No, I'm not asking for your phone number.
I'm asking for how much you think your company is worth.
Nick Bilton writing for the New York Times:
A few weeks ago, over dinner with half a dozen entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, the question came up again. The table, which included a few people already worth more than $100 million, went quiet. One man in his late 30s twirled the stem of his wine glass as he thought. Then he tipped back his head, downed his pinot noir and said, “one billion,” his glass landing back on the table with a thud. “That’s it. That’s my number. One billion dollars.”
Over at Snapchat, Mr. Spiegel, who is 23, apparently thought $3 billion was not enough for a company that, as yet, does not turn a dime of profit. But here’s another question: When is your number big enough? The most expensive homes in the Bay Area top out at around $30 million. Pick up a few fancy cars at $100,000 a pop. Throw in a Bentley for $175,000, a weekend place in Sonoma for $5 million, a modest pied-à-terre in Manhattan for around $5 million — fine, make it $10 million. And a top-of-the-line private jet for around $50 million. With expenses, taxes and what not, you’re barely past $100 million.
$100 million put into an accessible savings account in a Canadian banking institution, compounded monthly and yielding a 1% return, would generate $1 million in interest revenue per year. And you would earn that interest by waking up in the morning.
Or you could negotiate for an amount greater than $3 billion, like Mr. Spiegel, and you might need to hire someone to spend your money for you.
In all seriousness, $19 billion is mind-bending. As Nick correctly points out, many new startups will use this acquisition to inflate their own values.
At what point does that value plateau?
Our industry has reached a chilling point where the biggest players are so big, with so much cash, so much to lose, and effectively zero regulation, that they can simply buy anyone who threatens their dominance.
There is a bubble being created here. At some point it has to pop. When we talk "billions" instead of "millions", the stakes grow that much larger.