David Choe is a multi-millionaire who made a fortune because he said yes to an offer most people would’ve turned down.
In a way, you could call him a (very, very) early Facebook adopter.
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David Choe was an accomplished graffiti artist from Los Angeles when a company he’d never heard of, called ‘Facebook’, got in touch with him.
It was 2005, and Facebook, back then it was still called ‘The Facebook’, was trying to compete with MySpace.
In an episode of CNBC’s The Filthy Rich Guide, he explained how Facebook’s wanted to revamp the company’s HQ in Silicon Valley with some murals.
Napster founder Sean Parker, who was running Facebook with Mark Zuckerberg at the time, knew of Choe and asked him to paint pretty much the entire building.
Choe agreed to paint the entire building for $60,000, which was a good chunk of money back then.
Then two totally amazing and wild things happened.
First, Parker said the company was prepared to pay him $60,000 in cash or Facebook stock.
Which must’ve sounded mad at the time because Facebook was a small two-bit start up in 2005.
Second, Choe opted to be paid in stock options.
When Facebook went public in 2012, at $38 a share, Choe became a multi-millionaire overnight.
His stock options were worth $200 million.
After selling most of his Facebook stock, Choe kept focusing on his art, and he also launched a podcast.
For the record, the price of Facebook stock has never stopped growing despite the company’s botched attempt (at least for now) at rebranding to Meta.
Today, it is valued at $350 per share.
So, if he hadn’t sold, Choe would now be a billionaire.
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