Happy Zuckerbirthday, Mark.
Chances are that you aren’t reading this, that you’re probably tooling away on some “code” or taking a “meeting” or perhaps “drinking a diet soda and staring at a priceless painting” because you’re rich enough to have several priceless paintings. It must be kind of annoying for everyone to know how rich you are. I bet when people see you at Chipotle you know that they are all secretly thinking, “Hey, that’s Mark Zuckerberg, I bet he buys me a Chipotle because he can totally afford it.” It must be tough to have everyone in the world expecting you to buy them a burrito, is what I’m saying.
Anyway. Happy birthday, Mark. You were once the guy that said something akin to “Successful companies don’t hire anyone over 30,” and now you’re the guy that is over 30 hahahaHAHAHAHAHA. Great job saying that, by the way. You know that probably a fair number of Silicon Valley HR bros took that to heart over the last five years, right?
But I ain’t here to laugh at you (If I wanted to do that I’d go through your wardrobe! Hey-o!) but honestly, this isn’t meant to be a roast. It’s meant to be a celebration: You’ve turned the age you never thought you would.
You said those words at 23 — 23! Everyone forever and always regrets every single decision ever made in the 23rd year of their life, I can assure you of that. Twenty-three is the age where you go to nightclubs and do too many drugs and show up hungover to work. You, at 23, were running a then-budding social network. You had people to hire, things to do, a business to run. You missed out on the glorious and luscious years of your mid-twenties, when the decisions you made in previous years are only just coming to fruition. At around that time, you were sorta-kinda ripping off Tumblr’s dashboard feature with your “timeline” feature.
Allow me, now, to quote from Dr Seuss’s classic “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”:
“You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. but mostly they’re darked.
But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?”
That place is Yahoo, Mark. Do not go to there. Do not become Yahoo.
So here you are at 30, wondering just where to go from here. You’re already a billionaire, married and own a modest house. Also: You own Instagram and Oculus Rift, an upcoming virtual reality 3-D headset. You have the ability to get absolutely everything you’d ever wanted; if it exists on this planet, you can most likely get it. You’re like an introverted Gatsby with a gluten intolerance. Chances are you already probably own some decent cookware, so what to get for the man who has everything?
How about a good book, and maybe a day or two off to read it alone on a beach without anyone bothering you? That’s the only thing I can think of, and the one thing I think you may need at 30.
Ned Hepburn is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine.