The New York Times ran an article on their website the other day where they talked about Max Levchin, the Founder of PayPal (and the guy who eventually sold it to eBay). Needless to say, Levchin is filthy rich – the kind of rich that the rest of us only dream about. But the point of this article is an interesting one; the New York Times postulates that Levchin, and other young tech-millionaires like him, may be bored. How bored? So bored that they are starting new business and new ventures – in essence, they are in competition against themselves and against each other to hit the next big thing.
I found this to be very interesting. My roommate and I had a discussion the other day about how money does and does not buy happiness. You would think that these guys who have so much money that they no longer need to think about working would be floating on an island somewhere. At the very least, you would think that they are in a low-impact position at some global corporation like Google or Microsoft. Turns out that they’re not – they’re out there trying to make the next Facebook or MySpace.
For my part, I know what I would do if I ever hit it rich. I’d pay off my debts (and my family’s debts, of course) and then I’d set up an annuity or a trust fund that generated about $100,000 annually in interest (I’m assuming that I REALLY hit it rich). After that, I’d give the rest away. Seriously – what’s the point in sitting on tens of millions or hundreds of millions of dollars? Why not go to your local high school or your alma mater and give each graduating senior a free college education? Or go to the local senior center and give them the state of the art amenities.
I just think that there are better things to do with millions and billions of dollars than just sit on them. Hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to prove that one day – but not quite yet! Anyway, the article is a good read – I suggest it if you have some spare time.