Everyone is talking about the Facebook IPO. There's so many questions that need answered: Who's gonna make money? Who's gonna lose money? Is it really worth $100 billion? How will the public markets react? How many billions of dollars will Dustin Moskovitz, Jim Breyer, Sheryl Sandberg, and Peter Thiel make, collectively? Will Zuckerberg finally be filthy rich enough to buy an island-nation off the coast of South America to incubate and hunt pissed-off Triceratops with a large-caliber, platinum-cased elephant gun? Can $25 billion bring back dinosaurs these days? Patience, people!
In the meantime, here's a really cool story from the New York Times about really, really lucky California graffiti artist who's ready to laugh all the way to the bank with Facebook's IPO. His name is David Choe and he painted the walls of Facebook’s offices in 2005. His payment? Facebook stock, which he felt was “ridiculous and pointless" at the time. So... How much is that going to be worth in the impending IPO?
In 2005, Mr. Choe was invited to paint murals on the walls of Facebook’s first offices in Palo Alto, Calif., by Sean Parker, then Facebook’s president. As pay, Mr. Parker offered Mr. Choe a choice between cash in the “thousands of dollars,” according to several people who know Mr. Choe, or stock then worth about the same.
Mr. Choe, who has said that at the time that he thought the idea of Facebook was “ridiculous and pointless,” nevertheless chose the stock.
Many “advisers” to the company at that time, which is how Mr. Choe would have been classified, would have received about 0.1 to 0.25 percent of the company, according to a former Facebook employee. That may sound like a paltry amount, but a stake that size is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, based on a market value of $100 billion. Mr. Choe’s payment is valued at roughly $200 million, according to a number of people who know Mr. Choe and Facebook executives.
So, what's this $200 million masterpiece look like? Here's some photos of the Facebook office from 2007, via Laughing Squid:
Here's some of Choe's other work. It's pretty cool stuff.