19 billion dollars
Just take a minute and think at this number. Can you grasp it? Do you have something to compare it with?
Now think that someone was willing to pay this amount to buy something. And because the purpose was a commercial one, that someone is expecting this investment will return that money and much more. Do you imagine yourself being a part of this transaction (not dreaming of it, but instrument it)?
This can very well be news from a parallel universe, because it’s not (or it shouldn’t be) of concern for the startupers around the world. It’s not a good pro-startup argument, because they are not the standard, but just an exception. A very exaggerated, grown out of proportion, news sweetheart. Just an exception. Think of how many unthinkable-amount transactions of this kind were made in the last year. Was it more than one? Maybe two or three? Now think of how many startups were born in this time. Couple of hundred thousands? You can go a step further and think at how many of those startups are already dead.
You have to focus on more tangible realities. You don’t want to build the next 1 trillion company, because you’ll have greater chances to win the lottery (ten times in a row).
Take smaller steps. Think numbers you can comprehend. Iterate.
P.S. If you’re wondering about the transaction details:
Facebook said it will pay WhatsApp $4 billion in cash and $12 billion in stock. WhatsApp’s founders and staff will be eligible for for another $3 billion in stock grants to be paid out if they remain employed by Facebook for four years. Koum will also join Facebook’s board of directors.