Prague, and Vienna! Stay tuned.
Written May 2015
Last week I graduated college. Tomorrow I’ll be in Europe. After that, who knows?
For the past week I have been on Cape Cod, reflecting on my college years, and the road ahead. I have turned anxiety of the unsure, into excitement for the future. My whole life I have always known the next step – this brings a new perspective.
My TEDx Talk
finally dropped this week. I’ve received overwhelming support from friends, business associates, and people I haven’t heard from in over 10 years! I’ve received tons of positive reinforcement, but also some great constructive criticism. My performance was far from perfect, and I have a nice list of improvements for future speaking engagements. I believe in every word of that TED Talk
, and hope to share it with the rest of the world.
These next 2 months are about more than just backpacking throughout Europe.
• Meeting new people – locals and backpackers.
• Hearing great stories,
• Eating unique food,
• Soaking up the culture,
And hopefully catching all of it on the GoPro.
The next 12 months are about growing my perspective and learning as much as possible – Europe is just the first step.
Many of these European adventures will shape the man I become. I do not look at this trip as a cost – I look at it as an investment.
Overall the future is bright. The pot is brewing. Something is happening – I just can’t tell what the final product will look like.
All I know is I’m headed in the right direction.
College is the time to become the person you aspire to be. It’s the buffer between childhood and adulthood. It’s the place where you have the opportunity to network, and discover what it is you want to do with your life. So why should every entrepreneur want to be in your shoes?
Corporate executives have a LARGE burden on their shoulders. They have quarterly earnings, board of directors meetings, and an overwhelming number of shareholders they need to satisfy (in order to keep their job at least). Running a corporation, although sometimes glamorous, can have daunting tasks, and can take the fun aspect out of entrepreneurship.
As a 20 something, we have everything going for us. We exist only in this little bubble called college. In college the opportunities arelimitless. The college ‘nest egg’ will allow us to take risks that most CEO’s wouldn’t dare consider. Losses we experience in college are notches on our belts we take with us into the real world. No one reached the top without skinning their knees a few times. Colleges are hubs of resources for students to leverage. The college ecosystem can help buffer growing pains for businesses; you just need to know where to look!
As a student at Florida State, I have been given every opportunity imaginable. The community has been more than supportive, and given me the tools to get my feet off the ground. Here’s 10 commonly subsidized resources that could potentially be provided by your university or town.
- Legal Advice
- Incubator Space
- Grant Opportunities
- Cloud Computing Space
- Competitions for $
- Events and Programming
- Student Organizations
- Community Support Groups
I’ve always said it’s what you do outside the classroom that separates you from your peers. The least you can do is TRY! You will find a whole new world of potential you didn’t know existed. By trying and failing over and over, we can learn from our mistakes and grow our business intelligence. Why doesn’t every college kid start a business? It’s difficult to have a start-up when you’ve been working corporate for 10 years, and have a family to provide for. That’s the time when getting your knees skinned could be devastating. Your college support network is here to bandage you right up. Use the support provided by your university and start today.
This is it! The time is now! We’ve all had those ‘million dollar ideas’. What differentiates you from the millionaire down the street is they took the first step. The first step is by far the hardest, but the one you’ll cherish the most. No one ever attained greatness doing what everyone else does.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” ― Neale Donald Walsch
One of my professor’s insisted I get comfortable with being uncomfortable. The more uncomfortable situations you put yourself in, the more comfortable you get in those situations. By working every day to make sure you’re gaining new experiences, you will acquire a growth mindset over time. My professor’s words have stuck with me, and fundamentally changed the way I have approached risks.
Your unique view on situations is what separates you from everyone else in the room. Look to people who have ‘been there’ for advice (not answers). Build off your catastrophes, and realize that failure is a HUGE part of success. If you strive to be the best you can every day, and develop yourself as a student of the art of entrepreneurship, you will eventually attain your goals. It’s OK to go out and party with your friends, but remember why you came to college in the first place.
Many times we fail to realize that we set our own limits, and no one can truly stop us.The only person holding you back is the person you see in the mirror. The people who want it the most are the ones who are willing to put in the sweat. So be innovative, seize opportunity, embrace failure, and be the change you wish to see in the world.
“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, and others make it happen.” ― Michael Jordan
What resources does your college offer? How can older executives leverage surrounding universities? Let me know in the comments below!