In 2004, a group of Harvard students got together in their dorm to start working on a small project called thefacebook.com. Originally intended to serve as an online directory of Harvard students, it quickly developed well beyond its original mandate to become a global phenomenon. In the process, he made Mark Zuckerberg a household name and the rest of his creators extremely wealthy young men. One of those creators is Dustin Moscovitz. Despite leaving Facebook in 2008, Moscovitz ranks as one of the richest figures in technology. Today, it is estimated to be worth around $ 17 billion. As it did? Believe it or not, the answer doesn’t start and end with the word ‘Facebook’ …
The Facebook years
Moscovitz was born in Gainesville, Florida. After graduating from Vanguard High School’s IB Diploma Program, he earned a place studying economics at Harvard University. It was at Harvard that he met Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, and Chris Hughes. After deciding to create a website that would allow the university’s residential students to recognize members from other residences, the four friends created ‘thefacebook.com’. After it turned out to be a hit with the students, they decided to quit their studies, move to Palo Alto, and start working on turning thefacebook.com into Facebook.
Although Zuckerberg has become the ‘face’ of Facebook in the years since, Moscovitz’s involvement should not be underestimated. Despite being fully self-taught, he was responsible for writing most of the prototype code. As moneyweek.com points out, many of the infrastructure elements it built are still in place today. As the company’s first CTO and later vice president of engineering, he was the primary orchestrator of the company’s mobile development and strategy. After 4 years with the company, Moscovitz announced in 2008 that he would be leaving Facebook to launch a new startup called Asana with Justin Rosenstein, Facebook’s engineering manager.
Unlike co-founder Eduardo Saverin, who left Facebook in 2012 under bitter circumstances, Moscovitz’s split with the company that made his name was amicable. He remains a friend of Zuckerberg to this day; So much so, in fact, Zuckerberg has called him one of his most trusted advisers and confidants. But it was more than just friendship that he took with him when he left. It was stock. Although it has sold several million dollars worth of stock since the company went public in 2012, Celebrity Net Worth estimates that it still owns about 3% of Facebook, made up of 95 million class A and class B shares combined.
The switch to Asana
In 2012, Moscovitz and Saverin launched their eponymous web and mobile app, Asana. It was well received upon launch, with PC Magazine calling it “one of the best collaboration and productivity apps for teams.”
The previous spring, the company had closed a $ 1.2 million angel round from a group of investors that included former Mobile Facebook director Jed Stremel and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel in their issue. As of January 2018, Asana had more than 35,000 clients, including AB-InBev, Viessmann, eBay, Uber, Overstock, Navy Federal Credit Union, Icelandair, and IBM. Just 9 months later, its customer base had expanded to 50,000 and the company had raised another $ 50 million during the fifth round of funding, bringing its valuation to $ 1.5 billion. Earlier this year, Asana announced plans to present its initial public offering. Clearly, Moscovitz’s decision to leave Facebook for Asana was not the reckless decision that many people predicted at the time. Although Asana has yet to turn a profit, its exponential growth over the past few years is an indicator of solid success to come. And until then … well, you still have your 3% Facebook stake to draw on.
The reluctant billionaire
As the Daily Mail writes, one of the most interesting aspects of the Facebook story has nothing to do with the site itself. Not to do with how much money each of its creators has earned. It is the way in which each one has chosen very different lives. Let’s take Eduardo Saverin. Since leaving Facebook under difficult circumstances, he has renounced his US citizenship to avoid some $ 700 million in capital gains taxes and now lives as a tax exile in Singapore. Having earned a reputation as a well-known playboy, his activities extend to running B Capital, a venture capital firm whose investment …