In November 2005, when Noah Kagan was 24, he was hired as Employee #30 at Facebook.
At the time, Facebook was a one-year-old company with only a few million users. The company was growing rapidly, adding 50,000 new users per day.
Noah joined the team as product manager. He made a base salary of $60,000 plus 0.1 percent of ownership, equivalent to 20,000 shares.
His stock options would have been worth $170 million if he’d cashed out in 2014, he says.
But he didn’t see a dime.
In June 2006, merely 9 months after he started working at Facebook, Noah got fired. Instead of making $170 million, he made zero.
He fell into a deep depression for a year. Then he rescued himself by starting his own company.
He became a serial entrepreneur. He tried his hand at a lot of things — including developing Facebook games, selling discount cards, creating a payment processor in the gaming space — but he’s best known for his two most successful companies.
In 2010 he started a company, AppSumo, which offers daily deals on software for small businesses. It’s like Groupon for online entrepreneurs. By 2012, AppSumo was grossing $4 million per year in revenue, with annual net profits of $500,000.
Yet Noah wasn’t fulfilled. So he pivoted. He offloaded the day-to-day management of the company to a colleague, and in 2015 he started a sister company, Sumo.com, which develops marketing tools for websites and online businesses.
In today’s episode, Noah and I discuss reflections on business, money and life.