March 13: Lunch with Sean Parker, why rich kids have already won the career game, and Adjustment Bureau


Let’s be honest, not considering yesterday’s post, it’s been a while since I wrote a post on this blog. And it seems like it has been around a month since I added anything to the Log Book. Either way, today’s your lucky day.

So first of all, the lunch with Sean Parker. I haven’t actually been lunching with Sean Parker. If I had been, that would have definitely been the best part of this whole co-op. I mean lunch with any CEO or legend in the Valley. But what I meant by the lunch with Sean Parker was this article, written by John Gapper, a Financial Times columnist. Besides some basic info about him, and the Social Network movie, I don’t know much, however I assume he is not the asshole portrayed in the movie. To be honest I imagine the guy as a brilliant, maybe not as brilliant as some of other famous CEOs, however with a knack for pushing the boundaries of what society might see as a relative acceptable behavior. In the case of Napster, it was pirating music. In the case of his second venture, Plaxo, it was about serving up customers with spam. One turned out to be socially acceptable and revolutionize the face of an industry and of a distribution medium forever, while the other one is still hated by basically everyone in the world.  Now from the article, I read Sean Parker as being really similar to the way he was in the movie in the dinner scene: slightly narcissistic, knowledgeable about a variety of subjects, but really just plain interested in everything. Some excellent quotes from the article are reproduced below, but you should definitely check out the article, as it is a really great read.

“You have got to be willing to be poor [as an entrepreneur],” he says. “There was a time when I was living out of a single suitcase. I had a rule that I wouldn’t stay on one person’s couch for more than two weeks because I didn’t want to become a bother.”

So is a billion dollars cool? He ponders the question carefully. “No, it’s not,” he says. “It’s not cool. I think being a wealthy member of the establishment is the antithesis of cool. Being a countercultural revolutionary is cool. So to the extent that you’ve made a billion dollars, you’ve probably become uncool.” He laughs at his retort to Aaron Sorkin.

 

The second thing I wanted to talk about was why rich kids have already won the career game. It is an essay/rant which you can find here and his follow-up which I have just found, and which I’ll admit that I haven’t read yet.  I also want to kinda go to sleep, so I don’t want to dive to much in the issue, but assume that I agree with him, however I would say that it is instead the mindset which the person in question is, rather than their actual financial situation. I am by no means rich, and neither is my family. Although I’ve only been in one semester of University, I’ve payed for it myself with scholarships, OSAP and money from summer jobs. Just this last January, I had to wait for my first paycheck in order to pay for my Visa and phone bill (i pay my own phone bill and I payed for my iPhone). In no way do I regret all this. Now getting back to the point of the story, I would like to think that I act like the “rich kids” in the rant. I’ve been able to mingle with rather important people in the Valley, and I’m a pretty social person. I think that as long as the “poor kid” is not ashamed of his situation, he can get into the mindset that he is no different than the typical rich kid. He will have to work harder, but that does not mean that he cannot employ the same type of social behavior as the rich kid.

My last share is the fact that I saw the Adjustment Bureau, the new movie with Matt Damon. It was a pretty sweet movie, maybe not necessarily a movie to see in cinemas. The short story is that Matt Damon’s character (David Norris) is running for Senate as a representative of NY, when he meets Emily Blunt’s character (Elise Sellas). At this point I can just say that fate is not on their side, and certain rather shady people who seem to come from a 60s detective film, have something to say about setting your own fate. Moral of the movie, fictional gods are awesome, Matt Damon keeps doing what he’s best at (running away from really shady organizations), and Emily Blunt is as sexy as ever.

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