Snapchat made headlines last week after rejecting multiple multi-billion-dollar, all-cash acquisition offers from Facebook, Google, and Tencent.
The news sparked a great deal of conversation in the tech/startup/venture communities. It was apparent that people weren’t sure who was more out of their minds: Snapchat, for turning down the offers, or the suitors, for making the offers.
But the biggest question on my mind was what Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Eric Schmidt, and China’s giant, Tencent, saw in Snapchat that I, and seemingly the majority of the world, were largely oblivious to. Far be it from me to peg my own intelligence or perspective above theirs — so where did they see billions where I didn’t?
Then, moments after I’d fired off a few Snapchats to some friends, it hit me…
Here’s why $3-4B actually undervalues Snapchat:
Dear Kollaboration Staff,
Thank you all so much for the show you put on last night, and for the broader mission that you all serve.
I imagine at how difficult it must be to create and deliver a good, large-scale, 3-hour production on a shoe-string budget, with a team of non-professional volunteers, while working a full-time job and keeping your own lives in order, trying to deliver on the hopeful expectations of sponsors, staff, donors, potential donors, attendees, performers, friends, family, and, oh, also the entire Asian-American community…and all I have to say at the end of that is “thank you.” Regardless of how good or how bad any show past, present, or future, went or goes, thank you for how much you fight to create opportunity for Asian-Americans.
There were several moments throughout the night that spoke to me deeply, and I wanted to share about a few of them, to your encouragement.
Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference. Don’t allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It’s there for your convenience, not the callers. Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is. Don’t burn bridges. You’ll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river. Don’t forget, a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated. Don’t major in minor things. Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Helen Keller, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Learn to say no politely and quickly. Don’t use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved. Don’t waste time grieving over past mistakes Learn from them and move on. Every person needs to have their moment in the sun, when they raise their arms in victory, knowing that on this day, at his hour, they were at their very best. Get your priorities straight. No one ever said on his death bed, ‘Gee, if I’d only spent more time at the office’. Give people a second chance, but not a third. Judge your success by the degree that you’re enjoying peace, health and love. Learn to listen. Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly. Leave everything a little better than you found it. Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation. Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life and death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems. Never cut what can be untied. Never overestimate your power to change others. Never underestimate your power to change yourself. Remember that overnight success usually takes about fifteen years. Remember that winners do what losers don’t want to do. Seek opportunity, not security. A boat in harbor is safe, but in time its bottom will rot out. Spend less time worrying who’s right, more time deciding what’s right. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life. Success is getting what you want. Happiness is liking what you get. The importance of winning is not what we get from it, but what we become because of it. When facing a difficult task, act as though it’s impossible to fail.