Thursday, February 02, 2012

David Choe Is Getting $200M From Facebook



When Facebook wanted some graffiti art for its walls seven years ago, they hired David Choe. At the time he was still relatively unknown. Today he is huge. Back then, the company offered to pay him a few thousand dollars for his work or take Facebook shares. Choe thought the company was ridiculous but took the shares. Now he is set to make $200M for his decision. That is some crazy money. He is really, really good, but $200M? To his credit, Choe will not talk about his shares and will only talk about his work.

22 comments:

Vicki Cupper said...

Good for him on both counts.

That's some badass art.

kltx said...

Here's to wishing it was me.

MM said...

Sounds like he made the right choice!

annabella said...

I know that this is just the first of the many stories about people who are getting rich, richer and crazy richer off of facebook stock.

sigh....

there was a story yesterday about zuckerberg's harvard roommate who didn't leave school to join facebook.

our society finds these stories so fascinating.

califblondy said...

Sometimes a leap pays off, but most of the time it's a big splat at the bottom of the cliff.

When I heard this story on the news today they said "the guy who painted the walls" and I pictured a painting contractor. I didn't realize it was an artist.

I hope they all enjoy their zillions.

yourfaceisamess said...

ugh. i wonder if he can lend me the measly $1K for my past due power bill. TURN OFF NOTICE PARTY AT MY PLACE. That is only .0000005% of his $200 million.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

The money he makes from his stocks have nothing to do with his artistic ability. Quite the leap there.

RocketQueen said...

I'm with califblondy.

I work in corporate finance and have been given shares in the companies of our clients over the last 12 years where we agreed to take them as partial payment. I think it's only paid off for me 3 times - and always for less than 10k. But I keep hoping! Good for him :)

AndrewBW said...

Shoot, I would have done it for a quarter of that!

Lurky Loo said...

I really envy this guy and it's not just because of the money either. He was doing something he loved and in doing so now he is financially able to guarantee that he will be able to continue to do what he loves his whole life through. How awesome is that?

swedishfish said...

wow, wow...in 2002 I got offered a similar deal, working basically for free in exchange for company stock (a new, ambitious company). I unhesitatingly said NO--I had little to no confidence in their company, and turned to temping. (I thought, "I'd rather they pay me in Monopoly money...because at least Monopoly money is good SOMEWHERE.") Fast-forward almost 10 years...and it was the RIGHT MOVE. they've been struggling for a long time and it sounds like BIG problems have surfaced, etc. I wouldn't be surprised if they fold soon. Too bad, because it was an environmentally friendly, cool-sounding idea. But...I didn't have confidence in the owner, and I was right.

On the flip side of the coin: my grandpa was offered $60,000 in stock for a brand-new restaurant in 1950 in exchange for land. He opted for cash instead. The restaurant? MCDONALD'S. True story.

califblondy said...

A family member was working for a new alternative energy company for straight salary, no benefits, no retirement, nada. The company kept chatting up its stock, but when you have small kids, health insurance is the priority.

The $200 million to the painter though is still a great story.

__-__=__ said...

So cool! Many times this does not work out so well.

Anonymous said...

Lurky Loo, my sentiments exactly!

Not every artist will stay a starving one. I am truly happy for him!

lzahart said...

Just because FB is targeting an approx $5B IPO at the moment (which is how they are backing into this $200m figure for his shares) doesn't mean that this individual will get $200m. A lot can happen btwn now and when the company goes public, they can lower or raise their target. Plus since his shares are technically insider shares, he won't be able to sell them the day the company goes public-- he will be locked up for a period of time, and if the stock trades down significantly or turns out to be volatile that could make his stake worth much less. And of course there are also lawyers/accountants/brokers/taxes to pay if and when he does sell.

The point I'm trying to make is that I think it's very premature to say he is going to make $200m and that it isn't always a good idea to take the shares/ points/ back end. Even companies like FB have issues that are not unlike those referenced by swedishfish....

ms snarky said...

It's always a crapshoot whether you're donating your services for a worthless 'future' investment in a startup, or if you're hitting a bonanza. Good for him that his FB shares are worth a bundle. And now I'm going to go marry him.

crila16 said...

Good for him...though I don't really care, since it's not me getting a million dollars.

Dishtlk said...

Lucky.
@Ms Snarky, race ya!?

jax said...

good for him.

as for the rest of facebook*- they can f-ck off. With all the people jumping off of FB because of timeline it's no surprise they went public the same day the timeline became mandatory.

fuckers.

*basically just Zuckerberg.

hamster party said...

Gwahh, for an artist to get that, that's killer, man.

Too much money brings extreme pain though, hope he donates most of it!

Ugh, fucking hate Facebook though. Of course they'd underpay for art, who doesn't? (I'm not talking about friggin' Christie's auctions and art dealers)

mygeorgie said...

Bono's investment company stands to make 1 Billion when fb goes public. I'd say this artist worked harder for it.

Lelaina Pierce said...

Glad that leap of faith worked out for him.

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